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Davis v. State

Court of Appeals of Georgia

February 27, 2015

DAVIS
v.
THE STATE

Reconsideration denied March 16, 2015 -- Cert. applied for.

Motion to suppress. Clarke Superior Court. Before Judge Stephens.

Judgment affirmed.

Benjamin A. Pearlman, for appellant.

Kenneth W. Mauldin, District Attorney, Emily K. Norris, Brian V. Patterson, Assistant District Attorneys, for appellee.

DOYLE, Presiding Judge. Miller and Dillard, JJ., concur.

OPINION

Page 184

Doyle, Presiding Judge.

Preston Davis was charged with possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute,[1] obstruction of a police officer,[2] driving without proof of insurance,[3] and improper use of the center lane.[4] He appeals the denial of his motion to suppress, arguing that the impoundment of his vehicle and subsequent inventory search were unlawful. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

When reviewing a trial court's ruling on a motion to suppress,

this Court must be guided by three fundamental precepts: first, when a motion to suppress is heard by the trial judge sitting as the trier of fact, the judge hears the evidence and the judge's findings on conflicting evidence are analogous to a jury verdict, and consequently, should not be disturbed by the appellate court if there is any evidence to support them; second, the trial court's decisions on questions of fact and credibility are to be accepted unless they are clearly erroneous; and third, the appellate court must construe the evidence most favorably to the upholding of the trial court's findings and judgment. Such precepts are equally applicable whether the trial court rules in favor of the State or the defendant.[5]

So viewed, the record shows that on September 18, 2013, at approximately 10:00 p.m., an Athens-Clarke County police officer observed a 2002 Audi, which Davis was driving, turn out of an apartment complex and travel more than 300 feet in the center turn lane. While following Davis, the officer ran the Audi's license plate through the computer and determined that the car was not insured. After confirming with dispatch that the vehicle did not have valid insurance, the officer

Page 185

activated his blue lights, and Davis pulled over to the side of the ...


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