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Statute on car window tint not void for vagueness

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The Howard County man who argued that the statute dealing with the tint of car windows is void for vagueness lost his appeal, so the drug evidence found on him during a traffic stop can be allowed at trial, the Court of Appeals ruled.

In Dezmon Gaines v. State of Indiana, 34A05-1201-CR-21, Dezmon Gaines faces charges of Class D felonies possession of cocaine, dealing in marijuana, and possession of marijuana. The car Gaines was riding in was stopped because it may have matched the description of a car associated with a missing woman. The police initiated the traffic stop based on illegally tinted windows.

When Kokomo police officer Bruce Rood approached the car, he was unable to tell how many people were inside until the window was rolled down. A strong odor of marijuana was coming from the car. Gaines was in the backseat and appeared to be chewing something. He was removed from the car and Rood placed a Tazer in the small of Gaines’ back and ordered him to spit out the object in his mouth or he would be tazed. The baggie contained a substance that looked like rock cocaine. Gaines also had marijuana in his pocket.

 Gaines tried to have the evidence suppressed, but the trial court denied it. On interlocutory appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed. The judges rejected Gaines’ claim that Indiana Code 9-19-19-4(c) is void for vagueness because it “does not state if identification of race, gender and number of passengers is sufficient or if window tinting must be such that every feature of every person can be seen.”

The statute does delineate a scientifically objective measurement for compliance, thereby precluding any arbitrariness or discriminatory enforcement by police, Judge Patricia Riley wrote. In addition, Rood testified that he couldn’t see through the windshield into the car.

There was also probable cause for the warrantless search of Gaines because officers believed that Gaines was attempting to swallow a narcotic or contraband when they initiated the traffic stop. Rood did not use unreasonable force by ordering Gaines to spit out the contraband under the threat of being tazed, the judges held. No physical force was used, there was no risk to Gaines physical safety and there was no intrusion on Gaines’ bodily integrity by uttering a threat, Riley wrote.

Judge Terry Crone concurred in result.



 

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  • Constitution
    Here we go again, laws against tinted windows violate people's 4th amendment rights! Simply put, everyone is not a drug dealer or drug user and laws used to control a minority that affects the majority are both unconstitutional and illegal WAKE UP AMERICA!

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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