By Stephanie Boulos
SACRAMENTO, CA – Defendant Erica Aguirre’s motion to suppress evidence was denied here in Sacramento County Superior Court, Dept. 28 last Friday after the judge determined the defense failed to establish that officers didn’t have a reason for a stop and search.
Through the testimony of a police officer, it was revealed that the defendant was allegedly parked illegally on a driveway, which caused the police officer to approach her car and speak to the defendant about why she was parked there.
As the police officer looked through the window of the defendant’s vehicle, he saw a broken mirror in the defendant’s lap and several articles and bags of cosmetics surrounding her.
Further confirming his suspicion, the defendant dropped a bag full of a crystalized substance onto her lap and then attempted to spread the substance on the floorboard of her car, alleged the officer.
When the officer asked the defendant several questions and to turn off her vehicle, the defendant refused to comply, prompting the arrival of another police officer, a full search of her vehicle, and eventually a charge for possession.
Through the search of the vehicle, a glass pipe used for methamphetamine, the broken mirror, and the bag with the substance were all taken in as evidence.
Assistant Public Defender Christian Rowland argued the detainment of his defendant was illegal because it was solely based on suspicion.
Rowland also quipped that if every woman who was applying their makeup was parked, would police officers be entitled to search them based on the suspicion of their being drug users.
The PD said the stop was at best a “fishing expedition,” the evidence collected should be dismissed—and that the stop for illegal parking was a lie, because the defendant was not issued a citation for illegal parking.
Deputy District Attorney Garcia formally established the legality behind the suspicion of the officer by stating it was “based on his training, the container in the bag and the mirror are used for using drugs.”
Garcia then established that the evidence of the drug paraphernalia in open view gave the officer the right to search the rest of the vehicle.
Newly-appointed Judge Augustin R. Jimenez denied the motions to suppress the glass pipe, the residue collected, and the observations of the police officer, noting that it “appears to the court that the officer’s approach of the vehicle was legal and that the officer observing the items in plain view made the search legal as well.”
Judge Jimenez set the trial for July 12.