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Name: People v. Evans
Case #: B227697
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 11/04/2011

Search of a vehicle following arrest violates the Fourth Amendment when it is not reasonable to believe evidence relevant to the crime might be found in the vehicle. Police officers stopped appellant for relatively minor traffic violations and directed him out of his vehicle. When he refused, they broke the window, tasered and pepper sprayed him, and forcibly removed him from the vehicle. He was then arrested for interfering with a police officer (Pen. Code, sec. 148). His vehicle was searched and 11 clear, empty plastic baggies and some $65 in cash were located in the center console. Shortly…

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Name: People v. Nottoli
Case #: H035902
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 09/26/2011

A search incident to arrest for being under the influence of a controlled substance, supports a search incident to arrest, including a search of a cellphone found in the passenger compartment. The driver was pulled over for speeding and then arrested for being under the influence of a controlled substance. He was handcuffed and secured in a patrol car. The subsequent search of the passenger compartment pursuant to Arizona v. Gant (2009) __ U.S.__, [129 S.Ct. 1710], produced "tooters," straws used to ingest drugs, a cell phone, and a gun. The cellphone "wallpaper" photo and 10 minute search through text…

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Name: People v. Stillwell
Case #: C065324
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 07/25/2011

The use of a trained drug detection dog to sniff the exterior of a vehicle is not a "search" under the Fourth Amendment and may provide probable cause for a search of containers in the bed of a pick-up truck. Following a vehicle stop for an obscured license plate and inoperative license plate lamp, the officer formed an opinion that the driver was under the influence of a controlled substance. After the driver refused the officer's request to look inside the truck, the officer summoned assistance and officer #2, with Tommy, the dog, arrived. Tommy was trained to detect…

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Name: People v. Bennett
Case #: B223338
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 07/21/2011

Detention of a motorist is reasonable where probable cause exists to believe that a traffic violation has occurred, even when the offense is a civil one subject to civil penalties and administrative enforcement. The court rejected appellant's contention that the police officer had no right to detain him for a parking violation [parking in a designated fire lane -- Veh. Code, sec. 40200] that is subject to civil penalties. On the basis of the holding in Whren v. U.S. (1996) 517 U. S. 806, this court declined to distinguish between different types of traffic violations for purposes of finding…

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Name: Davis v. United States
Case #: 09-11328
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Opinion Date: 06/16/2011
Subsequent History: 131 S.Ct. 2419; 180 L.Ed.2d 285

Searches conducted in objectively reasonable reliance on binding appellate precedent are not subject to the Fourth Amendment exclusionary rule. The majority opinion by Justice Samuel Alito addresses the scope of the exclusionary rule. Chimel v. California (1969) 395 U.S. 752, 763 allowed an arresting officer to conduct a warrantless search of the arrestee and the area only within his "immediate control." New York v. Belton (1981) 453 U.S. 454, 459-460 upheld the search of an automobile as reasonably incident to the arrest of the occupants of the car who were handcuffed and detained along the side of the thruway. Belton

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Name: People v. Maikhio
Case #: S180289
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 06/20/2011

A game warden has the authority to make a vehicle stop to make an inspection where game may be stored and upon demand the driver has a duty to exhibit any game taken. There was reasonable suspicion to support a traffic stop when a game warden used a spotting telescope and observed what he believed was an illegal method of catching lobster from a pier. The fisherman was pulled over three blocks from the pier, denied that he had any lobsters in his vehicle, but a search produced the illegal catch. The Fish and Game Code provides that boats and…

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Name: People v. Carmona
Case #: G043846
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 05/27/2011

A turn without signaling, when no other vehicle might be affected, is not a traffic violation which supports a traffic stop and a subsequent parole search. Carmona did not signal a turn and the patrol car, the only other vehicle on the road at the time, was not affected by the turn. After a traffic stop for the asserted violation of Vehicle Code section 22107, it was determined that Carmona was on parole. A parole search produced drugs which were the subject of a motion to suppress. Vehicle Code section 22107 requires a signal when a turn might affect other…

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Name: People v. Greenwood
Case #: B220315
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 10/28/2010

An officer’s objective belief based on Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) records that a vehicle registration has expired, with no registration in progress, despite the presence of a seemingly valid temporary registration on the vehicle, justifies the vehicle stop for Fourth Amendment purposes. At a suppression hearing, the officers testified that they ran a computer check of DMV records of a vehicle driven by appellant and learned that the registration had expired two years earlier. The officers stopped the vehicle and discovered a cigarette dipped in phencyclidine. The vehicle displayed a temporary vehicle registration, but DMV records did not…

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Name: U.S. v. Maddox
Case #: 09-30284
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 08/12/2010

A warrantless search of a car key chain not within the driver's immediate control cannot be upheld based on a theory of search incident to arrest. Police stopped appellant for reckless driving, handcuffed and arrested him, placed him in the patrol car, and then searched the car and closed containers within. The officer found methamphetamine inside in a vial hanging from appellant's key chain in the ignition. More methamphetamine and a gun were located inside a closed computer case. The trial court granted appellant's motion to suppress finding that that the warrantless search could not be…

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Name: People v. Schmitz
Case #: G040641
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 08/18/2010
Subsequent History: review granted 12/1/10 S186707

The search of a car, not consented to by the driver or owner, cannot be upheld based on the parole status of a passenger who has no possessory interest in the car or joint access or control over the areas searched. An officer saw appellant make a U-turn, so she followed him and asked if he was lost. Appellant said no and explained he turned down the street because he thought it might be illegal to make a U-turn on the main street. The officer exited her car, began questioning appellant, and requested his driver's license. When…

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