ILNews

COA: Officer's observation didn't violate man's rights

Back to TopE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a defendant’s various drug convictions and sentence, finding the police officer didn’t violate the man’s Fourth Amendment rights by looking in the defendant’s car when trying to serve a warrant.

In Jeffrey D. Boggs v. State of Indiana, No. 40A01-0907-CR-346, Jeffrey Boggs argued the trial court abused its discretion by admitting evidence obtained from a search warrant that was based on information discovered during a warrantless and unconstitutional search of his car on his property. Police went to Boggs’ home to see if he was home to pick up his minor daughter who was in the car of a woman who was arrested on an outstanding warrant. While on the way to Boggs’ home, police discovered he was wanted on a warrant in Ohio.

Boggs wasn’t home and as the officer was leaving Boggs’ property, he shined a flashlight into a car he knew belonged to Boggs. Inside he saw an altered propane tank sticking out of a duffle bag. Police then got a search warrant for the property and found various items and drugs used to make methamphetamine.

Boggs moved to suppress the evidence, which was denied. On appeal, he argued the evidence shouldn’t have been admitted because the officer’s observation of the tank in the car was an unconstitutional search of the car parked in his driveway.

Boggs’ Fourth Amendment rights weren’t violated, the appellate court ruled, because the officer had a legitimate reason for being on Boggs’ property, he didn’t move or manipulate anything in order to see the tank, and he never left the normal routes of ingress or egress. Caselaw also says that the use of a flashlight doesn’t transform an officer’s observations into a search.

The Court of Appeals also ruled the state proved the identity of certain substances admitted into evidence, including pseudoephedrine and anhydrous ammonia, and proved that Boggs’ is a habitual offender.

The appellate court affirmed his 40-year aggregate sentence, but did remand the case to the trial court to correct the sentencing order to reflect that Boggs was sentenced to 15 years for his Class B felony conviction of attempted dealing in methamphetamine, enhanced by 25 years for the habitual offender finding.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Whilst it may be true that Judges and Justices enjoy such freedom of time and effort, it certainly does not hold true for the average working person. To say that one must 1) take a day or a half day off work every 3 months, 2) gather a list of information including recent photographs, and 3) set up a time that is convenient for the local sheriff or other such office to complete the registry is more than a bit near-sighted. This may be procedural, and hence, in the near-sighted minds of the court, not 'punishment,' but it is in fact 'punishment.' The local sheriffs probably feel a little punished too by the overwork. Registries serve to punish the offender whilst simultaneously providing the public at large with a false sense of security. The false sense of security is dangerous to the public who may not exercise due diligence by thinking there are no offenders in their locale. In fact, the registry only informs them of those who have been convicted.

  2. Unfortunately, the court doesn't understand the difference between ebidta and adjusted ebidta as they clearly got the ruling wrong based on their misunderstanding

  3. A common refrain in the comments on this website comes from people who cannot locate attorneys willing put justice over retainers. At the same time the judiciary threatens to make pro bono work mandatory, seemingly noting the same concern. But what happens to attorneys who have the chumptzah to threatened the legal status quo in Indiana? Ask Gary Welch, ask Paul Ogden, ask me. Speak truth to power, suffer horrendously accordingly. No wonder Hoosier attorneys who want to keep in good graces merely chase the dollars ... the powers that be have no concerns as to those who are ever for sale to the highest bidder ... for those even willing to compromise for $$$ never allow either justice or constitutionality to cause them to stand up to injustice or unconstitutionality. And the bad apples in the Hoosier barrel, like this one, just keep rotting.

  4. I am one of Steele's victims and was taken for $6,000. I want my money back due to him doing nothing for me. I filed for divorce after a 16 year marriage and lost everything. My kids, my home, cars, money, pension. Every attorney I have talked to is not willing to help me. What can I do? I was told i can file a civil suit but you have to have all of Steelers info that I don't have. Of someone can please help me or tell me what info I need would be great.

  5. It would appear that news breaking on Drudge from the Hoosier state (link below) ties back to this Hoosier story from the beginning of the recent police disrespect period .... MCBA president Cassandra Bentley McNair issued the statement on behalf of the association Dec. 1. The association said it was “saddened and disappointed” by the decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for shooting Michael Brown. “The MCBA does not believe this was a just outcome to this process, and is disheartened that the system we as lawyers are intended to uphold failed the African-American community in such a way,” the association stated. “This situation is not just about the death of Michael Brown, but the thousands of other African-Americans who are disproportionately targeted and killed by police officers.” http://www.thestarpress.com/story/news/local/2016/07/18/hate-cops-sign-prompts-controversy/87242664/

ADVERTISEMENT