State v. Drouhard

Decision Date12 December 1977
Citation31 Or.App. 1083,572 P.2d 331
PartiesSTATE of Oregon, Respondent, v. Diane Florence DROUHARD, Appellant.
CourtOregon Court of Appeals

Robert J. McCrea, Eugene, argued the cause for appellant. On the brief were Paul R. Frisch and Morrow & McCrea, P. C., Eugene.

Thomas H. Denney, Asst. Atty. Gen., Salem, argued the cause for respondent. On the brief were James A. Redden, Atty. Gen., Al J. Laue, Sol. Gen., and Carol J. Molchior, Certified Law Student, Salem.


SCHWAB, Chief Judge.

Defendant appeals from her conviction by a jury of criminal activity in drugs, ORS 167.207, and assigns as error the court's denial of her motion to suppress evidence.

On September 8, 1976, six police cars followed one Jay Bolton to defendant's residence. Bolton was under surveillance at the time because the police had information that he was going to purchase cocaine with marked money. Two minutes after the police began watching the house, one Gary Schnabel entered the house. Eight minutes later, Bolton left and was followed by the police to his residence where he was searched. A packet of white powder which field-tested as cocaine was found on Bolton.

After returning to defendant's residence, the officer in charge of the operation, Deputy Sheriff Guth, requested that the sheriff's office obtain a warrant to search the house. While waiting for the warrant, the six officers kept the house under surveillance. During that period, the officers noted no activity which would lead them to believe that their surveillance had been discovered nor did they testify that they noted anything which indicated to them exigent circumstances requiring immediate action. Nonetheless, before a search warrant arrived, Guth decided that the officers should "secure the residence." Guth testified that "securing the residence" meant entering the house, without consent if necessary, and placing "everybody in one portion or in one area of the house." Another police officer testified that there was no indication that the officers were going to encounter any resistance from the occupants of the house.

Guth and two other officers approached the house and knocked on the door. A male voice said "come in." 1 The officers entered the living room where they saw a male later identified as Schnabel. Guth continued across the living room without stopping and entered an adjoining bedroom. There Guth spotted the defendant sitting on a bed with white powder and drug paraphernalia arrayed on a mirror before her. Guth testified that the materials on the mirror were not visible from any vantage point in the living room.

Guth told defendant that he had sent for a search warrant, and defendant then consented to a search of the rest of the house. The search produced a quantity of cocaine, the marked money and some marihuana. No warrant to search the house was ever obtained.

The entry into the living room was invited. The validity of the seizures depends upon the validity of the movement of the police beyond the living room.

A nonconsensual warrantless search and seizure has been termed a " per se * * * unreasonable governmental intrusion," and the state has the burden of establishing the validity of such an intrusion. State v. Gilbert, 24 Or.App. 907, 911, 547 P.2d 632, rev. den. (1976). In order to justify a nonconsensual warrantless search two conditions must be met. First, there must be probable cause to believe that a search of the person or place in question will result in the finding of evidence of crime. Second, there must be exigent circumstances which outweigh the need for judicial scrutiny of probable cause which the search-warrant-application process provides. State v. Poole, 11 Or.App. 55, 500 P.2d 726, rev. den. (1972); State v. Keith, 2 Or.App. 133, 465 P.2d 724, rev. den. (1970). Defendant here does not contend that there was no probable cause to search the house; rather, she contends that there were no exigent circumstances which obviated the need to obtain a search warrant.

The state makes but one argument concerning exigent circumstances that "the officers were entitled for their own safety to make the short walk from the living room and look through the doorway." The officers entered the house not pursuant to any exigent circumstances justifying a warrantless search, but, rather, out of a desire to "secure the...

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12 cases
  • State v. Reagan
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • August 30, 1988
    ... ... See People v. Brown, 162 Ill.App.3d 528, 114 Ill.Dec. 14, 20, 515 N.E.2d 1285, 1291 (1987), appeal denied, 119 Ill.2d 561, 119 Ill.Dec. 389, 522 N.E.2d 1248 (1988); Lance v. State, 425 N.E.2d 77, 80 (Ind.1981); State v. Drouhard, 31 Or.App. 1083, 1086, 572 P.2d 331 ... Page 845 ... (1977); State v. Monahan, 76 Wis.2d 387, 394, 251 N.W.2d 421 (1977). "When the police are relying upon consent as the basis for their warrantless search, they have no more authority than they have been given by the consent. It is thus ... ...
  • State v. Campbell
    • United States
    • Oregon Court of Appeals
    • December 31, 1979
    ...proper. To justify a non-consensual warrantless search, there must be probable cause and exigent circumstances. State v. Drouhard, 31 Or.App. 1083, 1086, 572 P.2d 331 (1977), rev. den. 282 Or. 189 (1978). Preventing the loss or destruction of evidence constitutes exigent circumstances. Stat......
  • People v. Torand
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court
    • January 26, 1981
    ...144 Ga.App. 728, 242 S.E.2d 278 (1978); People v. Sanders, 44 Ill.App.3d 510, 3 Ill.Dec. 208, 358 N.E.2d 375 (1976); State v. Drouhard, 31 Or.App. 1083, 572 P.2d 331 (1977); State v. Johnson, 71 Wash.2d 239, 427 P.2d 705 (1967), or otherwise may be limited in purpose and time, e. g., United......
  • State v. Hansen
    • United States
    • Oregon Supreme Court
    • June 1, 1983
    ...simply, what the police officers did in "securing" the residence was to seize it in the constitutional sense. In State v. Drouhard, 31 Or.App. 1083, 572 P.2d 331 (1977), the Court of Appeals so recognized, and we approved that recognition in State v. Matsen/Wilson, 287 Or. 581, 601 P.2d 784......
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