Gallegos v. People, 21467

Docket NºNo. 21467
Citation401 P.2d 613, 157 Colo. 173
Case DateMay 03, 1965
CourtSupreme Court of Colorado

Sheldon W. Greene, Denver, for plaintiff in error.

Duke W. Dunbar, Atty. Gen., Frank E. Hickey, Deputy Atty. Gen., Aurel M. Kelly, Sp. Asst. Atty., Gen., Denver, for defendant in error.

PRINGLE, Chief Justice.

Plaintiff in error, Michael Felix Gallegos, hereinafter called Gallegos, was charged with possession of a narcotic drug, namely, marijuana. At the trial, he moved to suppress the introduction into evidence of the marijuana taken from his person on the grounds that it was obtained as a result of an unlawful search and seizure.

The trial court denied the motion to suppress and the defendant was convicted. From that judgment he brings writ of error here, relying solely on the ground that his motion to suppress the evidence should have been granted. The Attorney General points out that candor and intellectual honesty compels him to confess error and substantiates that conclusion with authority.

As the Attorney General points out, no disquisition on the law of search and seizure is necessary here. Suffice it to say, that the search which produced the marijuana could be held to be legal here only if it was incident to a valid arrest since the police had no search warrant. See Hernandez v. People, 153 Colo. 316, 385 P.2d 996; Gonzales v. People, 156 Colo. ----, 398 P.2d 236. To be valid, of course, the arrest itself had to be based on probable cause. Wilson v. People, 156 Colo. ----, 398 P.2d 35; Rios v. United States, 364 U.S. 253, 80 S.Ct. 1431, 4 L.Ed.2d 1688.

Does the record here reflect probable cause for the arrest of Gallegos? At the trial the police officers testified that they saw Gallegos standing with another person in an alley in downtown Denver on the evening of May 3, 1963. One of the officers called to the men, who first approached the officers, then turned and ran the other way. One of the police officers then shouted, 'Halt, or I'll shoot.' Gallegos halted and was thereupon searched and the marijuana found in his shirt.

The officers testified that they had no reason to believe Gallegos had any marijuana in his possession, nor did they have information that any crime had been committed in the area by anyone resembling Gallegos or that any crime was in the process of being committed. They had never seen Gallegos before, had no knowledge of any...

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23 cases
  • People v. Stevens
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Colorado
    • December 31, 1973
    ...him to suspect that an offense had been or was about to be committed. A check of the restroom verified his suspicion. In Gallegos v. People, 157 Colo. 173, 401 P.2d 613, this Court "Probable cause' was defined as early as 1897 in Stacey v. Emery, 97 U.S. 642, 645, 24 L.Ed. 1035, as a reason......
  • People v. Gonzales, 25794
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Colorado
    • August 6, 1974 competent evidence at trial. Draper v. United States, 385 U.S. 307, 79 S.Ct. 329, 3 L.Ed.2d 327 (1959). See also Gallegos v. People, 157 Colo. 173, 401 P.2d 613 (1965). In reaching the conclusion that probable cause existed at the time of the arrest, we have considered and applied the ru......
  • People v. Nanes
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Colorado
    • April 19, 1971 the fundamental principles set forth in Gonzales v. People, 156 Colo. 252, 398 P.2d 236, considered and reaffirmed in Gallegos v. People, 157 Colo. 173, 401 P.2d 613; Lavato v. People, 159 Colo. 223, 411 P.2d 328; Lucero v. People, 165 Colo. 315, 438 P.2d 693; Martinez v. People, 168 Col......
  • People v. Foster, 89SA293
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Colorado
    • March 19, 1990
    ...has never been an acceptable rationale and it does not constitute probable cause to arrest." See generally, Gallegos v. People, 157 Colo. 173, 401 P.2d 613 (1965); Sibron v. New York, 392 U.S. 40, 88 S.Ct. 1889, 20 L.Ed.2d 917 (1968); Henry v. United States, 361 U.S. 98, 80 S.Ct. 168, 4 L.E......
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