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State v. Holdorf

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 06-20-2012
Case #: A144719
Schuman, P.J. for the Court; Wollheim, J.; and Nakamoto, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/Publications/A144719.pdf

Criminal Law: In cases involving “reasonable suspicion” there is no bright line rule, and courts must employ an individualized, objective test based on the facts.

Defendant appealed a conviction for possession of marijuana and methamphetamine, arguing that the arresting officer stopped him without reasonable suspicion that he was involved in criminal activity. Defendant was a passenger in an SUV driven by a convicted felon with an outstanding warrant for a probation violation and who was also under investigation for methamphetamine distribution. Defendant was detained when the SUV was pulled over even though he had no outstanding warrants. The arresting officer believed that Defendant was under the influence of methamphetamine because he appeared nervous. The officer conducted a search and found marijuana and methamphetamine in Defendant’s pockets. The Court noted that mere association with a criminal is not enough to support a suspicion that Defendant was involved in illegal activity, and concluded that the arresting officer’s suspicions were not objectively reasonable. Additionally, there were no officer safety concerns because the defendant was not an immediate threat to the officer because backup officers had arrived. Reversed.