- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
- Date Filed: 10-21-2015
- Case #: A151090
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Haselton, C.J. for the Court; Duncan, P.J.; & Wollheim, S.J.
- Full Text Opinion
The State appealed a pretrial ruling granting Defendant’s motion to suppress evidence. On appeal, the State argued that the warrantless procurement of Defendant’s urine sample was valid under the exigent circumstances exception of Article I, section 9, of the Oregon Constitution. Article I, section 9, protects individuals against warrantless searches, with enumerated exceptions including under exigent circumstances. An exigent circumstance exists where police officers must act swiftly to prevent, inter alia, the destruction of evidence. In State v. Machuca, 347 Or 644, 227 P2d 729 (2010), and Sate v. McMullen, 250 Or App 208, 279 P3d 367 (2012), the Oregon Supreme Court and this Court expanded the exigent circumstances exception to include situations where an officer has probable cause to believe alcohol and/or a controlled substance will be found in a suspects blood or urine, reasoning that the rapid dissipation of those substances ordinarily permits a warrantless blood draw or urine sample collection. A warrant is still necessary, however, where obtaining and executing a warrant would be “significantly faster” than the substance is likely to dissipate from the suspect’s blood or urine. (Whether a suspect’s coerced consent to a blood draw or a urine sample precludes the State from separately invoking exigency to justify the seizure remains an open question.) The Court held that the facts of this case were materially indistinguishable from those in McMullen, and as such exigent circumstances existed to permit the urine collection. Reversed and remanded.