DID YOU KNOW?
Oregon recently passed exciting public safety and criminal justice reforms related to driving and post-prison supervision. Here’s what’s new, and how they may affect you!
Can an officer search your car without consent?
After the passage of SB 1510 (2022 session), police officers must inform drivers of their right to refuse consent to a search when they have pulled someone over.
If you choose to grant consent, the law now requires that consent to be documented, either in writing or recorded.
A car can still be searched without the driver’s consent if the officer has a valid warrant issued by a court, or under certain circumstances where courts have allowed warrantless searches for officer safety or other specific reasons.
If you believe that the officer does not have a right to search you and your vehicle without your consent, follow these steps:
- State that you think the officer has no right to conduct a search of the car or your person without your consent.
- Do not sign anything that says you consent to a voluntary search.
- Do not attempt to stop the police officers even if they insist on conducting a search that you believe to be illegal (It should be dealt with later in court.)
Are police officers allowed to pull a driver over for a broken headlight or other minor vehicle equipment violations (examples of what are often known as “pretextual stops”)?
Under Oregon’s new law, police officers can no longer pull drivers over for four specific infractions: a single broken headlight, a single broken taillight, a single broken brake light, or a non-functioning license plate light.
You may still be cited for these four infractions if you are pulled over for some other reason(for example, speeding).
Are there new policies for people on community supervision?
Yes! New rules are being considered that will impact some people who are on community supervision. Examples of the new rules under consideration include:
- Allowing some people to report to their probation officer remotely and
- Prohibiting probation officers visiting someone at their workplace, unless it is considered necessary
There is also a new law for some people who have been convicted of second-degree assault and second degree robbery. People with these convictions who have been sentenced to community supervision in 2022 or later may also be eligible to receive an “earned time credit.”
This program rewards people with reductions in their sentence of probation or parole when they are successful in complying with their conditions of supervision.
Am I still responsible for paying my supervision fees?
No! As of 2021, Oregon became the first state in the country (along with California) to abolish supervision fees! The elimination of fees took effect in January 2022.
Supervision fees were a significant barrier to success for people returning home after prison. According to the Fines and Fees Justice Center, probation and parole fees routinely trap individuals and their families in debt. Nationwide, two of every three people on probation make less than $20,000 per year, with nearly 40% of those making less than $10,000 annually.
Effective as of January 1, 2022, Oregonians are no longer burdened by supervision fees removing one barrier to financial success for thousands of families across the state.