State v. Rudnitskyy

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 10-29-2014
  • Case #: A147885
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Armstrong, P.J. for the Court; Nakamoto, J.; & Egan, J., dissenting.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under Art. I, Sec. 9 of the Oregon Constitution, or the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, a police "stop" occurs when a reasonable person would believe that an officer either physically restrains a citizen's liberty in a significant way, or engages in a "show of authority" that reasonably conveys to the person a significant restriction on that person's freedom.

Defendant appealed a conviction for possession of heroin, assigning error to the trial court’s denial of Defendant’s motion to suppress. Defendant argues that the arresting officer did not have constitutionally-sufficient reasonable suspicion to “stop” Defendant. An officer received information that a heroin sale would occur involving a vehicle similar to Defendant’s. The officer parked 10-25 feet behind Defendant’s vehicle and approached. The officer saw suspicious paraphernalia, ordered the Defendant to put his hands on the dashboard, and called for backup. With consent from Defendant, the officer searched the car, and found a bag of heroin. Defendant was given Miranda warnings and admitted to purchasing heroin. At trial, Defendant argued that the officer had “stopped” Defendant without reasonable suspicion when the officer had parked. The trial court concluded that, because of the information, the officer had reasonable suspicion upon parking. Defendant renewed his arguments on appeal. The Court held that Defendant was “stopped” when the officer ordered the Defendant to keep his hands on the dashboard. Affirmed.

Egan, J., dissented, finding that the “stop” occurred when the officer parked 10-25 feet from Defendant and rapidly approached the car with the intent to investigate. Therefore, he did not have reasonable suspicion.

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