The police derive a lot of cases from searching people’s cars and one big trick that they have is they’ll pull you over. They’ll order you out of the car for officer’s safety and then they’ll claim they have to go back in the car to search the car for your driver’s license, your insurance information, your car registration. That just pretty much gives them a free search of the vehicle under all circumstances.
People v. Lopez Case in California
Some new case law came out called People v. Lopez by our Ninth Circuit here in California that basically says the police can no longer use the argument that they need to go back in for the car registration, license or insurance in order to get into somebody’s vehicle.
In other words, that’s not an exception to the warrant requirement of the Constitution. Our Constitution, our Fourth Amendment protects us against unreasonable searches and seizures by the police. So, the only way you get around that requirement is if you’ve got an exception to the warrant requirement.
So, this Lopez case is great now. I’m using it right now on a Van Nuys case that I have, where they’ve gone in to get the person’s registration after a person came out of the car because the police ordered them out of the car and of course they’re claiming it’s for officer safety reasons.
They’re not going to let the person go back in there to get the car registration. But this case is going to get overturned because of this new Lopez case that has come out.
Motion to Suppress Evidence – Penal Code 1538.5
So, if you’ve got a situation where your car was illegally searched, you didn’t give consent, then pick up the phone and call me. Let’s talk about it and see if a motion to suppress the evidence pursuant to California Penal Code Section 1538.5 is appropriate because of the unlawful search.
Now poison to this motion and poison to the defense is if you consent to the search. In other words, if you agreed to the search, you tell the police sure, go ahead and search and you sign a search consent form, then you’re going to allow the police to search your vehicle.
You may not want them to search your vehicle, but if you say sure, go ahead and search my vehicle, then they’re going to be permitted to search the vehicle. Beyond that, they’re going to need some specific exceptions to be able to get in that car.
Fighting Illegal Search and Seizure Cases
So, if you’ve got a scenario where you were pulled over for some traffic offense and the police have used that traffic offense to be able to get in there and search your vehicle, pick up the phone. Make the call.
Let’s talk about your case and let’s talk about whether or not it was an illegal search and whatever they found — be it drugs, weapons, or anything — whether or not they can actually use that evidence against you or should it be suppressed pursuant to a violation of Penal Code Section 1535.
This statute basically talks about an illegal search will result in all evidence from that illegal search being declared fruit of the poisonous tree and therefore, suppressed, and therefore, the police cannot use it against you. If you need assistance, pick up the phone. Make the call. Take the first step towards dealing with your criminal case.
Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm located in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. Contact us for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0940.
Categorised in: Criminal Defense