Constitutional Law: Search and Seizure: Motions to
Suppress: Appeal and Error. In reviewing a trial
court's ruling on a motion to suppress based on a claimed
violation of the Fourth Amendment, an appellate court applies
a two-part standard of review. Regarding historical facts, an
appellate court reviews the trial court's findings for
clear error, but whether those facts trigger or violate
Fourth Amendment protections is a question of law that an
appellate court reviews independently of the trial
Sentences: Appeal and Error. An appellate
court will not disturb a sentence imposed within the
statutory limits absent an abuse of discretion by the trial
Constitutional Law: Search and Seizure: Police
Officers and Sheriffs. The Fourth Amendment to the
U.S. Constitution and article I, § 7, of the Nebraska
Constitution protect citizens against unreasonable seizures
by police officers.
Constitutional Law: Search and Seizure. It
is well settled under the Fourth Amendment that warrantless
searches and seizures are per se unreasonable, subject to a
few specifically established and well-delineated exceptions.
___. Although the Fourth Amendment protects the right to be
free from unreasonable searches and seizures, it says nothing
about how this right is to be enforced.
Constitutional Law: Search and Seizure: Police
Officers and Sheriffs. The exclusionary rule is a
judicially created remedy designed to safeguard against
future Fourth Amendment violations by deterring police
Neb.App. 283] 7. Constitutional Law: Search and
Seizure: Evidence. The fact that a Fourth Amendment
violation occurred does not necessarily mean that the
exclusionary rule applies.
Sentences. When imposing a sentence, a
sentencing judge should consider the defendant's (1) age,
(2) mentality, (3) education and experience, (4) social and
cultural background, (5) past criminal record or record of
law-abiding conduct, and (6) motivation for the offense, as
well as (7) the nature of the offense, and (8) the violence
involved in the commission of the crime.
The appropriateness of a sentence is necessarily a subjective
judgment and includes the sentencing judge's observation
of the defendant's demeanor and attitude and all the
facts and circumstances surrounding the defendant's life.
from the District Court for Lancaster County: ROBERT R. OTTE,
Nigro, Lancaster County Public Defender, and Kristi
Egger-Brown for appellant.
Douglas J. Peterson, Attorney General, and George R. Love for
Chief Judge, and INBODY and BISHOP, Judges.
N. Rolenc appeals his conviction for possession of
methamphetamine, a Class IV felony, and the sentence imposed
thereon. He contends that the district court erred in
overruling his motion to suppress and in later failing to
dismiss the matter at trial. He also contends that the
sentence imposed upon him was excessive.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
approximately 3 a.m. on March 6, 2014, Lincoln patrol officer
Daniel Dufek was driving his patrol car when he passed
Rolenc's vehicle. At that time of day there was not a lot
of traffic on the road, so Dufek decided to maneuver his [24
Neb.App. 284] patrol car into position so he could check the
rear license plate of Rolenc's vehicle. Dufek ran the
license plate number through the Lincoln Police
Department's computer system and found that Rolenc was
the registered owner of the vehicle. Dufek then checked
Rolenc's driver's license status in the Nebraska
Criminal Justice Information System (NCJIS) and found that
Rolenc's driver's license was revoked. NCJIS is a
compilation of information from various places including the
Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and various courts
throughout the state.
Rolenc pulled his vehicle into a gas station where two other
officers also happened to be sitting in their patrol cars,
Dufek pulled into the gas station parking lot, advised the
other officers of the situation, and the three officers
contacted Rolenc. Dufek advised Rolenc that he was contacting
him because Rolenc's license was revoked. Dufek requested
Rolenc's license, registration, and insurance, but Rolenc
could not provide any of those items. Rolenc advised Dufek
that he believed that his license was valid and said there
was a DMV error. Dufek then confirmed over the radio with a
dispatcher on the police "information channel, "
where an individual dispatcher has access to DMV, National
Crime Information Center, and NCJIS files, that Rolenc's
license was revoked. Dufek explained that the information he
had was showing a revoked status. Rolenc became agitated and
was eventually taken into custody. Because Rolenc's
vehicle was going to be towed, an inventory search was
conducted of the vehicle. During the search, officers located
a glass pipe with "crystal residue" in it which
tested positive for methamphetamine.
2014, Rolenc was charged with possession of methamphetamine,
a Class IV felony. See Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-416(3) (Cum.
Supp. 2014). He filed motions to suppress regarding his
arrest, the search of his vehicle, and any statements made by
him to law enforcement. The hearing on the motions to
suppress was held on February 19, 2015. Among [24 Neb.App.
285] the witnesses testifying were Dufek; Lisa Wolfe, an
administrative assistant with the DMV; and William Harry,
Rolenc's defense counsel in another case.
testified as to the events as previously set forth. He also
admitted that he did not observe Rolenc commit any traffic
violations and that the only reason he stopped Rolenc was
because of the information Dufek had received about the
testified that she is responsible for entering the
court-ordered revocations of driving privileges. The
forfeiture of a bond triggers a conviction for the purposes
of a "point revocation." According to Wolfe, the
court sends an electronic transmission to the DMV containing
the conviction information, citation date, judgment date,
what the citation was for, amount of the fine, code
information, general court information, and bond forfeiture
information. If the identifying information included in the
court's electronic transmission matches the DMV's
identifying information, the conviction will automatically be
placed on the individual's driving record. The computer
calculates whether the driver was assessed 12 or more points
in a 2-year time period, and if so, the revocation process is
commenced. If the identifying information provided by the
court does not match the DMV's records, an abstract of
conviction prints out and DMV employees manually post the
conviction to the individual's driving record.
to Wolfe, if an individual's bond is reinstated at some
point after a bond forfeiture, the court sends the updated
information to the DMV to remove the conviction from the
driver's record, and then the driver gets the points back
on his or her license; or if the bond is withdrawn, like in
Rolenc's case, the court tells the DMV to withdraw the
bond forfeiture, and then the DMV removes the conviction from
the driver's record. In order to remove the conviction
from a driver's record, the court employee has
"specific directions given from their help desk that
they have to send screen prints" and [24 Neb.App. 286]
indicate what the next step is, then the document ...