Office of the Alameda County District Attorney

Pamela Y. Price, District Attorney

2015 Editions

Complete Fall 2015 Edition
Complete Spring-Summer 2015 Edition
Complete Winter 2015 Edition


Consent Searches [105 KB]
Third Party Consent [80 KB]

Probable Cause to Search [95 KB]
Plain View [72 KB]

Recent Cases, Updates, and Alerts

People v. Douglas (2015) 240 Cal.App.4th 855
Issue: Before searching a person pursuant to a parole or PRCS search condition, what level of proof must an officer have that the person was, in fact, searchable?

U.S. v. Rahman (7th Cir. 2015) __ F.3d __ [2015 WL 6841031]
Issue: Did fire investigators exceed a business owner’s consent to search for the cause and origin of a fire in his business?

People v. Bridgeford (2015) __ Cal.App.4th __ [2015 WL 6500857]
Issue: After a double murder suspect invoked his right to counsel, did sheriff’s deputies violate Miranda by releasing him from custody, rearresting him about three hours later, then, after obtaining a Miranda waiver, resuming their questioning about the murders?

U.S. v. Cacace et al. (2nd Cir. 2015) 796 F.3d 176
Issue:(1) Did the wife of a mafia boss give an FBI operative valid consent to enter her home? (2) Did the operative exceed the scope of consent when she stole an address book from the house and, if so, was she then acting as a police agent or a private citizen?

People v. Linn (2015) 241 Cal.App.4th46
Issue: During a traffic stop based on the actions of a passenger, was the driver automatically detained because the officer had taken temporary possession of the driver's license she handed to him?

People v. Brown (2015) 61 Cal.4th 968
Issues: (1) Was the occupant of a parked car detained when a deputy pulled in behind him and activated his emergency lights? (2) If so, did the deputy have grounds to detain him?

In re Elias V. (2015) 237 Cal.App.4th 568
Issue: While questioning a teenager about a sex crime, did an officer utilize coercive interrogation tactics?

U.S. v. Fizarraga-Tirado (9th Cir. 2015) __ F.3d __ [2015 WL 3772772] Issue: Does a Google Earth satellite image constitute inadmissible hearsay? If not, does it become hearsay if it includes computer-generated markers, such as a “digital tack?”

People v. Elizalde (2015) __ Cal.4th __ [2015 WL 3893445]
Issue: When an arrestee is booked into jail, must deputies obtain a Miranda waiver before asking about his gang affiliation?

Rodriguez v. United States (2015) __ U.S. __ [135 S.Ct. 1609]
Issue: Does a traffic stop become unlawful if the officer extended it for the purpose of having a K9 conduct a sniff of the car’s exterior?

Apple lockout update: Last year, we wrote several comments about Apple's announcement that its new iPhone operating system (iOS 8) was designed so that all stored communications and data would not be accessible to anyone--even officers with a search warrant. (See "New iPhone App: Criminals Love It," 2014 Editions). Now, however, the website Police Technical is reporting that it has found a way to override this feature. The Police Technical address is

People v. Hensley (2014) 228 Cal.App.4th 761
Issues: While interrogating a serial killer and obtaining a confession, did a detective violate his Mirandarights? If not, did he pressure him into confessing?

Heien v. North Carolina (2014) __ U.S. __ [135 S.Ct. 530]
Issue: Is a traffic stop unlawful if it was based on an officer's mistake about a vehicle code regulation?

People v. Alvarez (2014) 228 Cal.App.4th 761
Issue: Under what circumstances may criminal charges against a defendant be dismissed if officers failed to investigate whether the crime had been captured on a nearby surveillance camera?

People v. Harris (2015) __ Cal.App.4th __ [2015 WL 708606]
Issues: (1) If a DUI arrestee consents to a blood test, is the consent necessarily involuntary if officers had previously notified him of the legal penalties for refusing? (2) Did the Supreme Court in it’s 2013 decision in Missouri v. McNeely prohibit DUI arrestees from consenting to blood draws?

Taking DNA samples from felony arrestees: On February 18, 2015 the California Supreme Court granted a petition to review People v. Buza (2014) 231 Cal.App.4th 1446. In Buza, a panel of the Court of Appeal ruled that California's "DNA Act" of 1998 violated the California Constitution because it authorized officers to take DNA samples from all felony arrestees, even though their guilt had not yet been adjudicated. Consequently, Buza has been abrogated.

People v. Toure (2015) 232 Cal.App.4th 1096
Issue: Did exigent circumstances justify a warrantless blood draw from a combative DUI arrestee who had caused an injury accident?

People v. Jones (2014) 231 Cal.App.4th 1257
Issue: If officers arrest a DUI suspect who refuses to take a breath test, may they order a forcible blood draw if they learn that he is on parole, searchable probation, or subject to supervision under California’s new realignment system?