State v. Snyder

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 09-28-2016
  • Case #: A156405
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Sercombe, P.J. for the Court; Tookey, J.; & Garrett, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under Article I, section 9 of the Oregon Constitution, to satisfy the automobile exception to the warrant requirement during a search involving a drug-detection dog, the State must prove that the dog’s alert was sufficiently reliable to provide probable cause to search the automobile.

Defendant appealed a judgment of conviction for possession and delivery of methamphetamine.  Defendant was a passenger in a car of which officers conducted a search after a drug-detection dog alerted on the car.  The search yielded methamphetamine. Defendant moved to suppress the evidence on the grounds that it was seized unlawfully in violation of the Article I, section 9 warrant requirement. The trial court denied the motion. On appeal, Defendant argued the trial court erred because the officers lacked probable cause to support the search under the “automobile exception” to the warrant requirement.  To satisfy the automobile exception during a search involving a drug-detection dog, the State must prove, by a showing of training, certification, and performance, that the dog’s alert was sufficiently reliable to provide probable cause to search the car. State v. Foster, 350 Or 161 (2011). Since there were no details in the record on the dog's training, certification, testing, and substantive field performance, the Court found the State failed to prove that the dog’s alert was sufficiently reliable to provide probable cause to search the car, and, therefore, the State failed to justify the search under the automobile exception. Reversed and remanded. 

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