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Name: People v. Tolliver et al.
Case #: C049959
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 03/11/2008

An alleged expectation of privacy pursuant to the Fourth Amendment will be defeated if society does not perceive the expectation of privacy as legitimate. The Fourth Amendment, guarantees an individual protection from unreasonable searches and seizure. To obtain suppression of evidence discovered in an unlawful search, a defendant has the burden of proving he had a legitimate expectation of privacy; this, in turn, being subject to a two-part test: (1) did the defendant manifest a subjective expectation of privacy in the object of the search; and (2) is society willing to recognize the expectation of privacy as legitimate.…

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Name: People v. Duncan
Case #: D050458
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 03/05/2008

Driving with an upside down license plate constitutes a violation of Vehicle Code section 5201. A police officer observed a vehicle driving toward him with a front license plate that was upside down. He stopped the vehicle and conducted a records check of Duncan, the driver. The check showed that Duncan's license was suspended. The vehicle was impounded, and an inventory search revealed controlled substances and paraphernalia. Following the denial of his suppression motion, Duncan pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine. On appeal, he contended that the evidence was insufficient to support the stop.…

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Name: People v. Dean
Case #: A115164
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 12/03/2007
Subsequent History: 4/9/08 Rev. granted: S160418

A vehicle stop will withstand a Fourth Amendment attack if, under the circumstances of the detention, the officer had an articulable and reasonable suspicion that the vehicle was not properly registered. In this case, it was undisputed that the displayed registration tags were expired and that a valid temporary permit had been issued on the day of the stop and that the permit was found on the impounded vehicle three months later. The officer testified that he had a good view of the back of the car and could see inside it, that he would have seen a…

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Name: People v. Colbert
Case #: H031479
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 12/11/2007

Vehicle was lawfully stopped where officer had reason to believe an air freshener hanging from the rear view mirror obstructed the driver's view. Appellant was stopped and detained by an officer who saw a tree-shaped air freshener hanging from the rear view mirror of appellant's car and believed it was obstructing appellant's view. When the officer discovered that appellant was on parole, he searched the vehicle pursuant to parole conditions, finding pills and stolen credit cards. In his appeal from the denial of his motion to suppress the evidence, appellant argued that the officer lacked an objective…

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Name: United States v. Grigg
Case #: 06-30368
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 08/22/2007

Investigative stop of a minor infraction which did not occur in the officer's presence was a violation of Fourth Amendment.

Grigg appealed the district court's denial of his motion to suppress an unregistered automatic weapon which officers discovered while conducting an investigative stop pursuant to a citizen's complaint that Grigg had been playing his car stereo at an excessive volume. Police pulled over the car based on a complaining neighbor saying "that's the car," but at the time of the stop, the car was not playing loud music. Grigg quickly spilled that he had a hunting rifle behind the…

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Name: People v. Hoyos
Case #: S041008
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 07/23/2007

Detention of vehicle passengers during an inventory search before impounding the vehicle was lawful.

Appellant claimed that the trial court erred when it denied his 1538.5 motion to suppress evidence discovered in a traffic stop of a car in which he was the passenger. He contended that the officers stopped the car because of his ethnicity and that even if the stop was lawful, the detention was unnecessarily prolonged. The Court rejected the argument. The claim of ethnic bias was not raised below and was therefore forfeited. Further, the claim lacks merit. There was probable…

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Name: Brendlin v. California
Case #: 20-Jun
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Opinion Date: 06/18/2007
Subsequent History: 127 S.Ct. 2400; 168 L.Ed.2d 132

When police make a traffic stop, a passenger in the car, like the driver, is seized for Fourth Amendment purposes and so may challenge the constitutionality of the stop. A police officer observed a vehicle displaying a permit that allowed it to be driven legally even thought the registration tags were expired. Although the officer admitted that there was nothing unusual about the permit or the way it was affixed, he nevertheless decided to pull the car over to verify that the permit matched the car. Upon stopping the car, the officer recognized passenger Brendlin and ran a warrant…

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Name: People v. Nasmeh
Case #: H029987
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 05/23/2007

Motion to suppress was improvidently granted where seizure of the vehicle did not exceed the scope of the search warrant. Appellant was charged with murder. Prior to trial, a magistrate signed a search warrant for appellant's home and car for evidence of the murder. Following a visual search of the vehicle, officer's towed the car to the lab for forensic processing. There, forensic evidence linking appellant to the murder was found. Appellant's motion to suppress the evidence was granted, and the prosecutor petitioned for a writ of mandate to vacate the order. The appellate…

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Name: People v. Vibanco
Case #: H029524
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 04/30/2007

Officers may order a passenger to stay in a vehicle which is lawfully stopped, and may request identification. Appellant was the right rear passenger in a vehicle which was stopped by officers based on infractions relating to the vehicle's condition. Appellant attempted to leave, but was ordered to stay and produce identification. Appellant gave the officer a forged driver's license, and was later charged with related offenses. Following the trial court's order granting his 1538.5 motion, the case was dismissed, and the prosecutor appealed. The appellate court reversed the order, finding that officers may, pursuant…

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Name: People v. Cantor
Case #: G036838
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 04/13/2007

Consent for a "quick search" of the vehicle did not extend to opening a record cleaning machine inside the trunk. Appellant was stopped for driving violations. Based on his nervousness, his initial failure to yield, furtive movements, and the smell of marijuana, the police officer asked for and received consent to quickly search the car. In the trunk, the officer found 201 grams of cocaine inside a vinyl record cleaner. Before trial, appellant moved to suppress the evidence found in his trunk, and the motion was denied. In this appeal, he contended that the trial court erred…

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