- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
- Date Filed: 01-27-2021
- Case #: A168295
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Tookey, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; & Aoyagi, J.
- Full Text Opinion
Defendant appealed a conviction following a conditional guilty plea for unlawful possession of methamphetamine under ORS 475.894 (2015). Defendant assigned error to the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress evidence arguing that neither officer safety nor reasonable suspicion justified a seizure. The State argued that the seizure was justified on both grounds. Under the officer safety exception, objectively reasonable is determined by evaluating “‘any of the circumstances confronted by the officer either individually or collectively . . . that the defendant posed an immediate threat to’” the officer or others. State v. Thomas, 276 Or App 334, 337 (2016) (quoting State v. Bates, 304 Or 519, 525 (1987)). For reasonable suspicion of criminal acts, “the officer must have a subjective belief that the person stopped has committed, or is about to commit, a crime, and that belief must be objectively reasonable under the totality of the circumstances.” State v. Kreis, 365 Or 659, 665 (2019). The Court found that reaching into his pocket, combined with all other facts did not support reasonable suspicion that Defendant posed an immediate threat. Additionally, reasonable suspicion of criminal activity was not met because it is of little consequence that Defendant’s presence in a parking lot where drug activity was “not uncommon” or that the officer noticed his car idling for longer than minute. See State v. Davis, 286 Or App 528, 536 (2017); State v. Messer, 71 Or App 506, 509 (1984). The Court finally found that the passenger's subsequently discovered warrant does not retroactively justify the seizure. Thus, the Court held it error to deny the motion to suppress. Reversed and remanded.