State v. Rice

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 03-25-2015
  • Case #: A151640
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Egan, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; & Nakamoto, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under Article I, section 9, of the Oregon Constitution, the state has the burden of showing that the time required to acquire a warrant would have sacrificed evidence, thereby creating an exigent circumstance.

Defendant appealed his conviction for driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII) and interfering with a peace officer. Officers noticed a station wagon driving erratically; the license plate was traced to Defendant’s home where an officer confronted him. When asked to step outside, Defendant refused and was arrested after a long confrontation concluding with breaking down Defendant’s door. Defendant moved to suppress evidence, arguing police had violated his right against unreasonable search and seizure by entering his home as part of a DUII investigation. Defendant further moved for a judgment of acquittal, arguing that he did not interfere with a peace officer by engaging in passive resistance. The trial court denied these motions. Defendant renewed his arguments on appeal. The State responded that police did not violate Defendant's rights due to the risk of losing evidence; Defendant's blood-alcohol level created exigent circumstances that excused the warrant requirement. The State also argued Defendant's actions were not passive resistance. The Court held that while the trial court was correct to deny Defendant’s motion for a judgment of acquittal, Defendant’s motion to suppress should have been granted because exigent circumstances did not exist. The State had the burden to prove that the time it would have taken to get a warrant would have sacrificed evidence; the State did not meet that burden. Conviction on Count 1 reversed and remanded; otherwise affirmed.

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