Tuesday, February 03, 2009

People v. Bayah (Cal. Ct. App. - Feb. 3, 2009)

It's remained a slow day, with only a couple of opinions from the Court of Appeal. But this opinion allows us to at least play one of our favorite games (and a reminder of law school exams): Fill in the blank.

How do you think this one comes out: "Two versions of the facts were presented at trial: one told by the deputies who arrested defendant, and the other told by defendant. We begin with the version told by the deputies, which was, for the most part, ______ed by the jury."

Accepted? Rejected? You make the call.

Can I also just make one more practical comment, for any of the more criminally-minded readers out there. When you're driving your Honda Accord in Compton -- at the corner of Atlantic and Compton, no less -- and you've got (1) a lot of cash on you, (2) a fair amount of cocaine in your pocket, and (3) 29 packages of cocaine base in your car, you might want to make really darn sure that your taillights are working.

I know it seems a bit picayune for a bigtime crack dealer such as yourself to worry about taillights. But there's this little thing called probable cause. And, shockingly, the police are marginally aware of it. So when they see you with a "busted taillight", sometimes they like to pull you over. Even if -- and this may stun you -- they are not all that desperately concerned about the welfare of your taillight. And are instead using it as a pretext to stop, question, and search you.

Just a little friendly reminder. A little prevention can go a long away. And save you, say, eight years in the pokey.