The attorney for Bellevue resident Miguel Patlan-Baeza argued in court Monday for suppression of evidence that led to a felony charge of methamphetamine possession and of a misdemeanor charge of violation of a civil protection order due to a recent Idaho Supreme Court ruling on warrantless misdemeanor arrests. If the motion is granted, the charges will be the second group of charges against Patlan-Baeza affected due to the court ruling.
Patlan-Baeza, 40, was charged on Jan. 8 for violation of a civil protection order and for an additional meth possession charge that stemmed from a search incidental to his arrest.
Idaho law allows warrantless arrests in cases of suspected misdemeanor violations of no-contact orders or civil protection orders. Hailey Assistant Police Chief Steve England testified on Monday that he arrested Patlan-Baeza on Jan. 8 acting in line with that state code provision.
However, the Supreme Court ruled on June 12 that the Idaho and U.S. constitutions protect individuals from warrantless arrests for misdemeanor crimes that a police officer did not witness.
The following day, Patlan-Baeza withdrew a guilty plea on a felony charge of possession of cocaine as well as three misdemeanors. The cocaine was found following a warrantless misdemeanor arrest on Nov. 12 for violation of a protection order.
Because of the court ruling, defense attorney Michael Donovan also made the argument Monday that the methamphetamine found on his client should not be admissible as evidence because the initial arrest that led to the search was unlawful.
Patlan-Baeza was arrested on Sept. 11 and Nov. 12 for violation of a civil protection order between him and his ex-wife and their children. In a probable-cause affidavit, England stated that he was informed by another Hailey police officer that Patlan-Baeza had driven by his ex-wife’s work and had also sent several text messages, voice mails and messages via social media, all of which, England stated in court Monday, is considered harassment and a violation of the protection order.
No conclusion on the motion to suppress was made Monday as Donovan requested that briefs be submitted on it. Briefs from both the defense and the prosecution are due on Aug. 2, and then the case will be taken under advisement.
Patlan-Baeza was released from jail on Monday at 4:30 p.m. following a motion to reduce bond hearing heard earlier that day. Fifth District Judge Ned Williamson had lowered Patlan-Baeza’s bond from $100,000 to $50,000 after his defense attorney successfully argued that he is no longer a risk to society, or to his ex-wife and children, who have a civil protection order against him that he has allegedly violated three times. He was in custody for six months until he managed to post the reduced bond Monday.