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State v. Hoskins

Court of Appeals of Idaho

August 31, 2018

STATE OF IDAHO, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
JUSTIN K. HOSKINS, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the District Court of the Sixth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Bannock County. Hon. Robert C. Naftz, District Judge.

         Judgment of conviction for possession of a controlled substance, vacated.

          Eric D. Fredericksen, State Appellate Public Defender; Kimberly A. Coster, Deputy Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for appellant.

          Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Russell J. Spencer, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent.

          LORELLO, JUDGE

         Justin K. Hoskins appeals from his judgment of conviction for possession of a controlled substance. Hoskins argues that the district court erred in denying his motion to suppress. For the reasons set forth below, we reverse the district court's order denying Hoskins' motion to suppress and vacate Hoskins' judgment of conviction.

         I.

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         An officer conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle in which Hoskins was a passenger. During the course of the stop, the owner of the vehicle gave the officer consent to search. Once the officer obtained consent to search, he asked Hoskins to exit the vehicle and instructed him to leave his personal items in the car. One of the items Hoskins left was a pack of cigarettes. During the course of the vehicle search, the officer also searched Hoskins' cigarette pack and found marijuana and methamphetamine.

         The State charged Hoskins with possession of a controlled substance and a sentencing enhancement based on a prior drug conviction. Hoskins filed a motion to suppress, asserting that: (1) he had standing to challenge the search of his personal items; (2) the search of his personal items was illegal; (3) the traffic stop evolved into an illegal detention because the officer abandoned the original purpose of the stop in pursuit of a drug investigation; and (4) the consent to search obtained from the owner of the vehicle was coerced. The State responded that: (1) Hoskins had standing to challenge the stop and detention, but did not have standing to challenge the consent to search or the search of his personal items; and (2) the length and scope of the detention was reasonable. The district court denied Hoskins' motion, concluding that: (1) the length and scope of the detention was reasonable; (2) the vehicle owner's consent to search was valid; and (3) Hoskins lacked standing to challenge the search of the vehicle or his personal items because both the detention and the vehicle owner's consent to search were lawful.

         Hoskins entered a conditional guilty plea to possession of a controlled substance, reserving his right to appeal the district court's denial of his motion to suppress, and the State agreed to dismiss the sentencing enhancement. The district court imposed a unified three-year sentence, with one year fixed, but suspended the sentence and placed Hoskins on probation. Hoskins appeals.

         II.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         The standard of review of a suppression motion is bifurcated. When a decision on a motion to suppress is challenged, we accept the trial court's findings of fact that are supported by substantial evidence, but we freely review the application of constitutional principles to the facts as found. State v. Atkinson, 128 Idaho 559, 561, 916 P.2d 1284, 1286 (Ct. App. 1996). At a suppression hearing, the power to assess the credibility of witnesses, resolve factual conflicts, weigh evidence, and draw factual inferences is vested in the trial ...


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