State v. Washington

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 03-22-2017
  • Case #: A155550
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Sercombe, P.J. for the Court; Tookey, J.; & DeHoog, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under Article I, Section 9, of the Oregon Constitution, an officer’s suspicion is objectively reasonable if the officer is able to “identify specific and articulable facts that produce reasonable suspicion, based on the officer’s experience, that criminal activity is afoot." State v. Mitchele, 240 Or App 86, 91, 251 P3d 760 (2010).

Defendant appealed a judgment of conviction for unlawful possession of cocaine, ORS 475.884, and unlawful possession of methamphetamine, ORS 475.894. Defendant assigned error to the trial court’s denial of his motion to suppress. On appeal, Defendant argued that the evidence at issue was the product of an unreasonable seizure because the officers did not have reasonable suspicion to stop him for second-degree criminal trespass. State responded that the officers did not stop Defendant. Under Article I, Section 9, of the Oregon Constitution, “reasonable suspicion of criminal activity exists if an officer subjectively suspects that an individual has committed, or is about to commit, a crime, and the belief is objectively reasonable under the totality of circumstances.” State v. Ehly, 317 Or 66, 79, 854 P2d 421 (1993). An officer’s suspicion is objectively reasonable if the officer is able to “identify specific and articulable facts that produce reasonable suspicion, based on the officer’s experience, that criminal activity is afoot." State v. Mitchele, 240 Or App 86, 91, 251 P3d 760 (2010). In this case, the officer did not offer adequate explanation as to why defendant was a trespasser and not a customer. The officers did not draw on specialized training and experience to explain why they believed Defendant was acting like a trespasser. The Court of Appeals held that the officers lacked reasonable suspicion to stop defendant, and that the record was inadequate to determine whether he was stopped at the time he was approached by police. Reversed and remanded. 

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