State v. Jones

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 12-30-2015
  • Case #: A154424
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Sercombe, P.J. for the Court; Hadlock, J.; & Tookey, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under Article I, section 9 of the Oregon Constitution, discovery of an outstanding warrant does not cure an unlawful police stop. Courts must consider three factors to determine whether the evidence obtained from the unlawful stop was sufficiently attenuated from the stop: “(1) the temporal proximity between unlawful police conduct and the discovery of the challenged evidence; (2) the presence of intervening circumstances; and (3) particularly, the purpose and flagrancy of the official misconduct.”

The State appeals the trial court’s order granting Defendant’s motion to suppress evidence that he possessed methamphetamine. A police officer observed Defendant ducking into bushes and unlawfully seized Defendant while he ran a warrant check. After discovering an outstanding warrant, the officer arrested Defendant. The officer later found methamphetamine in the police car. Defendant was charged with unlawful possession of methamphetamine and moved to suppress the evidence because the officer had unlawfully seized him. The trial court decided that under state law, the subsequent discovery of an outstanding warrant cured the unlawful stop but under federal law, the unlawful stop tainted the evidence and must be suppressed. A recent Oregon Supreme Court case set out the factors for determining whether evidence is sufficiently attenuated from illegal police conduct under state law: “(1) the temporal proximity between unlawful police conduct and the discovery of the challenged evidence; (2) the presence of intervening circumstances; and (3) particularly, the purpose and flagrancy of the official misconduct.” The state conceded the first factor. The State argued that discovery of the outstanding warrant was an intervening circumstance but the Court concludes otherwise because the warrant check was the general objective of the unlawful stop. The Court also concluded the third factor in Defendant’s favor. The unlawful seizure had such a tenuous link to the challenged evidence that the evidence must be suppressed under Article I, section 9 of the Oregon Constitution. Affirmed.

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