Wednesday, February 06, 2013

People v. Corrales (Cal. Ct. App. - Feb. 6, 2013)

Don't text while driving.  Especially when you've got a baggie of meth in the car.

On the merits, the Court of Appeal gets this one exactly right.  There was indeed a reasonable basis for the police officers to stop the defendant's car.  Sure, they may not have "seen" him texting.  His right hand was below the window to the car, after all.  So we can't know for sure what he was doing down there.

But we all know what texting while driving looks like.  Including the police.  Corrales was looking down and up at something he was holding in his right hand.  I can't draw you a precise picture of the events in words -- nor can the police in their testimony -- but I am absolutely confident that I (along with the police) can reasonably distinguish between someone who looks like they're texting with an unseen object in their right hand and someone who's, say, adjusting their crotch.

And we not only allow the police to pull over the former, but affirmatively want them to.

Silly argument.  Right result.

Some things you can't precisely describe but nonetheless know 'em when you see 'em.