State v. Mullens

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 01-27-2016
  • Case #: A156937
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Per Curiam; Armstrong, P.J.; Hadlock, J.; & Egan, J.

Under Article I, section 9 of the Oregon Constitution, a police officer may not exploit an otherwise lawful traffic stop in order to question a driver about drugs without reasonable suspicion to do so.

Defendant entered a conditional guilty plea for three separate drug possession charges, but reserved his right to appeal the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress evidence. Defendant argued at trial, and renewed his argument before this Court, that the officer's search of his vehicle violated Article I, section 9 of the Oregon Constitution, in that the officer unlawfully exploited a traffic stop of Defendant's vehicle in order to obtain the evidence. The State responded by arguing that the discovery of drugs was not the result of the officer's admitted illegal exploitation of the traffic stop. The Court dismissed the State's argument as unpreserved, and concluded that the trial court erred by denying Defendant's motion to suppress. Reversed and remanded.

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