Traffic Stop; Sniff of Possessions; Prolonged Detention; Reasonable Suspicion; Seizure of Passenger
LE conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle with a driver and two passengers. Middle passenger had a felony warrant. At some point during the process, a PSD arrived and the driver and middle passenger removed from car. Middle passenger put her purse on the ground and PSD alerted to it, apparently without command from handler. PSD put back in cruiser. Nothing found on middle passenger or purse. PSD then removed and sniffed car, which he alerted on. Window passenger now removed from car. Told car would be searched, he confessed to having controlled substances in his backpack.
Oregon precedent states that a passenger is not seized when the driver is stopped. However, this Oregon Appellate court acknowledged that federal law does consider the passenger seized at the time of the stop. Window passenger claimed he was seized at the time PSD deployed to sniff vehicle. This court held that window passenger was not seized at that point and indicated the only other issue was prolonged detention. The court indicated it did not have enough facts to make this determination and sent the case back to the trial court level for additional fact finding to determine whether the sniff prolonged the stop in any way.