State v. Birchard

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 07-18-2012
  • Case #: A144611
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Brewer, P.J., for the Court; and Haselton, C.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

A trial court commits plain error when it refuses to merge two guilty verdicts for resisting arrest from a single offense into a single conviction based on the efforts of two officers.

Defendant appealed the conviction of multiples offenses of resisting arrest. Two police officers were called to the scene to remove Defendant from premises. Defendant argued that it was plain error to convict him of two separate offenses of resisting arrest and that the offenses should have been merged because under ORS 161.067(3), one crime must end before the other begins in order to convict on two separate counts. Because Defendant committed a single offense of resisting two separate efforts to arrest him, occurring at the same time, failing to merge the charges was a plain error of the trial court. The Court of Appeals may exercise its discretion to reverse because the State is not permitted to salvage multiple convictions when only one is permissible. Reversed and remanded to enter one count of resisting arrest; otherwise affirmed.

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