State v. Bray

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 10-05-2016
  • Case #: A158753
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Haselton, S.J. for the Court; Duncan, P.J.; DeVore, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

The validity of an extension of a traffic stop is based on a totality of circumstances. To be lawful, an extension of a traffic stop to conduct a criminal investigation must be justified by reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.

Defendant appeals a judgment of conviction of one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine, ORS 475.894, and one count of felon in possession of a restricted weapon, ORS 166.270, and is assigning error to the denial of a motion to suppress evidence of both offenses discovered following a traffic stop. Defendant contends the traffic stop was extended unlawfully. The extension of a stop is based on a totality of circumstances. To be lawful, an extension of a traffic stop to conduct a criminal investigation must be justified by reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. In this case there was no evidence Defendant actually entered the venue associated with drug activity because his car was on the street outside the entrance of the trailer park. Further, Defendant was not in the company of someone suspected of drug activity; he was alone. Because the request to check Defendant’s criminal history was not justified by reasonable suspicion and resulted in the discovery of disputed evidence the case is reversed and remanded.

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