State v. Heckathorne

[This is one of many case summaries I hope to write about relevant criminal cases decided by the Oregon Court of Appeals and Oregon Supreme Court.]

In State v. Heckathorne, decided by the Supreme Court on December 31, 2009, the Court reversed the Court of Appeals and upheld the search of an opaque container that was giving off odors consistent with anhydrous ammonia. The Court relied on Owens and Herbert in deciding that the contents of a container may be revealed by the container’s “feel or smell”, and that training and expertise may turn it into PC for a search.

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