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State v. Kolb

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 07-25-2012
Case #: A145078
Haselton, C.J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; and Duncan, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://courts.oregon.gov/Publications/A145078.pdf

Criminal Procedure: An officers suspicion that a suspect is under the influence of drugs, and that the suspect is in possession of the instrumentalities necessary to ingest the drugs does not by itself, provide the officer with reasonable suspicion to stop the suspect.

Defendant appealed her conviction of possession of methamphetamine. Defendant was a passenger in a vehicle stopped for a traffic violation. The officer believed Defendant to be under the influence of drugs and asked the driver for consent to search the car. Driver consented to the search and Defendant acknowledged that the duffel bag, containing methamphetamine was hers. Defendant argued her motion to suppress the methamphetamine at trial should have been sustained because: (1) she was "stopped" when the officer took her license; (2) that stop was unlawful because at that time, the officer did not have reasonable suspicion Defendant was engaged in criminal conduct; and (3) consent to search the duffel bag thereafter, was product of the unlawful stop. The Court of Appeals held, that the officers assertion that he believed the Defendant to be in possession of instrumentalities to use the drugs, he suspected Defendant to be under the influence of, was not sufficient for a finding of reasonable suspicion to support the stop because the officer's testimony did not support the inference Defendant possessed methamphetamine. The Court, therefore found that the consent to search the duffel bag and the contents therein, were the product of an unlawful stop. Reversed and remanded.