James Rogan–the ex-California Republican congressman who is now an Orange County Superior Court judge–wrongly sided with police who obtained narcotics during an illegal search of a vehicle, a California Court of Appeal has ruled.
Paul David Carmona Jr. and Alice Holguin appealed their 2010 convictions for possession and transportation for sale of methamphetamine in November 2009 after La Habra police stopped their vehicle for what officers claimed was an improper turn and then found the drugs.
Rogan admitted the drug evidence, claiming the cop had been right about the traffic violation that lead to the search. As a result, Carmona and Holguin pleaded guilty. Carmona got two years in state prison; Hogluin received 90 days in jail.
The La Habra cop tried to argue that Carmona should have signaled to
turn right as the cop approached in the distance from the other
direction. O'Leary's appeals-court ruling determined that a driver needs
to signal 100 feet before a turn only if the turn could reasonably
impact another driver. Despite the officer's claims otherwise, the
justices said that “common sense” underscored that Carmona's turn away
from the officer's vehicle had no impact.
The reversal of Rogan's ruling means the convictions have been overturned.
–R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly