State of Iowa v. Dan Eugene Schwabe


IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF IOWA No. 20-0983 Filed July 21, 2021 STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. DAN EUGENE SCHWABE, Defendant-Appellant. ________________________________________________________________ Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Warren County, Kevin Parker, District Associate Judge. Dan Schwabe appeals the district court’s denial of his motion to suppress evidence following a traffic stop. AFFIRMED. Martha J. Lucey, State Appellate Defender, and Nan Jennisch, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant. Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Kyle Hanson and Genevieve Reinkoester, Assistant Attorneys General, and Josh Hughes, law student, for appellee. Considered by Bower, C.J. and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ. 2 AHLERS, Judge. In the early morning hours of April 17, 2019, an on-duty Indianola police officer was parked next to a highway when he observed a vehicle cross the centerline of the highway. The officer began to follow the vehicle in the officer’s patrol vehicle and observed the subject vehicle cross the centerline three more times. Each time the vehicle crossed the centerline, it straddled the line for an approximate distance equal to the length of one city block before returning to the proper lane of travel. Having observed these infractions, the officer initiated a traffic stop. The driver was identified as Dan Eugene Schwabe. A call to dispatch revealed Schwabe’s driving status was barred. Schwabe was arrested and charged with driving while barred in violation of Iowa Code sections 321.560 and 321.561 (2019). Schwabe moved to suppress all evidence following the stop of his vehicle, claiming the traffic stop was not supported by probable cause or reasonable suspicion that a traffic offense occurred. Following a hearing, the district court denied the motion, and Schwabe was found guilty of driving while barred after a stipulated trial on the minutes of evidence. Schwabe appeals, claiming his right to be free from unreasonable seizures protected by the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution and article I, section 8 of the Iowa Constitution was violated.1 1 It is not clear Schwabe raised claims under both constitutions, as neither his motion nor his counsel’s statements at the suppression hearing identify which constitutional provision Schwabe claims was violated. Due to the similarity in language between the federal and state constitutional provisions at issue, we generally interpret them to have the same scope and purpose, even though we guard our right to interpret them differently. State v. Brown, 930 N.W.2d 840, 847 3 “When a defendant challenges a district court’s denial of a motion to suppress based upon the deprivation of a state or federal constitutional right, our standard of review is de novo.” Brown, 930 N.W.2d at 844 (quoting State v. Brown, 890 N.W.2d 315, 321 (Iowa 2017)). Appellate courts look to the entire record to “make ‘an independent evaluation of the totality of the circumstances.’” Brown, 890 N.W.2d at 321 (quoting In re Prop. Seized from Pardee, 872 N.W.2d 384, 390 (Iowa 2015)). Moreover, we are deferential to the district court’s fact findings due to its ability “to assess the credibility of witnesses, but …

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