State v. Soto-Navarro

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 02-10-2021
  • Case #: A166495
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Lagesen, J. for the Court; En Banc; De Vore, J., dissenting.
  • Full Text Opinion

"When conducting an investigation during a lawful stop, 'activities' of law enforcement must 'be reasonably related to that investigation and reasonably necessary to effectuate it.'" State v. Arreola-Botello, 365 Or. 695 (2019) (quoting State v. Watson, 353 Or 768, 781 (2013)).

A car where Defendant was a passenger was pulled over by police for a traffic violation. The police dog detected contraband by sniffing the car’s exterior. Defendant was convicted of possession and delivery of methamphetamine. Before trial, Defendant filed a motion to exclude evidence from the search; the motion was denied. On appeal, Defendant argued that police did not have authority to extend the scope of the seizure with the dog sniff because their reasonable suspicion was limited to the traffic violation. The State conceded that Defendant was subject to seizure by the traffic stop and argued that the dog sniff did not enlarge the scope of the seizure because it occurred in the same temporal period as the stop itself. For traffic stops, the Oregon Constitution requires all investigative activities to be “reasonably related” to the traffic stop. See State v. Arreola-Botello, 365 Or 695, 712 (2019); Or Const Art I, § 9. The Court found that the dog detection was not “reasonably related” to the traffic stop because traffic violations are analytically distinct from drug crimes. Therefore, the Court held that the dog detection was an “unreasonable seizure” under Article I, Section 9 of the Oregon Constitution. Reversed and remanded.

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