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State v. Marshall

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 01-09-2013
Case #: 146945
Haselton, C.J. for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; and De Muniz, S.J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A146945.pdf

Criminal Procedure: Voluntary consent to a search will not be found where a reasonable person would believe that a promise of immunity from prosecution would result from their consent.

Defendant appealed convictions for possession of a firearm and theft, arguing that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence discovered during a warrantless search. Defendant contended that his consent to a search was involuntary, as he was improperly induced by an police officer. Defendant’s consent occurred during a warrant search of his bus and shop, however the warrant did not include a search of Defendant’s RV, which was where the officers found the firearm and stolen items. It was during the warrant search that the officers asked Defendant for permission to search the RV; Defendant granted permission under the written understanding that he would not be charged for any of the items found within. The trial court denied suppression, finding that the officer who agreed to have such information written on the voluntary consent search form did not in fact promise to grant Defendant any immunity. The Court of Appeals held that Defendant’s consent was coerced, as a reasonable person in Defendant’s position would have believed that he would be granted immunity and Defendant did in fact rely on this promise when he consented to the search. The Court also held that suppression did not result in harmless error, discovery of the items was not inevitable as stated in the record, and as such the counts for possession and theft should be reversed and remanded. Reversed and remanded, otherwise affirmed.