State v. Furrillo

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Evidence
  • Date Filed: 11-04-2015
  • Case #: A155461
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: DeVore, J., for the Court; Ortega, P.J., & Garrett, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under the automobile exception to a warranted search, a backpack of a passenger can be included as a container that can be searched if the backpack is in the vehicle at the time probable cause for the search arose.

Defendant appealed his conviction of possession of heroin, contending that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress the evidence found in a backpack pursuant to a search under the automobile exception. Defendant argued that the warrantless search of the backpack violated his rights under the Oregon Constitution and the United States Constitution. Defendant was a passenger of a vehicle that was pulled over for speeding. While Defendant and the driver were in the vehicle, a drug dog sniffed the exterior and alerted to the presence of drugs within the vehicle. Officers asked Defendant and the driver to exit the vehicle. Defendant took the backpack with him as he exited the vehicle and was told that the backpack needed to stay within the vehicle. The backpack was ultimately placed in the vehicle and subsequently searched, leading to the discovery of drugs found inside the bag. The State argued that because the backpack was in the vehicle at the time the drug sniffing dog alerted to drugs, probable cause was established to search the backpack as a container in the vehicle under the automobile exception. The Court agreed and affirmed the judgment of conviction.

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