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REVERSAL: Warrantless Search & Seizure Violates 4th Amendment

People v. Holiman Docket: A160142 (First Appellate District), Opinion Date: March 28, 2022. Holiman was found in possession of illegal drugs and a handgun during a traffic stop initiated after he made a right-hand turn at a stop sign, while the arresting officer’s patrol car was stopped directly behind him. Holiman did signal the turn, but the basis for the traffic stop was that he did not turn on his signal blinker early enough: for the 100 feet he drove before coming to a stop. The arresting officer cited him for violation of Vehicle Code section 22108. The trial court denied his motion to suppress the seized evidence, following which he pled guilty to two felony drug charges. The court of appeal reversed. The warrantless seizure of the evidence violated the Fourth Amendment because the police lacked objectively reasonable suspicion. Holiman’s turn did not violate the Vehicle Code, and no reasonable police officer could think that it did. The statute refers to “the giving of an appropriate signal in the manner provided in this chapter in the event any other vehicle may be affected by the movement.” The prosecution presented no evidence that the turn could have affected any vehicle, including the officer’s patrol car. #illegalsearchandseizure #courtreversal

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