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People v. Hansen

December 24, 2001

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT
v.
MICHAEL S. HANSEN, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE



Appeal from Circuit Court of Livingston County No. 99CM1043 Honorable Charles H. Frank, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Cook

Released for publication January 31, 2002.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT
v.
MICHAEL S. HANSEN, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE

Appeal from Circuit Court of Livingston County No. 99CM1043 Honorable Charles H. Frank, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Cook

PUBLISHED

 The State appeals from the December 5, 2000, ruling of the Livingston County circuit court, which granted defendant Michael Hansen's motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence. We reverse and remand for further proceedings.

I. BACKGROUND

On November 5, 1999, the Illinois State Police stopped an Oldsmobile for speeding. There were four males and a large dog in the Oldsmobile. The driver and defendant Hansen were in the front and the two other males were in the backseat with the large dog in between them. Two troopers were in the police car. Officer Hoop, the driver of the police car, was new to the force and was still in his probationary period. Officer Harris was riding along to supervise Officer Hoop.

When the Oldsmobile pulled over to the side of the road, Officer Hoop activated the takedown lights on his patrol car to illuminate the interior of the Oldsmobile. As the Oldsmobile stopped, Officer Harris noticed the front seat passenger, Hansen (defendant), making furtive movements as though he were placing or retrieving something from under his seat. Officer Harris warned Officer Hoop to be careful because the front seat passenger had made the furtive movements and may be reaching for a weapon.

As Officer Hoop approached the driver's side window of the Oldsmobile, he noticed the strong smell of burning cannabis emanating from the vehicle. Officer Hoop proceeded to ask the driver for his license and registration. While Officer Hoop was talking to the driver, Officer Harris approached the passenger side of the Oldsmobile and also smelled the strong odor of burning cannabis. Hansen rolled his window down, thinking the officer wanted to talk to him, at which point Officer Harris told Hansen to place his hands on the dashboard. Hansen complied. Officer Harris shined his flashlight into the car onto the floorboard underneath Hansen and saw a green leafy substance on the floorboard that the officer believed to be cannabis. Officer Harris then ordered Hansen to get out of the car.

With Hansen out of the car, Officer Harris searched the floorboard and under the seat in which Hansen had been sitting. Finding nothing, Officer Harris then ordered Hansen to place his hands on the car and frisked Hansen. During the frisk, Officer Harris felt something hard in defendant's front right pocket which he could not identify. When Hansen would not tell Officer Harris what was in his pocket, Officer Harris reached into defendant's pocket and retrieved two glass smoking bowls. Officer Harris reached into defendant's pocket again and retrieved a bag which was later confirmed to contain cannabis.

Officer Harris handcuffed and read Hansen his Miranda rights (Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 16 L. Ed. 2d 694, 86 S. Ct. 1602 (1966)) after he found the smoking bowls and bag of suspected cannabis. Both officers searched the car and all of the other persons in the car. No controlled substances were found in the car or on any other persons in the car. The driver and other passengers and the dog were allowed to leave, and Hansen was placed in the police car. The suspected cannabis on the floor of the car was left in the car and not tested and it is unknown what the substance actually was. While being transported in the police car, Hansen volunteered that he had "smoked three bowls."

Hansen and the other passengers denied anyone smoked cannabis in the Oldsmobile that night and denied that there was any odor of burnt cannabis in the car. According to testimony, neither Officer Hoop nor Officer Harris put any mention of an odor of burning cannabis in their police reports and did not question any of the ...


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