State v. Heilman

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 01-22-2015
  • Case #: A154018
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Duncan, P.J. for the Court; Lagesen, J.; & Flynn, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under Article I, sec. 9, of the Oregon Constitution, facts as perceived by an officer that do not constitute a violation of the law do not give rise to probable cause.

Defendant was convicted of driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII). Defendant was stopped at a crosswalk when an officer pulled up behind him and turned on his spot light. Defendant reacted slightly, but then drove down the road after several seconds waiting. The officer followed and pulled over Defendant – the officer conducted a DUII investigation, found Defendant intoxicated, and arrested him. At trial, Defendant argued the officer did not have probable cause to stop him, nor reasonable suspicion that he had committed as crime, and moved to suppress the evidence. The trial court denied his request and convicted him. On appeal, Defendant argued, first, that his motion to suppress evidence should have been granted; and, second, that the trial court erred by admitting scientific evidence that was not supported by sufficient foundation. The State argued the officer had probable cause to stop Defendant for stopping within an intersection, violating ORS 811.550(5). Though Defendant was not in the intersection, admitted the State, the trial court implicitly found he was. The Court held the facts, as the officer perceived them, did not constitute a violation of ORS 811.550(5). Accordingly, the officer lacked probable cause and the evidence should have been suppressed. Reversed and remanded.

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