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State v. Ayvazov

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 11-23-2011
Case #: A143783
Schuman, P.J. for the Court; Wollheim, J.; & Nakamoto, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/A143783.pdf

Criminal Procedure: Where suspicious activity occurs, and it is objectively reasonable that the passenger of a car was recently involved in a crime, the police met its burden to show probable cause when arresting the passenger.

Defendant was detained after being spotted in a stolen vehicle. The trial court suppressed incriminating statements made by defendant to police after defendant was arrested for unauthorized use of a vehicle. The court agreed with defendant that the arrest was unlawful because one element of the crime involved knowledge that the use was, in fact, unauthorized. As such, the trial court determined that police did not have probable cause to believe that defendant had such knowledge. The state appealed, arguing that the officers did not need probable cause to believe that criminal activity was afoot and that defendant was involved, because handcuffing and locking him in the police car was not an "arrest" but a "stop," justified by reasonable suspicion. The Court of Appeals reasoned that it was objectively reasonable for the police to believe that the car was stolen and that defendant had recently been seen driving it, and those facts established probable cause. Reversed and remanded.