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State v. Meier

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 11-20-2013
Case #: A147141
Ortega, P. J. for the Court; Haselton, C.J.; and Sercombe, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A147141.pdf

Criminal Procedure: A search incident to arrest is valid, when the intervening discovery of an outstanding warrant is sufficient to purge an unlawful seizure, under Article I, ยง9 of the Oregon constitution.

Defendant appealed his conviction, arguing the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress because the officer's discovery of the arrest warrant did not purge his unlawful stop. Defendant was convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm under ORS 166.250. An officer, without reasonable suspicion, asked Defendant for his identification and ran a search on the computerized Law Enforcement Data System (LEDS). The search revealed that Defendant had a warrant for his arrest. The officer conducted a search incident to arrest and found a handgun on Defendant. Defendant argued that the search incident to arrest was invalid because the officer's seizure was illegal under Article I, section 9, of the State Constitution because the officer lacked reasonable suspicion. The Court of Appeals disagreed reasoning that regardless of whether initial seizure was unlawful, the officer's intervening notice of an outstanding warrant was sufficient to purge the unlawful stop, and therefore, render the search incident to arrest valid.  Affirmed.