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State v. Mazzucchi

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 08-29-2012
Case #: A143973
Ortega, P.J. for the Court; Brewer, J.; and Sercombe, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/Publications/A143973.pdf

Criminal Procedure: Absent any force or coercion by police, there exists no restriction of an individual's liberty or freedom of movement; therefore, there is no seizure for purposes of Article I, Section 9 of the Oregon Constitution.

Defendant appealed his conviction for possession of methamphetamine, assigning error to the trial court's denial of a motion to suppress evidence. Defendant was a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped for speeding. Defendant gave the officer his driver's license to check for its validity. Because of the driver's behavior and prior drug arrests, the officer asked the driver for permission to search the vehicle. Upon learning that it was Defendant's father's car, Defendant was presented with a consent form for the search of the vehicle and a suitcase inside. Defendant signed the form. The search revealed glass pipes with methamphetamine residue. The trial court held that asking Defendant to sign a consent form instead of telling him he was free to go after his records came back clear was not an illegal seizure under Article I, Section 9 of the Oregon Constitution. The Court of Appeals agreed, that in order to constitute an illegal seizure under Article I, Section 9, a reasonable person in Defendant's shoes must have believed that their liberty or freedom of movement was restricted due to a showing of authority. Absent any evidence showing that Defendant was coerced into signing the consent form, there is no seizure for purposes of Article I, Section 9. Affirmed.