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State v. Lanier

Court of Appeals of Oregon

January 31, 2018

STATE OF OREGON, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
DOUGLAS TIMOTHY LANIER, Defendant-Appellant.

          Submitted November 21, 2017 .

         Douglas County Circuit Court 15CR06546, 16CR09233 William A. Marshall, Judge. (Judgment of Contempt) Frances Elaine Burge, Judge. (Judgments of Conviction)

          Ernest G. Lannet, Chief Defender, and Andrew D. Robinson, Deputy Public Defender, Criminal Appellate Section, Offce of Public Defense Services, fled the brief for appellant.

          Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, Benjamin Gutman, Solicitor General, and Jacob Brown, Assistant Attorney General, fled the brief for respondent.

          Before Ortega, Presiding Judge, and Garrett, Judge, and Powers, Judge.

         Case Summary:

         In this consolidated appeal, defendant challenges his conviction for unlawful possession of oxycodone, ORS 475.834, assigning error to the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress. He asserts that the arresting officer's question-whether defendant possessed "any more" marijuana-constituted a custodial interrogation and, because he was not provided with Miranda warnings, it violated his rights under Article I, section 12, of the Oregon Constitution. Held: The only evident purpose for the officer's question was to do exactly what Miranda warnings aim to address: elicit incriminating information that could be used to charge defendant with an additional crime. Therefore, the trial court erred in denying defendant's motion.

         [290 Or. 9] In Case No. 15CR06546, conviction for unlawful possession of oxycodone reversed and remanded; otherwise affirmed. In Case No. 16CR09233, affirmed.

         [290 Or. 10]

          ORTEGA, P. JUDGE.

         In this consolidated appeal, defendant challenges his conviction for unlawful possession of oxycodone, ORS 475.834, assigning error to the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress.[1] He asserts that the arresting officer's question-whether defendant possessed "any more" marijuana-constituted a custodial interrogation and, because he was not provided with Miranda warnings, it violated his rights under Article I, section 12, of the Oregon Constitution. The state responds that there was no Miranda violation, because the question was "normally attendant to arrest and custody" and therefore within an exception to the Miranda requirement. We conclude that, because the question asked by the officer was designed to elicit incriminating information, Miranda warnings were required and, accordingly, we reverse and remand.

         We review the denial of a motion to suppress for legal error and are bound by the trial court's express factual findings if evidence in the record supports them. State v. Ehly, 317 Or. 66, 74-75, 854 P.2d 421 (1993). Accordingly, we state the facts consistently with that standard.

         Deputy Forte arrested defendant on an outstanding warrant and handcuffed him, but did not administer Miranda warnings, because he was not "investigating him at that point for any [other] crimes." After defendant was in handcuffs, Forte performed a cursory search for weapons and, not finding any, he and defendant then "engaged in casual conversation." Defendant told Forte that he was on his way to his girlfriend's house, and Forte asked him "if he had anything that he wanted to leave with his girlfriend at which point [defendant] said that he had a little bit of marijuana that he wished to leave with her." Even after defendant admitted to possessing marijuana, which was at that time illegal, [2] Forte still did not administer Miranda [290 Or. 11] warnings because "at that point [he was not] charging him with new crimes." Forte refused defendant's request to leave the marijuana with his girlfriend and asked if he had "any more" on him. Defendant said no, and Forte then asked him to consent to a search to ensure that he did not "have any more so that he [did not] take it to jail with him." Defendant consented and, after another pat-down, Forte discovered six oxycodone pills. Forte administered Miranda warnings and asked defendant if he had a prescription for the pills. Defendant replied that he did not. Forte then cited defendant for possession and took him to jail on both the warrant and the possession citation.

         Defendant moved to suppress the oxycodone pills, arguing that his consent to the search that led to their discovery derived from questioning administered without the warnings required by Article I, section 12. The trial court found Forte credible, found that the question about "any more" marijuana was not asked in order to lead defendant to incriminate himself, and concluded that Mir ...


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