State v. Rodriguez-Perez

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 04-09-2014
  • Case #: A149058
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Nakamoto, J. for the court; Armstrong, P.J.; & Egan, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under Article I, section 9, of the Oregon Constitution, officers’ reasonable suspicion must is examined for what is objectively reasonable. An individual appearing agitated while his brother is being searched is not enough to warrant reasonable suspicion.

Defendant was convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful carrying of a concealed weapon. Defendant and his brother were carrying a box of beer when they were stopped by police, who suspected them of being under age. After checking their identification, the police noticed defendant’s brother had a prior arrest for carrying a concealed weapon. Police searched the brother, finding nothing, and searched defendant after he became agitated. The search revealed a concealed and loaded firearm. In a pretrial motion, defendant moved to suppress his statements and all evidence obtained during this encounter. This motion was denied. On appeal, Defendant argued that the officers unlawfully extended the stop by asking his brother about weapons, and alternatively that even if the stop was lawful, the officers lacked reasonable suspicion to support a frisk. The Court held that the officers’ frisk cannot be justified under the officer safety doctrine; whether a frisk is reasonable does not turn on whether officers’ suspicions were confirmed, but on whether their suspicions were objectively reasonable. Reversed and remanded.

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