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State v. Groom

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 03-28-2012
Case #: A142179
Schuman, P.J. for the Court; Wollheim, J.; and Nakamoto, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/Publications/A142179.pdf

Criminal Procedure: The automobile exception rule for searches applies only when the vehicle is moving when police first encounter it in connection with a crime.

This case is remanded from the Oregon Supreme Court. A police officer ran a license plate of a car he was following and discovered that the vehicle's owner had an outstanding warrant for a drug offense. By the time of the discovery, the automobile had turned and the officer found it parked on the street. Defendant admitted to being the driver of the vehicle and that drugs would likely be found inside, at which point the officer searched the vehicle without a warrant. The Court of Appeals initially held that based on Kurokawa-Lasciak, the search was valid because a parked car can be searched if it was moving when police first encountered it, even though probable cause did not exist until the vehicle was stopped. The Supreme Court overturned Kurokawa-Lasciak, holding that the automobile exception applies only when the vehicle is moving when the police first encounter it in connection with a crime. Therefore, the Court of Appeals held that a warrant was necessary to search Defendant's vehicle. Reversed and remanded.