443 S.W.2d 802 (Mo. 1969), 53995, State v. Moody

Docket Nº:53995.
Citation:443 S.W.2d 802
Party Name:STATE of Missouri, Respondent, v. Louis B. MOODY, Appellant.
Case Date:July 21, 1969
Court:Supreme Court of Missouri

Page 802

443 S.W.2d 802 (Mo. 1969)

STATE of Missouri, Respondent,


Louis B. MOODY, Appellant.

No. 53995.

Supreme Court of Missouri.

July 21, 1969

Edward T. Foote, St. Louis, for appellant, Bryan, Cave, McPheeters & McRoberts, St. Louis, of counsel.

John C. Danforth, Atty. Gen., Jefferson City, Frank W. May, Special Asst. Atty. Gen., Desloge, for respondent.

DONNELLY, Presiding Judge.

Appellant, Louis B. Moody, was convicted of possessing dextro amphetamine sulfate, a stimulant drug, under § 195.240, RSMo 1959, V.A.M.S., by the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis, and his punishment under the provisions of the Habitual Cruminal Act, § 556.280, RSMo 1959, V.A.M.S., was assessed at imprisonment in the custody of the State Department of Corrections for a term of two years. Following rendition of judgment and imposition of sentence an appeal was perfected to this Court.

On February 19, 1968, appellant was driving a car alone at night in the Gaslight Square area in the City of St. Louis. Two police officers followed appellant's car and observed that it was 'zig-zagging, going over the dividing line.' They stopped the car and placed appellant under arrest 'for failure to keep to the right.' They searched appellant's person and seized five hypodermic needles, one syringe, and a tinfoil packet containing a stimulant drug.

Page 803

Appellant preserved his objection to the search and seizure by motion to suppress before trial.

Appellant's counsel has filed an excellent brief and has narrowed the issues on appeal. He asserts that the 'issue presented on this appeal is whether an arrest for a minor traffic violation, absent any additional circumstances suggesting either danger to the arresting officers or that another crime has been committed justified the search of appellant's person.'

In determining the issue, we recognize that it is our duty to consider the constitutional issues involving search and seizure 'in the light of the 'fundamental criteria' laid down by the Fourth Amendment and in opinions of * * * (the Supreme Court of the United States) applying that Amendment.' Ker v. California, 374 U.S. 23, 33, 83 S.Ct. 1623, 10 L.Ed.2d 726 (1963); Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643, 81 S.Ct. 1684, 6 L.Ed.2d 1081 (1961); State v. Owens, 302 Mo. 348, 259 S.W. 100, 32 A.L.R. 383 (1924).

In Harris v. United States, 331 U.S. 145, at 150 and 151, 67 S.Ct. 1098, at 1101, 91 L.Ed. 1399 (1947), the Supreme Court of the United...

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