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State v. McBride

Court of Appeals of Oregon

August 14, 2019

STATE OF OREGON, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
TERRI LYNN McBRIDE, Defendant-Appellant.

          Argued and submitted June 20, 2018.

          Multnomah County Circuit Court 16CR20012; Gregory F. Silver, Judge.

          Matthew Blythe, Deputy Public Defender, argued the cause for appellant. Also on the briefs was Ernest G. Lannet, Chief Defender, Criminal Appellate Section, Office of Public Defense Services.

          Leigh A. Salmon, Assistant Attorney General, argued the cause for respondent. Also on the brief were Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, and Benjamin Gutman, Solicitor General.

          Before Armstrong, Presiding Judge, and Tookey, Judge, and Shorr, Judge.

         Case Summary: Defendant appeals a judgment of conviction for possession of methamphetamine, ORS 475.894. Defendant assigns error to the trial court's denial of her motion to suppress evidence that a law enforcement officer discovered during a traffic stop. Defendant argues that the trial court erred in denying her motion to suppress because the officer's questioning of defendant during the traffic stop unlawfully extended the traffic stop. Held: The trial court did not err when it concluded that the officer did not unlawfully extend the traffic stop. The officer's questioning of defendant took place during an unavoidable lull in the traffic stop. The officer did not question defendant instead of expeditiously proceeding with the steps necessary to complete the traffic stop.

         [299 Or.App. 12] TOOKEY, J.

         Defendant appeals a judgment of conviction for possession of methamphetamine, ORS 475.894. Defendant assigns error to the trial court's denial of her motion to suppress evidence that a law enforcement officer discovered during a traffic stop. Defendant argues that the trial court erred in denying her motion to suppress because the law enforcement officer's questioning of defendant unlawfully extended the traffic stop. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

         "We review a trial court's denial of a motion to suppress for legal error." State v. Rondeau, 295 Or.App. 769, 770, 436 P.3d 49 (2019) (citing State v. Ehly, 317 Or. 66, 75, 854 P.2d 421 (1993)). "We are bound by the trial court's factual findings if they are supported by evidence in the record." Id. "If the trial court did not make an express finding on a necessary fact, we presume that the court found the facts in a manner consistent with its decision." Id. We state the facts and analyze defendant's arguments accordingly.

         I. HISTORICAL AND PROCEDURAL FACTS

         Shortly after 10:00 a.m., Deputy O'Donnell, a narcotics K-9 handler with the Multnomah County Sheriffs Office, stopped defendant's car after he saw defendant make an unsignaled turn. O'Donnell approached defendant's car, explained to her why he had pulled her over, and asked her for her driver's license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. Defendant provided her driver's license to O'Donnell, but told O'Donnell that she did not have proof of insurance, although she did have insurance. She also told O'Donnell that she did not know where her vehicle registration was.

         At 10:03 a.m., after obtaining defendant's driver's license, O'Donnell switched the radio he was wearing to the "service net" to request a records check. During the hearing on defendant's motion to suppress, O'Donnell testified that Multnomah County Sheriffs Office deputies use the service net to run records checks during traffic stops. He also testified that, in order to write a traffic citation, he has to find out if a driver has a suspended license, which is one [299 Or.App. 13] piece of information a records check provides. In this case, after contacting the service net dispatcher, the dispatcher told O'Donnell that he was in line, which meant that the dispatcher was working on other tasks and O'Donnell had to wait in line for his turn.

         O'Donnell testified that the other option he has for running a records check during a traffic stop is to return to his patrol car to use the car's computer. That option requires him to manually enter a driver's information and "read the responses that c[o]me back." O'Donnell uses the service net in 80 to 90 percent of the stops he makes, and it is "oftentimes" faster than using the computer.[1] The only time the service net might not be the faster option is when the dispatcher tells the radioing deputy that she or he is in line.

         In this case, while waiting for his turn on the service net, O'Donnell spoke with defendant about the high-crime nature of the area and asked her whether she had any drugs in her car. Defendant admitted that she had a small amount of methamphetamine in her purse. ...


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