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State v. Brooks

Court of Appeals of Idaho

September 24, 2014

STATE OF IDAHO, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
MATTHEW O. BROOKS, Defendant-Appellant

2014 Opinion No. 77

Appeal from the District Court of the Third Judicial District, State of Idaho, Canyon County. Hon. Thomas J. Ryan, District Judge.

Sara B. Thomas, State Appellate Public Defender; Ben P. McGreevy, Deputy Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for appellant. Ben P. McGreevy argued.

Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Lori A. Fleming, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent. Lori A. Fleming argued.

MELANSON, Judge. Chief Judge GUTIERREZ and Judge GRATTON, CONCUR.

OPINION

MELANSON, Judge

Matthew O. Brooks appeals from his judgment of conviction for possession of a controlled substance. Specifically, Brooks contends that the district court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence, arguing that his

Page 1260

alleged failure to signal for five seconds before changing lanes did not violate the law and thus could not justify the traffic stop. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

I.

FACTS AND PROCEDURE

Brooks was stopped after an officer observed Brooks change lanes on the interstate without signaling for at least five continuous seconds.[1] The officer understood this to be a violation of I.C. § 49-808(2). The officer contacted Brooks and had Brooks roll down his passenger side window. While speaking with Brooks, the officer noticed an open cigarette box in plain view on the passenger seat. Visible inside the box was a small plastic bag of a clear crystal substance, which the officer recognized as methamphetamine. The officer also smelled the odor of marijuana through the open window and observed drug paraphernalia in the center console. A subsequent search of the vehicle revealed more paraphernalia.

Brooks was charged with possession of a controlled substance, I.C. § 37-2732(c)(1). He filed a motion to suppress evidence obtained as a result of the stop, arguing that the stop was not justified by reasonable suspicion. Specifically, he asserted that the statute did not require him to signal for at least five continuous seconds unless he was both on a controlled-access highway and turning from a parked position. Therefore, he argued, the stop based on his supposed violation of the statute was unlawful and the evidence gathered therefrom should be suppressed. The district court denied the motion after a hearing. Brooks filed a motion to reconsider, which was also denied.[2] Brooks then entered a conditional guilty plea to possession of a ...


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