State v. Gifford, 123120 IDCCA, 47406

Docket Nº47406
Opinion JudgeLORELLO, JUDGE.
Party NameSTATE OF IDAHO, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. TONY JAMES GIFFORD, Defendant-Appellant.
AttorneyEric D. Fredericksen, State Appellate Public Defender; Erik R. Lehtinen, Deputy Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for appellant. Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; John C. McKinney, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent.
Judge PanelJudge GRATTON and Judge BRAILSFORD, CONCUR.
Case DateDecember 31, 2020
CourtCourt of Appeals of Idaho

STATE OF IDAHO, Plaintiff-Respondent,

v.

TONY JAMES GIFFORD, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 47406

Court of Appeals of Idaho

December 31, 2020

UNPUBLISHED OPINION

Appeal from the District Court of the Seventh Judicial District, State of Idaho, Madison County. Hon. Steven Boyce and Hon. Gregory W. Moeller, District Judges.

Judgment of conviction for possession of a controlled substance, affirmed.

Eric D. Fredericksen, State Appellate Public Defender; Erik R. Lehtinen, Deputy Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for appellant.

Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; John C. McKinney, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent.

LORELLO, JUDGE.

Tony James Gifford appeals from his judgment of conviction for possession of a controlled substance. We affirm.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

An officer and a civilian who was accompanying the officer on a "ride-along" observed a van leave a gas station and turn onto a road without signaling. Gifford was driving the van and his father was a passenger. The officer initiated a traffic stop and learned that Gifford's driver's license was suspended and that he was on probation. The officer contacted Gifford's probation officer, who gave permission to search the van. The search revealed methamphetamine and syringes. The State charged Gifford with possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and driving without privileges.

Gifford filed a motion to suppress, contending that the officer lacked reasonable suspicion to conduct a traffic stop because Gifford had signaled before turning onto the road. After the district court denied the suppression motion, Gifford entered a conditional guilty plea to possession of a controlled substance, I.C. § 37-2732(c)(1), and retained the right to appeal the denial of his motion to suppress. In exchange for Gifford's guilty pleas, the State dismissed the remaining two counts. Gifford appeals.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

The standard of review of a suppression motion is bifurcated. When a decision on a motion to suppress is challenged, we accept the trial court's findings of fact that are supported by substantial evidence, but we freely review the application of constitutional principles to the facts as found. State v. Atkinson, 128 Idaho 559, 561, 916 P.2d 1284, 1286 (Ct. App. 1996). At a suppression hearing, the power to assess the credibility of witnesses, resolve factual conflicts, weigh evidence, and draw factual inferences is vested in the trial court. State v. Valdez-Molina, 127 Idaho 102, 106, 897 P.2d 993, 997 (1995); State v. Schevers, 132 Idaho 786, 789, 979 P.2d 659, 662 (Ct. App. 1999).

III. ANALYSIS

"Mindful that substantial evidence in the record supported the district court's factual finding that...

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