State v. Blackstone

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 12-20-2017
  • Case #: A159279
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Aoyagi, J. for the Court; DeVore, P.J.; & Garrett, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

An officer must have reasonable suspicion that an individual has committed or is about to commit an unrelated crime based on “specific and articulable facts” that are “objectively reasonable under the totality of the circumstances” in order to extend a lawful traffic stop. State v. Reich, 287 Or. App 292, 298 (2017).

Defendant appealed his convictions for possession of methamphetamine and felon in possession of a restricted weapon. Defendant assigned error to the trial court’s denial of Defendant’s motion to suppress. On appeal, Defendant argued that the evidence was seized in violation of Article I, section 9 of the Oregon Constitution. Defendant argued that the traffic stop should have concluded by the time the officer’s safety concern arose, and that the officer did not have reasonable suspicion to investigate Defendant for the suspected burglary. In response, State argued that Defendant was lawfully stopped at the time of the search and seizure because the valid traffic stop had not concluded or, alternatively, because the officer had reasonable suspicion that Defendant was a burglary suspect. An officer must have reasonable suspicion that the individual has committed or is about to commit an unrelated crime based on “specific and articulable facts” that are “objectively reasonable under the totality of the circumstances” in order to extend a lawful traffic stop. State v. Reich, 287 Or. App 292, 298 (2017). The “officer safety exception” to this requirement applies only ‘during the course of a lawful encounter.’” State v. Rudder, 347 Or 14, 21 (2009). The Court of Appeals held that the trial court erred in denying Defendant’s motion to suppress because State failed to prove that the Defendant was lawfully stopped for a traffic violation at the time of the search and seizure in order to satisfy the officer safety exception. Additionally, the Court concluded that State failed to prove the requisite objective reasonable suspicion to stop Defendant because Defendant did not match the description of the burglary suspect. Reversed and remanded.

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