State v. Maciel-Figueroa

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 08-26-2015
  • Case #: A148894
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Duncan, P.J. for the Court; Haselton, C.J.; & Wollheim, S.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

An informant’s assertion that a defendant threatened to break the property of another was not enough to establish reasonable suspicion of assault or criminal mischief, and evidence gained pursuant to this information is therefore inadmissible.

Defendant appealed the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress evidence discovered after Officer searched Defendant’s person. Defendant was walking away from Officer when Officer called for Defendant to stop. Officer then asked if he could search Defendant, to which Defendant consented. Defendant argues that Officer calling to Defendant as he was walking away was an unlawful stop because Officer had no reasonable suspicion that Defendant was involved in criminal activity. The Court held that the facts known to the Officer at the time of the stop were insufficient to support an objectively reasonable conclusion that a crime had occurred. The Officer relied on Defendant’s mother’s phone call, in which she told Officers that Defendant was threatening to break belongings of another. The Officer argued his reasonable suspicion to stop Defendant was based on this report, indicating that Defendant may have committed assault or criminal mischief. The Court held that evidence of Defendant’s verbal threats was not enough to establish objectively reasonable suspicion that either assault or criminal mischief had actually occurred. Furthermore, the State failed to meet its burden of proof that Defendant’s voluntary consent was not the product of the illegal stop. Reversed and remanded.

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