State v. Rocha

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State v. Rocha

Case Number
Call Date
November 4, 2016
Court Number
Scotts Bluff
Case Summary

S-16-0009, State v. Eric O. Rocha, Sr.

District Court of Scotts Bluff County, Judge Randall L. Lippstreu

Attorneys: Todd W. Lancaster (Nebraska Commission on Public Advocacy); Douglas J. Peterson, Nathan A. Liss (Attorney General's Office)

Criminal: Direct Appeal (Possession of Methamphetamine, Driving under Suspension)

Proceedings Below: Appellant was convicted of possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) and driving under suspension

Issues: 1. Whether there was sufficient evidence for the driving under suspension conviction on the elements of venue and whether Appellant's license was suspended; 2. Whether the District Court erred in denying Appellant's Motion in Limine and allowing the jury to hear recorded portions of Appellant's interrogation in which a police officer asserts that Appellant was lying, that he knew the container in his vehicle contained methamphetamine, and the container belonged to him; 3. Whether the search of Appellant's vehicle violated the Fourth Amendment or fell within the 'automobile exception' requiring only probable cause; 4. Whether the District Court erred by denying Appellant's motion for mistrial after it allowed questions by the prosecution about whether Appellant could have tested the container for fingerprints or DNA, allegedly 'shifting the burden' impermissibly; and 5. Whether the District Court erred in denying Appellant's request to instruct the jury on the lesser included offense of attempted possession of a controlled substance.