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State v. Miller

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 01-16-2013
Case #: A145566
Haselton, C.J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; and Duncan, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A145566.pdf

Criminal Law: Judicial review on whether there was probable cause to issue a warrant is limited to a determination of whether the issuing judge could have reasonably concluded the affidavit established probable cause, given the facts and reasonable inferences.

On appeal, Defendant argued two assignments of error: the trial court erred in denying his request for self-representation, and in denying his motion to suppress evidence obtained on a warrant, based on the contention that the affidavit in support of the warrant was insufficient to establish probable cause. Defendant was convicted on a variety of drug offenses including delivery and possession of methamphetamine (meth) after a police search of Defendant’s residence and car. The affidavit in support of the warrant was based on three controlled buys of small amounts of meth by informants at an undisclosed location. The Court found that the denial of self-representation was error because the trial court’s reasoning was not based on established standards for denial, specifically whether the request would disrupt the judicial process. Further, the Court found that the affidavit in support of the search warrant was insufficient to permit a judge to reasonably conclude that the items specified in the warrant would, more likely than not, have been found at Defendant’s residence. However, the affidavit was sufficient to search Defendant’s vehicle. Convictions on Counts 2 through 8 and allowance of forfeiture in Count 9 reversed and remanded; otherwise affirmed.