A motion to suppress evidence is a tool that a California criminal defendant can use to get evidence against them thrown out of court—if that evidence was not properly obtained.1
Penal Code 1538.5 PC describes how motions to suppress evidence may be filed. A court should grant a Penal Code 1538.5 motion if the evidence in question was obtained as a result of an unlawful search and seizure.2
Specifically, this means that evidence will be suppressed if it was obtained:
- Through an unreasonable police search that was done without a search warrant, OR
- Through a police search done with a warrant, IF
- The warrant was deficient,
- The evidence obtained was not the kind described in the warrant,
- The warrant was issued without probable cause, or
- The search was carried out in a way that violated the California Constitution or the U.S. Constitution.3
If evidence that was found during an unlawful search is key to the case against you, then a successful motion to suppress that evidence could lead to the prosecutor dropping the charges.
Procedure for a Penal Code 1538.5 motion to suppress evidence
A motion to suppress evidence is part of the California pretrial process. This means that in most cases it will be filed and decided before a criminal trial actually begins.4
- At your California preliminary hearing, or
- At a pretrial hearing held specifically to address your motion to suppress (this is sometimes called a “suppression hearing”).5
A motion to suppress evidence is just one kind of pretrial motion that your criminal defense attorney may file in order to start fighting the charges against you before your trial even begins. Other pretrial motions include Penal Code 995 PC motions to set aside the information, and Pitchess motions to obtain more information on potential police misconduct.
In order to help you better understand how a Penal Code 1538.5 PC motion to suppress works, our California criminal defense attorneys6 will address the following:
If, after reading this article, you would like more information, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group.
You may also find helpful information in our related articles on California “Search & Seizure” Laws; Understanding California Search Warrants; The Pretrial Process in California Criminal Law; Legal Definition of a Misdemeanor in California Law; Legal Definition of a Felony in California Law; California Preliminary Hearings; Penal Code 995 PC Motions to Set Aside the Information; California Pitchess Motions; The Probable Cause Defined by the U.S. Supreme Court in Terry v. Ohio; Racial Profiling in California Law Enforcement; California Health & Safety Code 11350 HS Drug Possession; Receiving Stolen Property Penal Code 496 PC; Sale or Transportation of a Controlled Substance Health & Safety Code 11352 HS; California Murder Law Penal Code 187 PC; California's Criminal Fraud Laws; California Arraignment Hearings; California Jury Trials: How It Works; Nolo Contendere or “No Contest” Pleas in California Criminal Law; How to File an Appeal of a California Criminal Conviction; Understanding California Parole Revocation Hearings; Immigrants Facing Deportation for Criminal Convictions in California; and Police Misconduct and Civil Rights Violations in California.
Simply put, California Penal Code section 1538.5 PC authorizes a California criminal defendant to move for
- the exclusion of any evidence that is the product of an unlawful search and seizure, and/or
- the return of any property that was illegally seized.7
For most criminal defendants, the former result—suppression of illegally-obtained evidence—is a far bigger priority. This is because the prosecution may not have a solid case against them if that evidence is excluded.
Penal Code 1538.5 PC sets out the reasons why a search or seizure may be unlawful—and, by extension, why a motion to suppress the evidence obtained in that search may be granted.
- The search was performed without a search warrant, and was “unreasonable.”
- The search was performed with a warrant but was unreasonable, for one of the following reasons:
- The warrant was insufficient on its face,
- The property or evidence was not of the type described in the warrant,
- The warrant was issued without probable cause,
- The warrant was executed in a way that violated the California constitution or the U.S. Constitution (for example, the officers conducting the search committed police misconduct), OR
- There was any other violation of state or federal constitutional standards.8
The rationale behind a Penal Code 1538.5 motion goes back to the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution9—and Article I, Section 13, of the California Constitution.10 These constitutional sections provide that all citizens have the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.11
Example : Travis is an African-American man who lives in an affluent neighborhood. While driving home late one night, he is pulled over by the police. Travis has been obeying all traffic laws—and is pulled over solely because the police were engaging in racial profiling.
The cops order Travis out of his car and conduct a “pat down” search. They discover cocaine in his pocket. Travis is then booked and arrested—and is now facing California Health and Safety Code 11350 HS drug possession charges.12
As part of the pretrial process, Travis and his attorney file a motion to exclude the cocaine as evidence. They argue that 1) the pat-down search of Travis was done without a warrant, and 2) the search was unreasonable under the circumstances.
Example : George owns a motel. Police suspect him of engaging in theft of power tools, and they search his motel under a warrant that allows them to look for stolen power tools. They find no tools—but they do seize several TV sets that turn out to be stolen. George is charged with receiving stolen property.
The police had a warrant to search George's motel—but the stolen televisions were not among the things that they had a warrant to search for. Therefore, the seizure was invalid—and George's motion to suppress evidence with respect to the TV sets is granted.13
The question of who bears the burden of proof—the prosecution or the defendant—on a Penal Code 1538.5 motion to suppress depends on whether or not the search or seizure was conducted without a warrant.14
- If the search was conducted without a warrant, the presumption is that it was unreasonable—and the burden is on the prosecutor to prove that it was actually reasonable;15 BUT
- If the search was conducted with a warrant, then it is presumed to have been legal—and the burden is on the defense to prove that it wasn't.16
Whichever side bears the burden of proof has to prove their case by a preponderance of the evidence.17 A “preponderance of the evidence” means that it is more likely than not that the search / seizure was unreasonable.18
Example : Melissa is being charged with sale or transportation of a controlled substance. She wants to use a Penal Code 1538.5 motion to challenge the admission of written records discovered in her apartment that are alleged to pertain to drug sales.
Specifically, she and her lawyer plan to argue that the search warrant under which police officers searched her apartment was not specific enough with respect to items that the officers were supposed to be looking for.
Because the search was conducted with a warrant, Melissa will bear the burden of showing that the warrant was so vague that it was invalid on its face—and the officers could not have reasonably believed it was valid.
Before the court will even entertain your 1538.5 motion to suppress evidence, you must prove that you had a “reasonable expectation of privacy” in the place that was searched or the items that were seized. If you didn't have a reasonable expectation of privacy, then the search or seizure couldn't have been illegal—and the evidence therefore shouldn't be suppressed.19
As San Francisco criminal defense attorney Neil Shouse20 explains,
“This is an objective standard. Whether or not you personally believe you had a ‘reasonable expectation of privacy' is irrelevant. The issue is whether you had an objectively reasonable expectation of privacy--that is, one that society would be ready to accept as reasonable.”
Places and property in which you do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in California law include:
- Abandoned property (e.g., something thrown away in a wastebasket),21
- A car which you have stolen,22 and
- A car in which you are riding…but in which you have no ownership or other rights.23
But you do have a reasonable expectation of privacy in
- Your home,
- A tent or tarp designed to shield the inhabitant from public view,24 and
- If you are a public school student, the personal belongings that you bring to school.25
Example : Rich is accused of murdering and robbing a woman.
Not long after the murder takes place, Rich checks into a motel room. The next morning, he leaves the room without checking out, leaving behind his car and some of his possessions.
The motel owner calls the police, who search the motel room without a warrant. They find some of the murder victim's possessions in the room and charge Rich with the crime.
Rich files a motion to suppress the evidence from the motel room search, but his motion is not successful. That is because he is determined to have “abandoned” the motel room. There is no reasonable expectation of privacy in abandoned property, so he had no reasonable expectation of privacy in the room.26
In addition to property or evidence that was seized or discovered during an illegal search—a motion to suppress evidence may also apply to other evidence that is the indirect result of an illegal search.27
This is known as “derivative” evidence.28 And the legal theory under which it is also suppressed is known as the “fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine.29
Example : As part of an investigation into a criminal fraud case, police illegally search an office and discover some incriminating documents. They know they cannot seize the documents and use them as evidence—so instead they issue a subpoena to the criminal defendants for those same documents. The defendants have no choice but to hand over the documents.
Those documents cannot be used as evidence against the defendants. That is because they are “fruit of the poisonous tree.” Even though they were technically obtained legally—through the subpoena—the police would not have known about them were it not for the illegal search.30
If you try to argue through a Penal Code 1538.5 motion that certain evidence is “fruit of the poisonous tree” and should be excluded, the prosecution will try to get the evidence admitted anyway by arguing one of three theories:
- that the possibly tainted evidence is so far removed from the illegal search or seizure that is doesn't make sense to enforce the exclusionary rule,31
- that the evidence was found through an independent channel, not just through the illegal search,32 or
- that there is a “reasonably strong probability” that the evidence would have ultimately been discovered even without the illegal search.33
If you face only misdemeanor charges, your criminal defense lawyer may file a 1538.5 motion to suppress evidence as early as your California arraignment.34
As part of the pretrial process, this motion must be heard prior to your jury trial—and will be argued and ruled on at a special pretrial hearing known as a “suppression hearing.”35
The only exception to this is if you do not discover that evidence against you was illegally obtained until your trial as already begun. In cases like this, you may bring a motion to suppress evidence during the course of the trial.36
If you face felony charges…or both misdemeanor and felony charges filed in the same case…your lawyer has two options:
- your lawyer may argue this motion at your preliminary hearing (where he/she will be limited to trying to suppress evidence that the prosecutor intends to introduce at that hearing), or
- your lawyer may choose to wait and have the motion to suppress handled at a special suppression hearing devoted only to this issue.37
If your motion is heard –and denied—at the preliminary hearing, you also have the right to file it again, and have it heard in a separate suppression hearing.38 However, the evidence at the suppression hearing will be limited to:
- The transcript of the preliminary hearing, and
- Any evidence that couldn't reasonably have been presented at the preliminary hearing.39
The suppression hearing is where both sides have the opportunity to argue their positions on the motion to suppress. It takes place before a judge—not a jury.
The suppression hearing will involve some or all of:
- Testimony from you about the illegal search or seizure,
- Testimony from any witnesses who can help your case,
- Testimony from the police involved in the search or seizure,
- Cross-examination of you and your witnesses by the attorney for the prosecution,
- Cross-examination of the prosecution's witnesses by your lawyer, and
- Oral arguments by your criminal defense attorney and the prosecuting attorney as to why the motion should be granted or denied.
Penal Code 1538.5 suppression hearings are subject to the rules of the California Evidence Code.40 The exception is that hearsay (that is, out-of-court statements that are offered for their truth)—which is not admissible in normal criminal trials—may be admissible at a suppression hearing.41
Once the judge has heard all of the evidence, s/he must decide whether to exclude or admit the controversial evidence—that is, whether to grant or deny the Penal Code 1538.5 motion. Depending on the circumstances, the judge may also decide to grant the suppression motion in part—excluding some, but not all, of the evidence in question.
If the motion to suppress evidence is granted, the prosecutor's case against you may well fall apart. S/he may choose to
- dismiss the charges, or
- negotiate a generous plea bargain.
But if the prosecutor is determined to press forward with the charges anyway, s/he may also
- appeal the granting of the motion to suppress evidence,42
- dismiss the charges and file a new complaint,
- seek a grand jury indictment, or
- attempt to reinstate the original complaint.43
If the judge rules against you (i.e., denies the motion to suppress), the evidence will remain admissible. At that point, you and your attorney will discuss whether you should
- plead guilty or nolo contendere (aka, “no contest”) to the charged offense,
- try to “strike a deal” with the prosecution so that you can plead guilty or nolo contendere (“no contest”) to a reduced charge, or
- proceed to trial.
If your motion to suppress is not granted, you may file an appeal of the ruling—within 30 days of the ruling.44
The rule that illegally-obtained evidence cannot be admitted in a criminal trial—which is known as the “exclusionary rule”—does not apply to all legal proceedings.45
Therefore, even if you win on a motion to suppress evidence, that evidence may still be admissible at
- parole revocation hearings ,
- grand jury proceedings, and/or
- civil deportation hearings of immigrants facing deportation for criminal convictions.46
A Penal Code 1538.5 motion to suppress is only one of several kinds of motions your California criminal defense attorney may choose to file as part of the pretrial process. Others include:
A Penal Code 995 PC "motion to set aside the information" is essentially a request for the judge to dismiss one or more of the charges against you.47 It makes sense to file this motion if you and your attorney believe that either:
- Your rights were violated during your preliminary hearing, or
- There is no probable cause to charge you with the crime.48
A California Pitchess motion is a request for information contained in a law enforcement officer's personnel file.49 Criminal defense lawyers typically raise this motion when they believe that their client has been the victim of police misconduct.
Pitchess motions are only valid if you can show “good cause” to believe that the officer might have engaged in misconduct, and that the misconduct is relevant to your defense case.50
If the judge believes that the defense has demonstrated good cause as to why the sought information is material to the case, s/he will conduct an in camera Pitchess hearing. An "in camera" hearing is one that is private rather than conducted in open court like a suppression hearing.
Call us for help…
For questions about California 1538.5 PC “motions to suppress evidence,” or to discuss your case confidentially with one of our California criminal defense attorneys, do not hesitate to contact us at Shouse Law Group.
We have local criminal law offices in and around Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, San Jose, Oakland, the San Francisco Bay area, and several nearby cities.
For more information on law and motion in Nevada's criminal court system, please see our pages on Nevada's criminal court system.
1 Penal Code 1538.5 PC – Motion to . . . suppress evidence. (“(a)(1) A defendant may move for the return of property or to suppress as evidence any tangible or intangible thing obtained as a result of a search or seizure on either of the following grounds: (A) The search or seizure without a warrant was unreasonable. (B) The search or seizure with a warrant was unreasonable because any of the following apply: (i) The warrant is insufficient on its face. (ii) The property or evidence obtained is not that described in the warrant. (iii) There was not probable cause for the issuance of the warrant. (iv) The method of execution of the warrant violated federal or state constitutional standards. (v) There was any other violation of federal or state constitutional standards.”)
2 See same.
3 See same.
4 Penal Code 1538.5 PC – Motion to suppress evidence. (“(f)(1) If the property or evidence relates to a felony offense initiated by a complaint, the motion [to suppress evidence] shall be made only upon filing of an information, except that the defendant may make the motion at the preliminary hearing, but the motion shall be restricted to evidence sought to be introduced by the people at the preliminary hearing. (2) The motion [to suppress evidence] may be made at the preliminary examination only if, at least five court days before the date set for the preliminary examination, the defendant has filed and personally served on the people a written motion accompanied by a memorandum of points and authorities as required by paragraph (2) of subdivision (a). At the preliminary examination, the magistrate may grant the defendant a continuance for the purpose of filing the motion and serving the motion upon the people, at least five court days before resumption of the examination, upon a showing that the defendant or his or her attorney of record was not aware of the evidence or was not aware of the grounds for suppression before the preliminary examination. (3) Any written response by the people to the motion described in paragraph (2) shall be filed with the court and personally served on the defendant or his or her attorney of record at least two court days prior to the hearing at which the motion is to be made. (g) If the property or evidence relates to a misdemeanor complaint, the motion [to suppress evidence] shall be made before trial and heard prior to trial at a special hearing relating to the validity of the search or seizure. If the property or evidence relates to a misdemeanor filed together with a felony, the procedure provided for a felony in this section and Sections 1238 and 1539 shall be applicable. (h) If, prior to the trial of a felony or misdemeanor, opportunity for this motion did not exist or the defendant was not aware of the grounds for the motion, the defendant shall have the right to make this motion during the course of trial.”(i) If the property or evidence obtained relates to a felony offense initiated by complaint and the defendant was held to answer at the preliminary hearing, or if the property or evidence relates to a felony offense initiated by indictment, the defendant shall have the right to renew or make the motion [to suppress evidence] at a special hearing relating to the validity of the search or seizure which shall be heard prior to trial and at least 10 court days after notice to the people, unless the people are willing to waive a portion of this time. Any written response by the people to the motion shall be filed with the court and personally served on the defendant or his or her attorney of record at least two court days prior to the hearing, unless the defendant is willing to waive a portion of this time. If the offense was initiated by indictment or if the offense was initiated by complaint and no motion was made at the preliminary hearing, the defendant shall have the right to fully litigate the validity of a search or seizure on the basis of the evidence presented at a special hearing. If the motion was made at the preliminary hearing, unless otherwise agreed to by all parties, evidence presented at the special hearing shall be limited to the transcript of the preliminary hearing and to evidence that could not reasonably have been presented at the preliminary hearing, except that the people may recall witnesses who testified at the preliminary hearing. If the people object to the presentation of evidence at the special hearing on the grounds that the evidence could reasonably have been presented at the preliminary hearing, the defendant shall be entitled to an in camera hearing to determine that issue. The court shall base its ruling on all evidence presented at the special hearing and on the transcript of the preliminary hearing, and the findings of the magistrate shall be binding on the court as to evidence or property not affected by evidence presented at the special hearing. After the special hearing is held, any review thereafter desired by the defendant prior to trial shall be by means of an extraordinary writ of mandate or prohibition filed within 30 days after the denial of his or her motion at the special hearing.”)
5 See same.
6 Our California criminal defense attorneys have local Los Angeles law offices in Beverly Hills, Burbank, Glendale, Lancaster, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Pomona, Torrance, Van Nuys, West Covina, and Whittier. We have additional law offices conveniently located throughout the state in Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, San Jose, Oakland, the San Francisco Bay area, and several nearby cities. Please contact us at Shouse Law Group with any questions.
7 Penal Code 1538.5 PC – Motion to suppress evidence, endnote 1, above.
8 See same.
9 U.S. Const., amend. IV. (“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”)
10 Cal. Const., Art. I, Sec. 13. (“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable seizures and searches may not be violated; and a warrant may not issue except on probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons and things to be seized.”)
11 See endnotes 9 and 10 above.
12 Health and Safety Code 11350 HS – Drug possession [could be charged as a result of an unlawful search or seizure]. (“(a) Except as otherwise provided in this division, every person who possesses (1) any controlled substance specified in subdivision (b) or (c), or paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 11054, specified in paragraph (14), (15), or (20) of subdivision (d) of Section 11054, or specified in subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 11055, or specified in subdivision (h) of Section 11056, or (2) any controlled substance classified in Schedule III, IV, or V which is a narcotic drug, unless upon the written prescription of a physician, dentist, podiatrist, or veterinarian licensed to practice in this state, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison.(b) Except as otherwise provided in this division, every person who possesses any controlled substance specified in subdivision (e) of Section 11054 shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year or in the state prison.”)
13 Based on the facts of People v. Murray, (1978) 77 Cal.App.3d 305.
14 See, e.g., People v. James, (1977) 19 Cal.3d 99, 106.(“Defendant first contends [in a motion to suppress] the evidence of the stolen television set in his house was obtained by an illegal search and seizure. Our guiding principles are well settled. (1) Inasmuch as the search herein was conducted without a warrant, the burden was on the People to establish justification under a recognized exception to the warrant requirement . . .”)
15 See same.
See also People v. Williams, (1999) 20 Cal.4th 119, 127.(“Here, of course, the search was without a warrant. Defendant notes that the prosecution has the burden of proving, if it can, some justification for a warrantless search or seizure [challenged by a suppression motion], and therefore a warrantless search is presumptively unreasonable.”)
16 People v. Murray, (1978) 77 Cal.App.3d 305, 310. (“While a search and seizure conducted pursuant to a warrant is presumed to be legal and the burden is on the defendant [who files a motion to suppress] to show the illegality . . . .”)
17 See same.(“The People may discharge the foregoing burdens [during a California 1538.5 hearing] by a preponderance of the evidence.”)
18 California Jury Instructions, Criminal (“CALJIC”) 2.50.2 – Definition of preponderance of the evidence [standard of proof for a motion to exclude evidence]. (““Preponderance of the evidence” means evidence that has more convincing force than that opposed to it. If the evidence is so evenly balanced that you are unable to find that the evidence on either side of an issue preponderates, your finding on that issue must be against the party who had the burden of proving it.”)
19 People v. Carter, (2005) 36 Cal.4th 1114, 1141. (“An illegal search or seizure violates the federal constitutional rights only of those who have a legitimate expectation of privacy in the invaded space or the seized thing. ( United States v. Salvucci (1980) 448 U.S.83, 91-92 [100 S.Ct. 2547, 2553, 65 L.Ed.2d 619, 628].) The legitimate expectation of privacy must exist in the particular area searched or thing seized in order to bring a Fourth Amendment challenge [known in California as a Penal Code 1538.5 motion to suppress evidence].' ( People v. Hernandez (1988) 199 Cal.App.3d 1182, 1189, 245 Cal.Rptr. 513, italics in original.)” (People v. McPeters, supra, 2 Cal.4th 1148, 1171, 9 Cal.Rptr.2d 834, 832 P.2d 146.) The burden is on the defendant to establish that a legitimate expectation of privacy ( Rawlings v. Kentucky (1980) 448 U.S. 98, 104, 100 S.Ct. 2556, 65 L.Ed.2d 633) was violated by government conduct.”)
20 San Francisco criminal defense attorney Neil Shouse is an honors graduate of UC-Berkeley and Harvard Law School. He served for five years as a Deputy DA for Los Angeles County, prosecuting more than 60 criminal trials and earning a phenomenal 96% success rate in felony jury trials. Now, as the founding partner of Shouse Law Group, he represents criminal defendants in all stages of the trial and pretrial process, including crucial motions like motions to suppress evidence.
21 People v. Parson, (2008) 44 Cal.4th 332, 345.
22 See People v. Carter, endnote 19, above. (“To accept defendant's assertion that he had a legitimate expectation of privacy while driving a stolen vehicle would be to overlook the word “unreasonable” in the Fourth Amendment's proscription against “unreasonable searches and seizures.””)
23 People v. Valdez, (2004) 32 Cal.4th 73, 122.([With respect to a California Penal Code 1538.5 motion to suppress evidence,] “A passenger in a vehicle may not challenge the seizure of evidence from the vehicle if the passenger asserts “neither a property nor a possessory interest in the automobile nor an interest in the property seized.” ( Rakas v. Illinois (1978) 439 U.S. 128, 148, 99 S.Ct. 421, 58 L.Ed.2d 387.) As a passenger, defendant lacked a reasonable expectation of privacy in the area under the driver's side seat and thus cannot challenge the seizure of the gun. ( Id. at pp. 148-149, 99 S.Ct. 421.) The trial court therefore did not err in denying the motion to suppress.”)
24 People v. Hughston, (2008) 168 Cal.App.4th 1062, 1070-71.
25 In re Lisa G., (2004) 125 Cal.App.4th 801, 808. (“On the other hand, students in public schools have a legitimate expectation of privacy in the personal effects they bring to school.”)
26 Based on People v. Parson, endnote 21, above.
27 Wong Sun v. U.S., (1963) 371 U.S. 471, 484-485. (“The exclusionary prohibition extends as well to the indirect as the direct products of such invasions. Silverthorne Lumber Co. v. United States, 251 U.S. 385, 40 S.Ct. 182, 64 L.Ed. 319. Mr. Justice Holmes, speaking for the Court in that case, in holding that the Government might not make use of information obtained during an unlawful search to subpoena from the victims the very documents illegally viewed, . . . :”)
28 Black's Law Dictionary (9th ed. 2009), evidence: derivative evidence. (“Evidence that is discovered as a result of illegally obtained evidence and is therefore inadmissible [and may be excluded based on a motion to suppress] because of the primary taint.”)
29 See same, fruit-of-the-poisonous-tree doctrine. (“The rule that evidence derived from an illegal search, arrest, or interrogation is inadmissible because the evidence (the “fruit”) was tainted by the illegality (the “poisonous tree”) [and thus may be suppressed through a motion to suppress]. Under this doctrine, for example, a murder weapon is inadmissible if the map showing its location and used to find it was seized during an illegal search.”)
30 Loosely based on Silverthorne Lumber Co. v. U.S., (1920) 251 U.S. 385.
31 See U. S. v. Ceccolini, (1978) 435 U.S. 268.
32 See Wong Sun v. U.S., endnote 27, above.
33 See People v. Superior Court (Tunch), (1978) 80 Cal.App.3d 665, 680-681.
34 Penal Code 1538.5 PC -- Motion to suppress evidence. (“(g) If the property or evidence relates to a misdemeanor complaint, the motion shall be made before trial and heard prior to trial at a special hearing relating to the validity of the search or seizure. If the property or evidence relates to a misdemeanor filed together with a felony, the procedure provided for a felony in this section and Sections 1238 and 1539 shall be applicable (h) If, prior to the trial of a felony or misdemeanor, opportunity for this motion did not exist or the defendant was not aware of the grounds for the motion, the defendant shall have the right to make this motion during the course of trial.”)
35 See same.
36 See same.
37 Penal Code 1538.5 PC – Motion to suppress evidence, endnote 4, above.
38 See same.
39 See same.
40 Jauregi v. Superior Court, (1999) 72 Cal.App.4th 931, 939. (“Evidence Code section 300, not mentioned by either party, reads in relevant part that “Except as otherwise provided by statute, this code applies in every action before ... a ... superior court [including suppression hearings covering motions to suppress], . . . .””)
41 U.S. v. Matlock, (1974) 415 U.S. 164, 175. (“However that may be, certainly there should be no automatic rule against the reception of hearsay evidence in such proceedings [suppression hearings to decide motions to suppress], . . . .”)
42 Penal Code 1538.5 PC – Motion to suppress evidence. (“(o) Within 30 days after a defendant's motion is granted at a special hearing in a felony case, the people may file a petition for writ of mandate or prohibition in the court of appeal, seeking appellate review of the ruling regarding the search or seizure motion. If the trial of a criminal case is set for a date that is less than 30 days from the granting of a defendant's motion at a special hearing in a felony case, the people, if they have not filed a petition and wish to preserve their right to file a petition, shall file in the superior court on or before the trial date or within 10 days after the special hearing, whichever occurs last, a notice of intention to file a petition and shall serve a copy of the notice upon the defendant.”)
43 See same. (“(j) If the property or evidence relates to a felony offense initiated by complaint and the defendant's motion for the return of the property or suppression of the evidence at the preliminary hearing is granted, and if the defendant is not held to answer at the preliminary hearing, the people may file a new complaint or seek an indictment after the preliminary hearing, and the ruling at the prior hearing shall not be binding in any subsequent proceeding, except as limited by subdivision (p). In the alternative, the people may move to reinstate the complaint, or those parts of the complaint for which the defendant was not held to answer, pursuant to Section 871.5.”)
44 California Rules of Court Rule 8.853 – Time to appeal. (“(a) Normal time. A notice of appeal must be filed within 30 days after the rendition of the judgment or the making of the order being appealed.”)
45 Pennsylvania Bd. of Probation and Parole v. Scott, (1998) 524 U.S. 357, 363. (“As such, the [exclusionary] rule does not “proscribe the introduction of illegally seized evidence in all proceedings or against all persons,” . . . but applies only in contexts “where its remedial objectives are thought most efficaciously served, . . . .”)
46 See same at 363-64. (“For example, in United States v. Calandra, we held that the exclusionary rule does not apply to grand jury proceedings; . . . Finally, in INS v. Lopez–Mendoza, 468 U.S. 1032, 104 S.Ct. 3479, 82 L.Ed.2d 778 (1984), we refused to extend the exclusionary rule to civil deportation proceedings, . . . . We therefore hold that the federal exclusionary rule [barring evidence which has been suppressed through a 1538.5 motion] does not bar the introduction at parole revocation hearings of evidence seized in violation of parolees' Fourth Amendment rights. . . . ”)
47 Penal Code 995 PC -- Grounds; motion to set aside; delay in final ruling [another pretrial motion like a motion to suppress].
48 See same.
49 See Evidence Code 1043 EC – Pitchess motions [another form of pretrial motion like a motion to suppress evidence].
50 See same. (“(b) The motion shall include all of the following: . . . (3) Affidavits showing good cause for the discovery or disclosure sought, setting forth the materiality thereof to the subject matter involved in the pending litigation and stating upon reasonable belief that the governmental agency identified has the records or information from the records.")