San Diego Law Review


Terry J. Knoepp

Library of Congress Authority File


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California Penal Code section 1538.5 codifies the motion to suppress evidence. This Article examines the practical application of Penal Code section 1538.5, including a discussion on the scope of coverage, the procedure at the hearing, and appellate review. The scope of Penal Code section 1538.5 is contentious. There is much concern regarding the grounds on which challenges to search, seizure, and admissibility of confessions can be made. However, one thing is clear: Penal Code section 1538.5 can be invoked in both felony and misdemeanor cases. In both cases, the superior court can review rulings on motions to suppress evidence de novo in a special hearing. In addition, appellate review is available. In misdemeanor cases, both sides can request review of an adverse ruling, whereas only a defendant can appeal an adverse ruling in felony cases. In felony and misdemeanor cases, the appellate court must review the facts in the light most favorable to the prevailing party using a substantial evidence test. This Article concludes by assessing changes to and the success of the statute.

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