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State v. Thompson

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 12-19-2012
Case #: A145643
Schuman, P.J. for the Court; Wollheim, J.: and Nakamoto, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A145643.pdf

Criminal Procedure: When an individual is stopped without a reasonable suspicion, asked for her identification, and questioned without a significant break in time between these events, the stop becomes unlawful and any evidence seized from such an encounter is to be suppressed.

Defendant appealed a conviction of possession of methamphetamine. At trial court, Defendant was denied her motion to suppress evidence of drugs that were obtained by an officer during the search of her purse. Defendant argued that although she consented to the search of her purse, the search was conducted during an unlawful stop. Defendant was visiting the home of her friend, L, when three plain clothed officers knocked on the door and proceeded to conduct a consensual interview at L's residence. One of the officers asked Defendant about her purpose at the home, asked for her identification, and further obtained permission to search her purse where he found what he believed to be methamphetamine. The officer never told Defendant that she had the right to refuse, or leave the residence, further, the officer testified that he did not suspect Defendant of criminal activity. Defendant contended that a reasonable person in her position would not have felt free to leave in this situation, and that without reasonable suspicion, the search was unlawful. The Court of Appeals found that although the officer was not coercive or threatening, and Defendant gave consent, the officer took Defendant's identification card without a significant break in time before questioning. The Court held that the Defendant was stopped without reasonable suspicion, and the evidence derived from that stop should have been suppressed. Reversed and remanded.