State v. Lee

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 07-23-2014
  • Case #: A151603
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Sercombe, J. for the Court, Ortega, P.J., and Hadlock, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

It is not an illegal seizure of property if the officer does so in a reasonable attempt to protect himself or if he has a reasonable suspicion that the citizen poses an immediate threat of serious physical injury.

Defendant appealed his convictions of possession of methamphetamine and felon in possession of restricted weapon. Defendant was a passenger in a car that was stopped for a traffic violation. The officer observed various movements within the car that made him suspicious and that caused him to fear for his own safety. As a result of his concern, he searched the vehicle and each of the three occupants, resulting in the charges against Defendant. At trial, Defendant filed a motion to suppress the officer’s findings, arguing that his constitutional rights to be free from unlawful search and seizure had been violated. The trial court denied his motion. On appeal, Defendant argued that the trial court erred in denying his motion. This Court found that the circumstances, considered together, were sufficient to give rise to a reasonable suspicion of an immediate threat to officer safety, and denied Defendant’s appeal. Affirmed.

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