Willamette Law Online

Oregon Court of Appeals


State v. Morfin-Estrada

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 07-11-2012
Case #: A143650
Duncan, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; and Haselton, C.J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/Publications/A143650.pdf

Criminal Law: Reasonable suspicion must be based on the totality of the circumstances, and includes an officer’s subjective belief that a person is or was committing a crime, and that the belief is objectively reasonable.

Defendant appealed his conviction for carrying a concealed weapon, arguing that when the arresting officer extended the duration of a traffic stop it was not based on an objectively reasonable suspicion. Defendant was stopped after an officer observed him and another man walking against a traffic light. When stopped, Defendant said he was responding to someone spraying graffiti in the area. Defendant admitted to the officer that he was in a gang, and the officer asked the two men if he could search them for weapons. They both agreed, and the officer found a dagger on Defendant and arrested him for a concealed weapon. The Court found that the officer had an objectively reasonable suspicion that Defendant was carrying a concealed weapon based on the officer’s experience with armed gang members in the area responding violently when a rival gang intruded on another gang’s territory by marking it with graffiti. Affirmed.