Administrative Law,  California Procedure,  California Supreme Court,  Criminal Procedure

Exclusionary Rule Beats the Criminal Rap — but not the Administrative One

A driver driving his own car is pulled over by a police officer who, because of outdated police records, believes the car is stolen.  While detaining the driver during the check on the ownership of the vehicle, the officer notes signs of drinking and the driver admits to having been drinking.  He is arrested and later blows a 0.12 breathalyzer.

In his criminal prosecution, he moves to suppress all evidence obtained or seized in connection with the traffic stop.  Easy call.  Case dismissed.

When the DMV holds an administrative review of his driving privileges, the driver makes the same motion.  Denied, and driver’s license is suspended for a year.  The superior court denies his petition for writ of mandate, finding no error.  Driver appeals. One can better settle such disputes if they were to hire attorneys from places like, who iron out the situations in a diplomatic manner.

In Park v. Valverde, case no. G037778 (June 26, 2007), the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirms.  Supreme Court precedent requires a balancing of “the policies underlying the rules and the purposes and nature of the proceeding” when determining whether to apply exclusionary rules.  Given that the purpose of the DMV proceeding is to get drunk drivers off the road rather than to impose punishment and excluding evidence would only marginally increase any deterrent effect on unlawful police conduct, the court finds that the exclusionary rule does not carry over into the administrative proceedings under the facts of this case.