State v. Graves

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 05-04-2016
  • Case #: A156987
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Shorr, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; & Egan, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under Article I, section 9 of the Oregon constitution, when a police officer stops a car, the driver is automatically “seized” for the purposes of a search, but any passengers are not; some further showing of authority towards a passenger of the vehicle is required. Encounters that could be described as inquiries or conversations with passengers during a traffic stop are not searches.

Defendant appealed criminal conviction for various drug crimes, asserting error to the trial court’s denial of Defendant’s motion to suppress evidence obtained through an unlawful search. Defendant argued that, as a passenger in the car that was pulled over, Defendant was "seized" for the purposes of an unlawful search and seizure. Under Article I, section 9 of the Oregon constitution, when a police officer stops a car, the driver is automatically “seized” for the purposes of a search, but any passengers are not; some further showing of authority towards a passenger of the vehicle is required. Encounters that could be described as inquiries or conversations with passengers during a traffic stop are not searches. The Court held that as Defendant was not seized, the trial court correctly denied Defendant's motion to suppress. Portion of judgment requiring defendant to pay attorney fees reversed, otherwise affirmed.

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