State v. Webber

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 09-28-2016
  • Case #: A154625
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: DeHoog, J. for the Court; Sercombe, P.J.; & Tookey, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Probable cause exists only if the affidavit sets forth facts that create a nexus between the place to be searched and the objects to be found. State v. Goodman established that facts derived from an officer’s training and experience may contribute the necessary factual nexus in a determination of probable cause, but it does not, in all instances, mean that an officer’s mechanical invocation of training and experience is sufficient to obtain a warrant to search a given location. There must be objective facts derived from other sources.

Defendant appealed a judgment of conviction for unlawful delivery of cocaine. Defendant argued that the trial court erred when it denied his motion to suppress evidence found during a warrant search of his home. Specifically, Defendant argued the affidavit submitted in support of the search warrant failed to establish probable cause for that search, because it did not show a sufficient connection between Defendant’s suspected criminal conduct and Defendant’s home. The State argued that the collective circumstances set forth in the affidavit—including Defendant’s involvement in ongoing drug sales, the lack of evidence of those sales on his person or in his vehicle, and the investigating offer’s training and experience—established probable cause to believe that evidence of drug activity would be located in Defendant’s home. The Court found that although it was established that facts derived from training and experience may contribute the necessary factual nexus in a determination of probable cause, that does not mean that, in all instances, an officer’s mechanical invocation of training and experience is sufficient to obtain a warrant to search a given location. State v. Goodman, 328 Or 318 (1999). There must be objective facts derived from other sources. The Court held that the affidavit did not support a finding of probable cause to search Defendant’s home, because there were no objective facts derived from other sources to make the officer’s specialized training and experience helpful to the magistrate, and to close the gap between the objective facts and constitutionally sufficient probable cause. Reversed and remanded.

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