- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
- Date Filed: 04-28-2021
- Case #: A169681
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Tookey, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; & Aoyagi, J., dissenting.
- Full Text Opinion
Defendant appealed a judgment of conviction for unlawful possession of marijuana. The trial court denied Defendant’s motion to suppress. On appeal, Defendant argued that the traffic stop was unlawfully extended and that the officer lacked reasonable suspicion. To be lawful, “an extension of a traffic stop to conduct a criminal investigation must be justified by reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.” State v. Hallam, 307 Or App 796, 806, 479 P3d 545 (2020) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). The reasonable suspicion standard “is met when an officer can point to specific and articulable facts that give rise to a reasonable inference that the defendant committed or was about to commit a specific crime or type of crime.” State v. Maciel-Figueroa, 361 Or 163, 165, 389 P3d 1121 (2017). The Court acknowledged that while a strong odor can signal the presence of marijuana, it does not necessarily signal the presence in a quality that is illegal for persons 21 and older to lawfully possess. The Court concluded that the facts offered by the state “[did] not support reasonable suspicion that defendant possessed an unlawful amount of marijuana.” Thus, the Court held that the trial court erred when it denied Defendant’s motion to suppress the evidence obtained during the unlawfully extended stop. Reversed and remanded.