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Remanded: Illegal Search & Seizure

Blakes v. Super. Ct. Court: California Courts of Appeal, Docket: C093856 (Third Appellate District), Opinion Date: December 16, 2021. Petitioner Derrick Blakes sought review of the denial of his motion to suppress the fruits of a search of his car following a traffic stop. He claimed the trial court erred in finding the warrantless search supported by probable cause and was a valid impound search. The Court of Appeal found the facts adduced by the officers before the warrantless entry of the car were: illegally tinted windows, defendant taking one-tenth of a mile to pull over and stop, the smell of marijuana emanating from the car, his having a suspended license, and his having a prior arrest for felon in possession of a firearm. The Court concluded these facts did not provide probable cause that contraband or evidence of illegal activity was in the car. The Court determined the evidence showed the impound decision was based on an investigative pretext rather than serving a community caretaking function. The Court thus granted petitioner's request for mandamus relief, and remanded this case to the trial court with directions to grant the suppression motion.

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