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State v. Huffman

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 08-14-2013
Case #: A148653
De Muniz, S.J. for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; and Sercombe, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A148653.pdf

Criminal Law: Reasonable suspicion must be evaluated based on the information that is available to the officer under the circumstances in which the decision must be made. Reasonable suspicion does not require that the facts as observed by the officer conclusively indicate illegal activity, only that those facts support the reasonable inference of illegal activity by that person.

Defendant appealed a judgment of conviction for unlawful possession of methamphetamine. Defendant was stopped on his bicycle by a police officer and subsequently consented to a search that revealed methamphetamine in his backpack. The only issue raised on appeal was whether the officer had reasonable suspicion that Defendant was engaged in criminal activity. Reasonable suspicion must be evaluated based on the information that is available to the officer under the circumstances in which the decision must be made. Reasonable suspicion does not require the officer to observe facts that consclusively indicate illegal activity, rather, the officer must observe facts that support a reasonable inference of illegal activity. The Court of Appeals held that the officer lacked the reasonable suspicion necessary to justify the stop because the officer did not see the defendant do anything suspicious or carry anything suspicious. The evidence supporting Defendant's conviction was derived directly from the illegal seizure of Defendant and therefore must be suppressed. Reversed and remanded.