State v. Aguirre - Lopez

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 04-04-2018
  • Case #: A159296
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Hadlock, J. for the Court; DeHoog, P.J.; &Aoyagi, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under Article I, Section 9 of the Oregon Constitution, law enforcement officer inquiries during a traffic stop must be reasonably related to the traffic stop and to the duration of the stop. State v. Dawson, 282 Or App 335, 386 P3d 165 (2016)

Defendant appealed conviction of a felon in possession of a firearm, ORS 166.270(1). Defendant assigned error to the trial court's denial of the motion to suppress evidence discovered during the stop. On appeal, Defendant argued the trial court erred in denying the motion to supress because the officer discovered evidence in an unlawfully extended traffic stop and questioned him about a different crime without reasonable suspicion. In response, State argued the extended stop was reasonably related to the traffic stop regardless if it was unlawful because the officer did not “exploit” the extended stop to obtain Defendant’s eventual consent to search the vehicle.  During a traffic stop, an officer may not question anything “unrelated to the purpose of the traffic stop” and, subsequently, could not justify any detention “‘as an alternative to going forward with the next step in processing the infraction such as the writing or issuing [of] a citation.’” State v. Dawson, 282 Or App 335, 386 P3d 165 (2016). The Court held that the officers did not have a proper exception to the requirement of Article 1, Section 9 to extend the stop and question about unrelated matters because the possession of a firearm does not reasonably relate to the traffic stop. Reversed and Remanded.  

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