State v. Magna/Rivera

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 09-10-2014
  • Case #: A145917A
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Nakamoto, J. for the Court; Duncan, P.J.; & Wollheim, J.

Courts may look to several factors to determine whether a defendant’s consent to a search was voluntary or a result of coercion, including: “whether physical force was used or threatened”; “whether weapons were displayed”; “whether the consent was obtained in public”; “whether the person who gives consent is the subject of an investigation”; and “whether the atmosphere surrounding the consent [was] antagonistic or oppressive[.]”

Defendants appealed their convictions for unlawful delivery of heroin (Rivera) and unlawful manufacture of heroin (Magna). Enforcement officers at a bus stop seized Rivera during a Narcotics Task Force interdiction exercise. The officers did not find any heroin on Rivera and did not have a search warrant, but decided to visit Rivera’s residence. Five officers wearing ballistic vests and a narcotics dog performed a “knock-and-talk” interview with Rivera’s roommate, Magna, where they asked for permission to search the residence. Magna responded that searching was “okay.” The officers found heroin in the freezer and bathroom. At trial, the Defendants filed a motion to suppress the evidence, claiming that Magna had not voluntarily consented to the search. After looking at the factors set out in Magna/Rivera, the court concluded that the search of the apartment was in violation of Article 1, Section 9, of the Oregon constitution and was therefore unlawful. Reversed and remanded.

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