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State v. Rayburn

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 11-09-2011
Case #: A144049
Schuman, P.J. for the Court; Wollheim, J; & Nakamoto, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/A144049.pdf

Criminal Procedure: Police may use the totality of the circumstances to establish probable cause to arrest a passenger in a stolen car. This assessment establishes the requisite mental state of the passenger to determine whether or not they knew they were in a stolen vehicle and could be arrested.

Defendant was arrested and charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, and a misdemeanor of driving with a suspended or revoked license. The trial court granted defendant’s motion to suppress, finding that the officers did not have objective probable cause to arrest. On appeal, the state argued that the officers had probable cause to arrest defendant, as he was a passenger in the stolen car, a citizen’s report claimed that items were thrown from the vehicle and that it was driven recklessly, defendant attempted to flee the driveway when the officers found them, and a “shaved key” that defendant failed to remove from the ignition of the car. The Court found that police may use the totality of the circumstances to establish probable cause to arrest a passenger in a stolen car. This assessment established the requisite mental state of the passenger to determine whether or not they knew they were in a stolen vehicle and could be arrested. Given the facts of the case, the Court found it more likely than not that defendant knew he was driving in a stolen car. Reversed and remanded.