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State v. Knapp

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 10-24-2012
Case #: A145259
Duncan, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; and Haselton, C.J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A145259.pdf

Criminal Procedure: An unlawful search has been conducted during a traffic stop when a police officer ceases processing the infraction and delays the stop to perform a search. Evidence found during the unlawful search can be suppressed by a passenger of the vehicle who was unlawfully detained, provided a factual nexus can be shown between the unlawful search and the finding of the evidence.

Defendant appealed a conviction of Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine. The trial court denied a motion to suppress evidence of methamphetamine found during a search of an automobile in which Defendant was a passenger during a routine traffic stop. During the stop, the officer ceased processing the infraction and asked the driver for consent to search the vehicle. The driver gave his consent and during the search Defendant was found to have methamphetamine in the vehicle. The search did not take place during an "unavoidable lull" in the traffic stop and the Court of Appeals found it unlawful as a result. If there is a factual nexus between the unlawful search and discovery of evidence, State v. Hall requires the State to prove the evidence could have been obtained under the doctrines of inevitable discovery, independent source, or attenuation. The Court found a factual nexus between the unlawful search and the finding of methamphetamine because the officer could not have found the evidence but for his unlawful search. The Court held that Defendant's rights had been violated because the State was unable to make a showing of inevitable discovery, independent source, or attenuation. The motion to suppress should have been granted. Reversed and Remanded.