State v. Barker

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 05-13-2015
  • Case #: A147777
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Duncan, P.J., for the Court; Haselton, C.J.; and Flynn, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under Article I, section 9 of the Oregon Constitution, a warrantless search must be supported by probable cause, which is comprised of two components: the subjective believe of the officer that a crime was committed, and that belief must be objectively reasonable under the circumstances.

Defendant Barker appealed the trial court’s denial of Defendant’s motion to suppress evidence obtained in a search incident to arrest. Defendant argued on appeal that the trail court erred in denying her motion to suppress, as the arrest was not supported by probable cause. The Court held that it is the State’s burden to show that a warrantless arrest and search was supported by probable cause, which consists of two elements: an officer must subjectively believe a crime is being committed, and that belief must be objectively reasonable under the circumstances. In order to determine objective probable cause, a court should examine the totality of the circumstances, including an officer’s training and experiences. In examining the totality of the circumstances, a history of drug use and signs of current intoxication are insufficient to establish either a reasonable suspicion or probable cause. Similarly, an assertion of a constitutionally protected privacy right against a warrantless search is not suspicious behavior to give an officer cause to arrest a suspect. The Court found that given the totality of the circumstances, the arresting officer’s belief that Defendant more likely than not was in possession of a controlled substance was not objectively reasonable, and that the trial court thus erred in denying Defendant’s motion to suppress. Reversed and remanded.

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