State v. Reed

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 12-14-2011
  • Case #: A143659
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Wollheim, J. for the Court; Schuman, P.J.; & Sercombe, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

A defendant's waiver of right to counsel is only valid if done voluntarily and knowingly; the validity of the waiver is judged by a review of the totality of the circumstances.

Defendant appeared pro se in a probation hearing that resulted in an extension of his probation; he appeals this judgment. Defendant contended that the trial court erred by not advising him of the risks of representing himself before he was permitted to waive counsel. A defendant may waive the right to counsel as long as it is done voluntarily and knowingly. Defendant claimed that, while done voluntarily, the record does not reflect that he did so "knowingly." The Court of Appeals indicated that whether or not a defendant knowingly waives his right to counsel is judged by the totality of the circumstances, including consideration of "the defendant's age, education, experience, and mental capacity; the charge (whether complicated or simple); the possible defenses available; and other relevant factors." Also, a waiver will not be presumed where the record is silent. The Court of Appeals concluded that, based on the record and the totality of the circumstances, defendant did not knowingly waive his right to counsel. Reversed and remanded.

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