- Court: Oregon Supreme Court
- Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
- Date Filed: 12-30-2021
- Case #: S067608
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Walters, C.J.; Nakamoto, J.; Flynn, J.; Nelson, J.; Garrett, J.; Duncan, J. for the Court; & Landau, S.J., Justice pro tempore.
- Full Text Opinion
Defendant appealed an order from the Court of Appeals which reversed the trial court's suppression of evidence obtained pursuant to a warrantless search of his vehicle. Defendant assigned error to the Court of Appeals' application of the "per se exigency rule" found in State v. Brown, 301 Or 268, 277 (1986). On appeal, Defendant argued that the automobile exception was founded on the existence of exigent circumstances, and therefore required that the State actually prove their exigency to survive a motion to suppress. In response, the State pointed to Brown and argued that the automobile exception allows for a presumption of exigency if the vehicle is mobile at the time of initial police-citizen interaction. "[W]e overrule Brown's per se exigency rule and hold that, in order to justify a warrantless seizure or search of a vehicle based on exigent circumstances, the state must prove that exigent circumstances actually existed at the time of the seizure or search." State v. Brown, 301 Or 268, 277 (1986). The Court held that warrants--especially telephonic warrants--have never been more readily accessible to officers, thereby diminishing the threat of destruction of evidence from a vehicle's mobility. The decision of the Court of Appeals is reversed. The order of the circuit court is affirmed.