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Name: Arthur v. DMV
Case #: D055494
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 04/22/2010

Appellant failed to overcome the official-duty evidentiary presumption (Evid. Code, § 664) that a sobriety checkpoint was properly operated. Appellant challenged his drunk driving conviction by arguing that the sobriety checkpoint where he was caught was unconstitutional. In order for a sobriety checkpoint to pass constitutional muster, it must substantially comply with the criteria listed in Ingersoll v. Palmer (1987) 43 Cal.3d 1321, which include: (1) decision making at the supervisory level; (2) limits on discretion of field officers as to who is to be stopped; (3) maintenance of safety conditions; (4) reasonable…

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Name: People v. Shafrir
Case #: A125880
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 04/14/2010

The validity of an impound and inventory search of a vehicle is judged by the Fourth Amendment standard of reasonableness. After arresting appellant for driving under the influence, the two California Highway Patrol Officers decided to remove and store the new luxury automobile appellant had been driving. The officers testified that the decision was initially based on the fact that the vehicle was a brand new Mercedes parked in a neighborhood known for high crime. During the subsequent inventory search of the vehicle, the officers found marijuana and a large amount of cash and changed their authority for removal of…

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Name: People v. Carter
Case #: B210203
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 02/26/2010

The trial court was not required to hold a hearing where defendant did not make a Marsden motion at his arraignment. At his arraignment on robbery charges, appellant asked for a Marsden hearing. He then proceeded to complain that counsel was "dragging his feet" and not doing what appellant told him to. The court denied his motion. On appeal, appellant contended that the trial court prejudicially erred in failing to hold a Marsden hearing at the arraignment. The appellate court held that appellant did not make a Marsden motion at that time. Although he used the term "Marsden hearing," upon…

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Name: People v. Maikhio
Case #: D055068
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 01/05/2010
Subsequent History: review granted 4/28/10

The seizure of a lobster from a vehicle by a Department of Fish and Game warden was not reasonable absent a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. A Department of Fish and Game (DFG) warden issued appellant a citation for possession of a California spiny lobster during closed season and for failure to show his catch on demand. Appellant moved to suppress the evidence, which was seized from his vehicle. The warden testified that he had seen appellant put something in his bag after fishing on the pier, and that at the time he stopped the car, he did not necessarily…

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Name: United States v. Palos-Marquez
Case #: 08-50498
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 01/19/2010

An in-person tip by an informant provided reasonable suspicion for an investigatory stop of a vehicle. Affirming a criminal judgment for transporting illegal aliens, the appellate court held that an in-person tip by an unidentified informant can have significant indicia of reliability, and reaffirmed the holding in United States v. Sierra-Hernandez (9th Cir. 1978) 581 F.2d 760, that information from a citizen who confronts an officer in person to advise that a designated individual is committing a specific crime displays significant indicia of reliability. Because an unidentified UPS driver's in-person tip had such indicia of reliability, and in…

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Name: People v. Dotson
Case #: C060310
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 11/30/2009

Unless other circumstances exist to dispel the suspicion, absence of license plates on a vehicle provides reasonable suspicion that the driver is violating the law, so as to support a vehicle stop. The Vehicle Code provides that when two license plates are issued for use upon a vehicle, they must be displayed on the vehicle, one in front and one in back. A vehicle may be operated legally despite missing plates if a valid temporary operating permit is correctly displayed on it. The code does not explicitly provide for placement of the temporary permit. Here, the officer testified that the…

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Name: People v. Hochstraser
Case #: H032765
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 10/27/2009

A warrantless entry into a residence based on a missing-person report was lawful due to exigent circumstances. Santa Clara police were dispatched to check on a child based on a report by the child's mother that the child was with his father and she had received reports of some domestic violence which had occurred at father's residence. The father's girlfriend was also missing. Officers entered the residence, concerned that someone might be injured following the domestic-violence report. They encountered appellant, who was sitting on a bed in the dark. They inquired about the domestic violence incident. Appellant responded that he…

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Name: United States v. Ruckes
Case #: 08-30088
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 11/09/2009

Although a car search was not properly incident to arrest, the evidence obtained was admissible because it would have inevitably been discovered. Ruckes was stopped by a Washington State trooper for a speeding violation, and was unable to produce any identification or driver's license. The trooper noticed that the car's open console contained loose money and a prescription bottle with the label removed. The trooper asked Ruckes to step out of the car, and patted him down. After discovering that Ruckes's license had been suspended, he searched the vehicle, finding drugs and a weapon. Ruckes appealed the denial of his…

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Name: United States v. Fraire
Case #: 08-10448
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 08/04/2009

A checkpoint at an entrance to a national park for the purpose of curbing illegal hunting is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment. Park rangers set up a vehicle checkpoint at the entrance to Kings Canyon National Park to try to control illegal hunting of animals in the park. All cars were stopped for about 15 to 25 seconds, and drivers were asked about hunting. When Fraire's vehicle was stopped at the checkpoint, a ranger noted a strong odor of alcohol on him. He was subsequently charged with driving under the influence and related offenses. Fraire's motion to suppress, based on…

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Name: United States v. Noster
Case #: 07-50391
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 07/15/2009

Search and seizure of a truck was lawful where the truck was mistakenly reported as stolen. Noster obtained a truck and its attached camper through fraudulent loan applications, and then failed to make payments on them. A stolen vehicle report was entered into a statewide stolen vehicle database. Officers spotted the "stolen" truck and decided to impound it. In preparing to do so, officers discovered an explosive device in a backpack on the floor of the truck. Noster was arrested, and a warrant issued for Noster's father's home. The impounded truck was searched, as…

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