State v. Espinoza-Barragan

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 12-05-2012
  • Case #: A145161
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Duncan, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; and Haselton, C.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Nervousness and driving a vehicle recently purchased with cash are not sufficient to give rise to reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, which would justify the extension of a valid stop.

Defendant appealed his methamphetamine delivery conviction. Defendant was pulled over for traffic violations. The officer extended the stop to initiate a drug investigation, citing the reasons that Defendant: 1) did not make eye contact when the officer pulled next to him on the highway; 2) slowed down and took the next exit; 3) answered twice that he was going to Denny's before explaining that the ultimate destination was San Jose; 4) held up two fingers to indicate how long he was staying in San Jose; 5) did not have any visible luggage; and 6) was driving a car recently purchased with cash, with no registration or insurance information. The trial court concluded that the stop extension was valid under the totality of the circumstances. Defendant appealed, arguing there was no reasonable suspicion to extend the stop. The Court of Appeals stated that points 1-4 all encompass nervousness, leaving only three reasons (nervousness, lack of luggage, car recently purchased with cash). The Court held that the luggage factor is entitled to no weight, and the remaining factors were not sufficient to raise a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. Reversed and remanded.

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