DA’s Office drops charges in cracked windshield case

WINNEMUCCA — The Humboldt County DA’s Office dismissed the charges in the cracked windshield case today (Monday, July 11).

The defendant in the case, Jarrett Correa, was released from the Humboldt County Detention Center where he had been held since his March arrest on charges of drug trafficking.

Correa was traveling on Interstate 80 when he was pulled over by the Sgt. Lee Dove, of the HCSO’s Humboldt Interdiction Team, for having a cracked windshield.

Public Defender Matt Stermitz successfully argued on Monday, June 27 to have the evidence in the case suppressed because Nevada doesn’t have a cracked windshield statute.

There’s no statute that uses plain language to tell drivers they are prohibited from driving a vehicle on the roadway if there’s a crack in the windshield, he noted.

Deputy DA Roger Whomes counter-argued NRS 484B.163 (3) requires drivers to have a normal view, which they don’t have when there’s a crack in the windshield.

However, the state did not present any evidence concerning the crack in the windshield. Whether it was large or small, or where it was on the windshield, was not presented to the court.

Judge Michael Montero issued the evidence suppression order on Wednesday, June 29.

He notes, “The fact that there was a crack on Mr. Correa’s windshield, in and of itself, does not satisfy the probable cause standard.  The facts and circumstances, as presented to this court, are not sufficient to warrant a reasonable man to believe Mr. Correa was in violation of NRS 484B.163(3) when he was stopped by Sgt. Dove.”

He continued, “Hence, Sgt. Dove’s traffic stop was unreasonable and in violation of the Fourth Amendment.”

From the Nevada Revised Statutes:

NRS 484B.163 Obstruction of or interference with driver’s view; interference with driver’s control over driving mechanism; vision of driver through required glass equipment; additional penalty for violation committed in work zone.

1.  A person shall not drive a vehicle when it is so loaded, or when there are in the front seat such number of persons, exceeding three, as to obstruct the view of the driver to the front or sides of the vehicle or as to interfere with the driver’s control over the driving mechanism of the vehicle.

2.  A passenger in a vehicle shall not ride in such position as to interfere with the driver’s view ahead or to the sides, or to interfere with the driver’s control over the driving mechanism of the vehicle.

3.  Except as otherwise provided in NRS 484D.440 (window tinting statute) a vehicle must not be operated upon any highway unless the driver’s vision through any required glass equipment is normal.

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