Avvo badge
Top 100 Badge
Orange County Bar Association

Illegal Search of Vehicle Leads to Reverse of Conviction

Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo

A ruling by the 4th District Court of Appeals in Orange County has declared that Douglas Schmitz’s guilty charge be reversed because of the illegal search of his car. Schmitz had three other passengers in his car when he was pulled over. The CHP officer thought he was lost and proceeded to ask for his forms and license. When she learned that one of the passengers was on parole she asked Schimtz if she could search the car. After he did not answer she asked everyone to get out of the car. The officer found two syringes and methamphetamine. The items were in a purse in the seat of the car. Schmitz was arrested and faced criminal charges which concluded in a guilty plea to four misdemeanors. During the lower court proceedings a judge denied Schmitz’s motion to suppress the evidence found in his car because there was no search warrant. In the decision of the Court of Appeals, Justice William W. Bedsworth said that as owner of the vehicle Schmitz did have a reasonable expectation of privacy although the parolee did not. However, Schmitz’s glove compartment, console and door pockets should have been free from the search since he was not the one on parole. The main reason for the search was because of the individual on parole and once that reason is invalidated by the court, the search becomes unreasonable causing the illegal items to be suppressed. See, Search and Seizure, 4th Amendment.

Client Reviews

“I was pulled over for not having license plates on my car. The reason for that was because it was new. When the Officer pulled me over, he claims to have smelled marijuana and he began to ask me questions. I admitted to smoking marijuana earlier in the...


“I was arrested and charged with Penal Code Section 273.5(a) [Domestic Violence with Traumatic Injury]. Unfortunately, some of my actions were caught on video. In addition, an infant was present during the incident. My family hired Attorney Will Bruzzo to...


“I was charged with two counts of Vehicle Code 23109.1 [Engaging in a Speed Contest Causing Specified Injury] as a felony; two counts of Vehicle Code 23105(a) [Reckless Driving Causing Specified Injury], one count of Penal Code Section 368(b)(1) [Elder and...


Get in Touch

Fill out the contact form or call us at (714) 547-4636 to schedule your free consultation.
  • phone.png Free Consultation
  • availabilty.png Available 24/7
  • x3C_Layer_x3E__copia.png Se Habla Español

Leave Us a Message