State v. Williams

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 05-06-2015
  • Case #: A154948
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Garrett, J. for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; & DeVore, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

In determining the validity of a search warrant on appeal, a court may only consider the facts alleged in the affidavit in support of the warrant. The alleged facts must establish a probability that it is more likely than not evidence will be found at the place to be searched.

Defendant Williams appealed the trial court’s denial of Defendant’s motion to suppress evidence. On appeal Defendant argued the trial court erred by ruling that the search warrant for Defendant’s vehicle was supported by probable cause, contending the police lacked a sufficient basis to believe his vehicle would contain any evidence of a gun crime. In determining whether probable cause exists on appeal, the Court will only consider those facts alleged within the four corners of the affidavit in support of the search warrant. The Court held that the alleged facts must be sufficient to allow a neutral judge to determine that evidence would probably, as opposed to merely possibly, be found at the place to be searched. Further, the standard of probability requires that it is more likely than not that the objects of the search will be found; a mere suspicion does not suffice. The Court held that the affidavit was legally insufficient to establish the probability necessary to support the issuance of a search warrant for Defendant’s vehicle. The trial court erred in denying defendant’s motion to suppress evidence, as the warrant was not supported by probable cause. Reversed and Remanded.

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