- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
- Date Filed: 11-16-2022
- Case #: A171638
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Hellman, J. for the Court; Mooney, P.J.; & DeVore, S.J.
- Full Text Opinion
Defendant appealed a conviction for seven counts of identity theft, one count of second-degree forgery, and one count of unlawful possession of heroin. Defendant assigned error to the trial court’s denial of his motion to suppress evidence that was discovered after a warrantless search during a traffic stop in which he was a passenger. He argued that the evidence was tainted because this was an illegal seizure.
Article I, Section 9, of the Oregon Constitution protects individuals’ rights against unreasonable searches or seizures. When an encounter advances from a conversation to the point of an investigatory stop, and thus a seizure of the individual, the stop must be accompanied by reasonable suspicion. State v. Backstrand, 354 Or 392, 399 (2013) (citing State v. Fair, 353 Or 588, 593-94 (2013)). Absent reasonable suspicion, a stop is unlawful, and all evidence discovered as a result of the unlawful police action is presumptively tainted by the violation and must be suppressed. State v. Newton, 286 Or App 274, 288 (2017).
The Court found that Defendant had been seized because the officer retained Defendant’s identification past a “reasonable period for purposes of examining and verifying” when he kept the license during the entire encounter while investigating other crimes. Backstrand, 354 Or at 416. Further, the Court found that the officer had not developed a reasonable suspicion prior to the time of the stop. Thus, the Court held, the evidence obtained during the stop should have been suppressed because it was tainted by an unlawful stop. Reversed and Remanded.