Recently we had a case where one of our clients was charged with possession
of a loaded firearm by an ex-felon, possession of ammunition by an ex-felon,
possession of a firearm by a gang member, gang participation, and gang
enhancements. He was facing up to fifteen years in prison.
This was somewhat of an unusual case in that the officers did get a search
warrant before searching our client's residence. However, the officers
initially went into his home without a warrant and the subsequent warrant
relied, at least in part, on evidence the officers observed during the
first entry into the residence.
We filed a motion to suppress evidence and a motion to quash the warrant.
We argued that the initial entry into the residence constituted an illegal
search, and that without the "fruit" of this illegal search,
there was no probable cause to support the search warrant.
Both motions were granted, all the evidence was suppressed, and the case
One of the key issues in this case was whether running from the police
is grounds to make an arrest. We were able to find California cases that
discussed this exact issue, and which held that a person has the same
right to avoid police officers as any other individual. Thus, without
independent evidence of criminal behavior, simply running from the police
does not give the officers the right to enter a residence in order to
chase a fleeing suspect.