THE STATE OF
In The Court of Appeals
The State, Respondent,
William Rhett Snowdon, Appellant.
Larry R. Patterson, Circuit Court Judge
Opinion No. 4169
Submitted September 1, 2006 – Filed October 23, 2006
Acting Chief Attorney Joseph L. Savitz, III, of
Columbia, for Appellant.
Attorney General Henry Dargan McMaster, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, Assistant Deputy Attorney General Salley W. Elliott, and Assistant Attorney General Deborah R.J. Shupe, all of Columbia; and Solicitor Robert M. Ariail, of Greenville, for Respondent.
STILWELL, J.: William Snowdon appeals the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress the introduction of marijuana discovered on his person during a search incident to his arrest. We affirm.
Local police received a complaint of a disturbance at
Snowdon subsequently pled guilty to breach of the peace in magistrate court. Thereafter, and while he was on trial in circuit court for the marijuana charge, Snowdon sought to suppress introduction of the marijuana, arguing that it was the fruit of a search following an illegal arrest made without probable cause. The trial court determined Snowdon's guilty plea in magistrate court precluded him from contesting the legality of his arrest and, a fortiori, the search incident thereto. Snowdon was convicted of possession of marijuana and sentenced to one year in prison.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
The admission or exclusion of evidence is a matter addressed to the
trial court's sound discretion. State v. Wise, 359 S.C. 14, 21, 596 S.E.2d 475, 478 (2004). The court's ruling will not be disturbed unless a manifest abuse of discretion and probable prejudice are evident.
Generally, a knowing and voluntary guilty plea waives all non-jurisdictional defects and defenses, including claims of constitutional violations. Rivers v. Strickland, 264 S.C. 121, 124, 213 S.E.2d 97, 98 (1975). "A defendant who pleads guilty usually may not later raise independent claims of constitutional violations." Gibson v. State, 334 S.C. 515, 523, 514 S.E.2d 320, 324 (1999).
Snowdon does not contend that his guilty plea to breach of the peace was involuntary, nor does he assert that the search itself was otherwise improper. He relies solely on the contention that the officer's warrantless arrest for breach of the peace was without probable cause and therefore violated his constitutional rights. Continuing, he reasons the unconstitutional arrest made the search that was incident thereto improper, thereby requiring suppression of any evidence obtained as a result. This contention is without merit. Having pled guilty to breach of peace,
For all of the foregoing reasons, the decision of the trial court is
HEARN, C.J., and HUFF, J., concur.
 We decide this case without oral argument pursuant to Rule 215, SCACR.
 Collateral estoppel can be used in a criminal proceeding.