State v. Westcott

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 11-30-2016
  • Case #: A159548
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Schuman, S.J. for the Court; Egan, P.J.; & Lagesen, J.

An officer may acquire reasonable suspicion by taking into consideration less probative factors only to give context to more significant factors under the totality of the circumstances.

In a pre trial motion, the trial court granted Defendant’s motion to suppress evidence found in the course of a pre-textual stop. Defendant successfully argued the officers unlawfully extended the traffic stop without reasonable suspicion. The state appealed an order made prior to trial suppressing evidence under ORS 138.060 (1)(c). In the course of a traffic stop, an officer may extend the encounter to investigate additional crimes if the officer has reasonable suspicion for the additional crime. State v. Rogers, 219 Or App 366, 372-373 (2010). That reasonable suspicion must be based on specific and articulable facts under the totality of the circumstances, not only on a hunch or intuition. State v. Alvarado, 257 Or App 612, 629 (2013). Here, the less probative factors (nervousness, past drug involvement) merely gave context to the more significant factors (arrest was contemporaneous to another drug offense investigation). Based on the totality of the circumstances, the officers had an objectively reasonable suspicion of criminal activity to lawfully extend the traffic stop. Reversed and remanded. 

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