legal news


Register | Forgot Password

P. v. Shaw CA6

abundy's Membership Status

Registration Date: Jun 01, 2017
Usergroup: Administrator
Listings Submitted: 0 listings
Total Comments: 0 (0 per day)
Last seen: 06/01/17 - 11:31:27

Biographical Information

Contact Information

Submission History

Most recent listings:
In re K.P. CA6
P. v. Price CA6
P. v. Alvarez CA6
P. v. Shaw CA6
Marriage of Lejerskar CA4/3

Find all listings submitted by abundy
P. v. Shaw CA6
By
03/14/18

Filed 3/1/18 P. v. Shaw CA6
NOT TO BE PUBLISHED IN OFFICIAL REPORTS

California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.


IN THE COURT OF APPEAL OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

SIXTH APPELLATE DISTRICT


THE PEOPLE,

Plaintiff and Respondent,

v.

ROBERT CLIFFORD SHAW,

Defendant and Appellant.
H043050
(Santa Clara County
Super. Ct. No. C1476652)
I. INTRODUCTION
Defendant Robert Clifford Shaw was placed on probation after he pleaded no contest to selling cocaine (Health & Saf. Code, § 11352, subd. (a)), transportation of cocaine (ibid.), possession for sale of cocaine (Health & Saf. Code, § 11351), possession of oxycodone (Health & Saf. Code, § 11350, subd. (a)), possession of concentrated cannabis (Health & Saf. Code, § 11357, subd. (a)), driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or more (Veh. Code, § 21552, subd. (b)), and being under the influence of cocaine (Health & Saf. Code, § 11550, subd. (a)).
On appeal, defendant contends the trial court erred by denying his motion to suppress evidence (Pen. Code, § 1538.5) and his motion to dismiss (Pen. Code, § 995). Defendant argues he was subjected to “an unconstitutional detention and search” when the police stopped his vehicle because its rear center brake light was not working. For reasons that we will explain, we will affirm the order of probation.
II. BACKGROUND
A. Preliminary Hearing Evidence
Just after 2:00 a.m. on January 7, 2014, Campbell Police Officer Brendan Bligh conducted a vehicle stop. Defendant was the driver of the vehicle, and there were two passengers—a male and a female.
Officer Bligh stopped defendant’s vehicle after observing that the “center brake light in the back windshield” was not working. Officer Bligh believed this was a violation of Vehicle Code section 24252, subdivision (a). The brake lights on the right and left sides of the rear of the vehicle were working.
When Officer Bligh spoke with defendant, he noticed an odor of alcohol emanating from defendant and the vehicle. Defendant also exhibited signs of alcohol intoxication: his eyes were watery, and his speech was “a little thicker.” Officer Bligh administered a horizontal gaze nystagmus test and determined that defendant was not able to properly track a pen. Defendant admitted having had “a beer or two” as well as a “shot.”
Officer Bligh asked defendant to step out of the vehicle. Defendant consented to a search of his person, which revealed he had $739 cash in his wallet. Field sobriety tests showed that defendant had difficulty counting to 30 and difficulty maintaining his balance when standing on one foot. Defendant did not follow instructions during a “walk and turn” test. Preliminary alcohol screening tests showed defendant had a blood alcohol content of 0.123 and 0.127.
Officer Bligh arrested defendant and searched his vehicle. Inside the glove compartment, there was a clear plastic bag containing a white powdery substance that was later confirmed to be 4.12 grams of cocaine. A black digital scale was also in the glove compartment. Inside the trunk of the vehicle, there was a safe. Officer Bligh obtained a search warrant for the safe. Inside the safe, he found a plastic bag containing a white crystal substance that tested presumptive positive for methamphetamine, but which was later found not to be a controlled substance. The safe also contained thousands of small plastic bags, containers of hash oil, codeine pills and oxycodone pills, and glass pipes.
After waiving his Miranda rights, defendant claimed that the cocaine found in his glove compartment was for personal use. He was unable to explain why he had a scale. He acknowledged ownership of the safe. Defendant admitted he had used cocaine within the prior 48 hours, and a subsequent blood sample tested positive for cocaine. The blood sample also showed defendant had a blood alcohol content of 0.12 percent.
Another officer searched the male passenger and found a baggie containing a white substance. The male passenger’s cell phone contained text messages exchanged with defendant. The text messages indicated “an attempt to meet up with the intent to exchange narcotics.”
The female passenger displayed objective symptoms of being under the influence of cocaine, and she admitted having used cocaine that day. She said she had obtained the cocaine from defendant.
B. Motion to Suppress
Defendant filed a motion to suppress evidence (Pen. Code, § 1538.5) at the preliminary hearing, arguing that he was detained without reasonable suspicion or probable cause. He asserted that the prosecution had the burden to justify the detention. (See People v. Williams (1999) 20 Cal.4th 119, 130.)
The prosecution filed written opposition, arguing that defendant’s initial detention was justified by Officer Bligh’s observation of the non-working rear center brake light, which constituted a violation of Vehicle Code section 24252, subdivision (a).
Defendant argued that a non-working rear center brake light is not a violation of Vehicle Code section 24252, subdivision (a) because the statute requires only that “lighting equipment of a required type” be maintained in good working order, and only “two stoplamps” are required pursuant to Vehicle Code section 24603, subdivision (b). Defendant asserted that the non-working rear center brake light qualified as a “supplemental stoplamp” (see Veh. Code § 24603, subd. (h)(2)) that was not subject to the “good working order” requirement of Vehicle Code section 24252, subdivision (a).
The prosecution filed supplemental opposition, arguing that the rear center brake light was a “required piece of lighting equipment under federal standards adopted by the California Highway Patrol,” citing In re Justin K. (2002) 98 Cal.App.4th 695 (Justin K.). The prosecution noted that supplemental stoplamps are required to comply with federal regulations. (See Veh. Code, § 24603, subd. (i).)
At the motion to suppress hearing, defendant argued that Justin K. was “wrongly decided” because although Vehicle Code section 24603 incorporated the federal standards for “how a center rear stoplamp should function,” the statute did not “elevate the center stoplamp to a required lighting.”
The trial court denied defendant’s motion to suppress. The trial court explained: “[I]f the manufacturer decides to put two lights, one on the left and one on the right [a]s required minimally by the Vehicle Code, they can do that. But if they decide to manufacture the car with a third one in the middle, then you must maintain it.”
C. Information and Motion to Dismiss
An information was filed charging defendant with selling cocaine (Health & Saf. Code, § 11352, subd. (a); count 1), transportation of cocaine (ibid.; count 2), possession for sale of cocaine (Health & Saf. Code, § 11351; count 3), possession of oxycodone (Health & Saf. Code, § 11350, subd. (a); count 4), possession of concentrated cannabis (Health & Saf. Code, § 11357, subd. (a); count 5), driving under the influence of alcohol (Veh. Code, § 23152, subd. (a); count 6), driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or more (Veh. Code, § 23152, subd. (b); count 7), and being under the influence of cocaine (Health & Saf. Code, § 11550, subd. (a); count 8).
Defendant moved to dismiss the information (Pen. Code, § 995), arguing that the motion to suppress had been “improperly denied.” Defendant reiterated his arguments: that Vehicle Code section 24252, subdivision (a) requires only that “lighting equipment of a required type” be maintained in good working order, that Vehicle Code section 24603, subdivision (b) requires only “two stoplamps,” and that the non-working rear center brake light qualified as a “supplemental stoplamp” (see Veh. Code, § 24603, subd. (h)(2)) that was not required to be maintained in good working order. Defendant also reiterated his argument that Justin K. was wrongly decided. Further, he asserted that Officer Bligh had not made an objectively reasonable mistake of law.
The prosecution opposed defendant’s motion to dismiss, arguing that Officer Bligh reasonably suspected defendant’s vehicle was being operated in violation of Vehicle Code section 24252, subdivision (a) and urging the trial court to follow Justin K.
The trial court determined that it needed to “follow the law as stated in In re Justin K.,” and it denied defendant’s motion to dismiss.
D. Pleas and Sentencing
Pursuant to a negotiated disposition, defendant pleaded no contest to counts 1 through 5, plus counts 7 and 8. At the sentencing hearing, the trial court dismissed count 6 and placed defendant on probation. Defendant was ordered to serve a 90-day jail term but was permitted to complete that term on the electronic monitoring program.
III. DISCUSSION
Defendant contends the trial court erred by denying his motion to suppress evidence (Pen. Code, § 1538.5) and his motion to dismiss (Pen. Code, § 995) because Officer Bligh was not justified in stopping his vehicle based on the malfunctioning rear center brake light.
A. Standard of Review
“In ruling on a motion to suppress, the trial court must find the historical facts, select the rule of law, and apply it to the facts in order to determine whether the law as applied has been violated. [Citation.] We review the court’s resolution of the factual inquiry under the deferential substantial evidence standard. The ruling on whether the applicable law applies to the facts is a mixed question of law and fact that is subject to independent review. [Citation.]” (People v. Ramos (2004) 34 Cal.4th 494, 505.)
The instant case involves a question of statutory interpretation, as to which we apply the following well-established rules. “[O]ur fundamental task is to ascertain the Legislature’s intent so as to effectuate the purpose of the statute. [Citation.] We begin with the language of the statute, giving the words their usual and ordinary meaning. [Citation.] The language must be construed ‘in the context of the statute as a whole and the overall statutory scheme, and we give “significance to every word, phrase, sentence, and part of an act in pursuance of the legislative purpose.” ’ [Citation.] In other words, ‘ “we do not construe statutes in isolation, but rather read every statute ‘with reference to the entire scheme of law of which it is part so that the whole may be harmonized and retain effectiveness.’ [Citation.]” ’ [Citation.] If the statutory terms are ambiguous, we may examine extrinsic sources, including the ostensible objects to be achieved and the legislative history. [Citation.] In such circumstances, we choose the construction that comports most closely with the Legislature’s apparent intent, endeavoring to promote rather than defeat the statute’s general purpose, and avoiding a construction that would lead to absurd consequences. [Citation.]” (Smith v. Superior Court (2006) 39 Cal.4th 77, 83 (Smith).)
B. Analysis
Defendant repeats the arguments he made during the proceedings on his motion to suppress and motion to dismiss: that Vehicle Code section 24603, subdivision (b) requires only “two stoplamps,” that Vehicle Code section 24252, subdivision (a) requires only “required” stoplamps to be maintained in good working order, and that the non-working rear center brake light qualified as a “supplemental stoplamp” (Veh. Code, § 24603, subd. (h)(2)) that was not required to be maintained in good working order. Defendant urges this court not to follow Justin K.
The facts of Justin K. are very similar to the facts here: an officer noticed that the defendant was driving a vehicle that had two working brake lights but a non-working “third brake light located in the rear window.” (Justin K., supra, 98 Cal.App.4th at p. 697.) The officer stopped the vehicle “for an ‘equipment violation’ ” and discovered the defendant was intoxicated. (Ibid.) The defendant later moved to suppress, contending that the rear center stoplamp was not required to be in good working order.
The Justin K. court acknowledged that Vehicle Code section 24603 does not make supplemental stoplamps “required equipment.” (Justin K., supra, 98 Cal.App.4th at p. 699.) However, the court explained, Vehicle Code section 26103, subdivision (a) permits the Department of the California Highway Patrol to adopt the federal standards for lighting equipment. (Justin K., supra, 98 Cal.App.4th at p. 699.) The Department of the California Highway Patrol has adopted the federal safety standards, and the federal standards do require supplemental stoplamps. (Justin K., supra, 98 Cal.App.4th at p. 699, citing 49 C.F.R. § 571.108, S.51.1.27, S5.3.1.8 & table III (2002).) In addition, the court noted, Vehicle Code section 24603 requires supplemental stoplamps installed after January 1, 1987 to comply with the federal safety standards. (See fn. 5, ante.) Since “a supplemental stoplamp . . . that is not working would not be in compliance with that standard,” the officer was justified in stopping the defendant’s car. (Justin K., supra, 98 Cal.App.4th at p. 700.)
Defendant disagrees with the rationale of Justin K. He disputes that Vehicle Code section 26103 incorporates federal standards with respect to “local police.” He asserts that “the statute relates only to enforcement by the California Highway Patrol.” Thus, he argues, Officer Bligh was only “bound to follow the Vehicle Code’s requirements for stoplamps, not the federal standards incorporated by section 26103.”
The Attorney General argues that defendant’s interpretation of the relevant statutes would lead to absurd results: inconsistent enforcement standards that depend on the jurisdiction in which a defendant is driving. (See Smith, supra, 39 Cal.4th at p. 83.) In response, defendant points to the distinction between the enforcement jurisdiction of the California Highway Patrol and local police. (See Veh. Code, § 2400, subd. (d).)
As previously noted, in construing a statute, we “begin with the language of the statute, giving the words their usual and ordinary meaning” and giving significance to every word. (Smith, supra, 39 Cal.4th at p. 83.) Contrary to defendant’s claim, Vehicle Code section 26103 does not only authorize the Department of the California Highway Patrol to “enforce” vehicle lighting equipment standards. The statute also authorizes the Department of the California Highway Patrol to “adopt” vehicle lighting equipment standards. (Veh. Code, § 26103, subd. (a).) The standards that have been adopted are the federal standards, which require passenger vehicles to have a “[h]igh mounted stop lamp” in the center-rear that is “activated upon application of the service brakes.” (See 49 C.F.R. § 571.108, S6.1.1 & Table I-a (2016); Cal. Code Regs., tit. 13, § 621.) Vehicle Code section 26103 also specifies that where there is “a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard . . . covering the same aspect of performance of a device, the provisions of that standard” prevail over Vehicle Code provisions concerning lighting equipment. (Veh. Code, § 26103, subd. (b).) Thus, under Vehicle Code section 26103, vehicle lighting equipment must comply with the federal standard, which requires a rear center stoplamp, making a rear center stoplamp “lighting equipment of a required type” that must “at all times be maintained in good working order” pursuant to Vehicle Code section 24252, subdivision (a).
We conclude that Officer Bligh reasonably determined that defendant’s vehicle was in violation of Vehicle Code section 24252, subdivision (a) because it had a non-working rear center brake light. Therefore, the trial court did not err by denying defendant’s motion to suppress and motion to dismiss.
IV. DISPOSITION
The order of probation is affirmed.





___________________________________________
BAMATTRE-MANOUKIAN, J.






WE CONCUR:






__________________________
ELIA, ACTING P.J.






__________________________
GREENWOOD, J.








People v. Shaw
H043050





Description Defendant Robert Clifford Shaw was placed on probation after he pleaded no contest to selling cocaine (Health & Saf. Code, § 11352, subd. (a)), transportation of cocaine (ibid.), possession for sale of cocaine (Health & Saf. Code, § 11351), possession of oxycodone (Health & Saf. Code, § 11350, subd. (a)), possession of concentrated cannabis (Health & Saf. Code, § 11357, subd. (a)), driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or more (Veh. Code, § 21552, subd. (b)), and being under the influence of cocaine (Health & Saf. Code, § 11550, subd. (a)).
On appeal, defendant contends the trial court erred by denying his motion to suppress evidence (Pen. Code, § 1538.5) and his motion to dismiss (Pen. Code, § 995). Defendant argues he was subjected to “an unconstitutional detention and search” when the police stopped his vehicle because its rear center brake light was not working. For reasons that we will explain, we will affirm the order of probation.
Rating
0/5 based on 0 votes.
Views 31 views. Averaging 0 views per day.

    Home | About Us | Privacy | Subscribe
    © 2018 Fearnotlaw.com The california lawyer directory

  Copyright © 2018 Result Oriented Marketing, Inc.

attorney
scale