State v. Watts

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 03-01-2017
  • Case #: A155687
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Tookey, J. for the Court; Sercombe, P.J.; & Wollheim, S. J.
  • Full Text Opinion

If a defendant was not given a reasonable opportunity to consent to a search, such as when the defendant is told that a search will inevitable occur, then it may be a warrantless search.

Defendant appealed his conviction of three counts of felon in possession of a firearm, assigning error to the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress evidence obtained in a search of his residence. Defendant argued that he did not consent to a warrantless search of his residence. "When an individual 'is not given a reasonable opportunity to choose to consent or when he or she is informed that a search will occur regardless of whether consent is given,' such 'acquiescence to police authority does not constitute consent.'" A twelve person Special Response Team (SRT) executed a search warrant on the residence of Defendant's uncle. Upon approaching a separate building where Defendant lived, the SRT told Defendant he needed to let his dogs out so his building could be searched. Defendant said  “have at it, it’s all yours.”  The Court held that the SRt's actions were coercive and Defendant's "consent" was mere acquiescence to the SRT officer's request. Defendant did not consent to the search, so the trial court erred in denying Defendant's motion to suppress. Reversed and remanded. 

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