State v. Clemons

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 12-24-2014
  • Case #: A149682
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Ortega, P.J. for the Court; Sercombe, J; & Hadlock, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

There are three factors to determine causal connection in considering evidence tainted under the fourth amendment: the temporal proximity between unlawful police conduct and the discovery of the evidence; the presence of intervening circumstances, and "particularly, the purpose and flagrancy of the official misconduct."

Defendant appealed his judgment of conviction for unlawful possession of methamphetamine. An officer stopped a vehicle for traffic violations, and Defendant was the in the passenger seat of the vehicle. The officer recognized Defendant from a traffic stop of the same vehicle where narcotics were discovered a month earlier. The driver appeared nervous even after the officer told driver only a warning would be issued. The officer asked the driver to get out of the car and discovered she had a suspended license. The officer obtained consent to search the vehicle. The officer then approached Defendant and asked if he had any drugs or weapons, and stated Defendant was free to leave. Defendant did not leave the scene during the search of the vehicle. A backpack was found in the trunk, which Defendant identified as his, and methamphetamine was found within. The Court found that Defendant was unlawfully seized under the Fourth Amendment, and because the balance of the Brown factors establish that the discovery of the evidence was not sufficiently attenuated from the illegal seizure, the evidence should have been suppressed. Reversed and remanded.

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