Recently a California Court of Appeals decision affirmed that an officer is not violating your constitutional rights if he stops you and searches you for weapons based on an anonymous tip, so long as that tip provides the officers with detailed information. In this instant case, the information provided was items of clothing, location, and direction headed. Furthermore, the area was known for gang activity, and officers were aware that there had been a recent shooting in the area. Taking into account all the above information, the court held that it was not a violation of the defendant’s rights when the officer approached him and attempted to search his person for weapons.
The court reasoned that the anonymous telephone report was reliable, and therefore the officers did not go wrong in contacting the Defendant who fit the description given and was in the area where the anonymous tipper said he would be. The court also held that if the prosecution fails to bring the telephone dispatcher to testify to what the anonymous caller said at a suppression hearing pursuant to the “Harvey-Madden rule,” such a failure is not grave enough to warrant granting of the suppression motion.
If you have questions about an illegal search and seizure or another criminal defense matter, contact the experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys from Wallin & Klarich for a consultation at 1-888-280-6839. Also, visit us online at www.wklaw.com to learn more about your case and what can be done.