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State v. Campos

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Second Circuit

June 21, 2017


         Appealed from the City Court of Ruston Parish of Lincoln, Louisiana Lower Court Case No. S-23008 Honorable Danny W. Tatum, Judge

          ROGELIO CAMPOS Pro Se

          CARY T. BROWN Counsel for Appellee City Prosecutor

          Before STONE, COX, and BLEICH (Pro Tempore), JJ.

          COX, J.

         Following a bench trial, the defendant, Rogelio Campos ("Campos"), was convicted of DWI first offense in violation of Ruston City Ordinance (RCO) 11:98(B)(1) and failure to signal in violation of La. R.S. 32:104(B). On the DWI first offense conviction, Campos was sentenced to 180 days, suspended, three months of supervised probation, and "the standard fine for DWI first in this court." On the failure to signal conviction, he was sentenced to 10 days, concurrent with the DWI sentence, and "the standard fine and cost for failure to signal."

         The charges were billed in separate bills of information, but were consolidated for trial, and Campos was sentenced in accordance with La.C.Cr.P. art. 493.1. Campos, now appearing pro se, appeals his convictions. On review, we find that this matter is not properly before the court as an appeal. Accordingly, we consider this matter under our supervisory jurisdiction. For the reasons stated herein, we affirm Campos' convictions, but respectfully vacate the fine portions of his sentences and remand for resentencing.


         Around midnight on November 17, 2015, Officer Dylan Castaneda of the Ruston Police Department observed Campos make a left turn without using his turn signal. Officer Castaneda initiated a traffic stop for failure to signal, and the two pulled over into a gas station parking lot. Campos was the only occupant in his vehicle. As Officer Castaneda approached the driver's side of the vehicle, Campos opened his door, but remained seated in the driver's seat. Officer Castaneda asked Campos for his driver's license, but Campos attempted to hand the officer his social security card. Officer Castaneda noticed the odor of alcohol emanating from Campos' person and observed that he had watery and bloodshot eyes. Officer Castaneda explained to Campos that he was not under arrest at that point, but that he needed to advise Campos of his Miranda rights. Campos indicated that he understood his rights.

         Officer Castaneda informed Campos that he had been stopped because he failed to use his turn signal. Campos asked why the officer would stop him for that because "people don't use their blinker." Campos then told the officer that he had been at a local bar and had consumed a couple of beers. At that point, Officer Castaneda advised Campos that he was going to conduct a field sobriety test, and Campos agreed to comply.

         First, Officer Castaneda performed the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test. During this test, the officer repeatedly had to advise Campos not to turn his head, but only to follow the pen with his eyes. Officer Castaneda observed all six signs indicating impairment during this test.

         Next, Officer Castaneda instructed Campos to perform the walk and turn test. During this test, he observed five out of the eight signs indicating impairment.

         Finally, Officer Castaneda requested that Campos perform the one-legged stand test. Campos was unable to balance, and the officer stopped the test out of concern for Campos' safety. Campos was arrested for driving under the influence.

         At trial, Officer Castaneda testified to the above events. In addition, the audio and video recording from Officer Castaneda's dash cam in his patrol car was admitted into evidence without objection. The recording corroborated Officer Castaneda's testimony.

         At one point during the recording, Campos can be heard asking the officer if they are being recorded. Campos then turns toward the patrol car and engages in a monologue accusing Officer Castaneda of misconduct and coercion and "reserves his right" to file a challenge to the stop. While en route to the Lincoln Parish Detention Center, Campos stated, "I see why people are shooting cops like dogs because of people like you."

         At the detention center, Officer Castaneda advised Campos of his rights pertaining to chemical testing and the Intoxilyzer 5000. Campos refused to sign the paperwork, but submitted to the Breathalyzer test, which revealed a blood alcohol concentration of .117. After the test, Campos again related that he had consumed two beers at a local bar and then told Officer Castaneda he could shove the rights questionnaire up his armpit. The results of the test were admitted at trial with no objection. Additional evidence was introduced that showed Campos was uncooperative at the detention center. Officer Castaneda testified that, as he was leaving the building, he observed Campos karate chopping the wall.

         At the conclusion of the evidence, the trial judge found Campos guilty of the traffic violation and DWI first offense. Campos was sentenced to 180 days, suspended, and the "standard fine" for DWI first offense, three months of supervised probation, and 10 days, concurrent with the DWI sentence, and the "standard fine" for failure to signal. The "Conditions of Probation" document signed by Campos and the trial judge sets out the dollar amounts of the "fine and/or court costs" in the amount of $940.00 for the DWI conviction and $178.00 for the failure to signal conviction.

         This appeal followed.


         Sufficiency of the Evidence

         In his first assignment of error, Campos focuses on the alleged discrepancies in timing of the Intoxilyzer 5000 results and the dash cam recording to argue that the credibility of the evidence was so affected that it cannot support the verdicts of guilty.

         When issues are raised on appeal, both as to the sufficiency of the evidence and as to one or more trial errors, the reviewing court should first determine the sufficiency of the evidence. State ...

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