State v. Wall

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 09-26-2012
  • Case #: A146689
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Brewer, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; and Duncan, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

In order for a criminal defendant to be required to wear restraints at his or her trial, whether the restraints are visible or not visible, the state must adduce evidence that would permit the court to find that the defendant poses an immediate or serious risk of committing dangerous or disruptive behavior, or that he or she poses a serious risk of escape.

Following her conditional guilty pleas for DUII and Recklessly Endangering Another Person, in her sole assignment of error, Defendant appealed a judgment of conviction challenging the trial court's denial of her motion to remove leg restraints during her appearance at trial. While the restraints were placed under her clothing and were not visible, Defendant testified that the restraints made her feel like a criminal and that she could not communicate freely with her attorney. According to both Oregon case law and the Oregon Constitution, the defendant in a criminal trial has the right to be free from physical restraint during his or her proceedings. However, this right is not absolute. Pursuant to State v. Glick, a defendant may be restrain.ed during trial, but, in order to do so, a finding must be made by the judge that the defendant poses an imminent and serious risk of escape or troublesome behavior. Here, the Court of Appeals concluded that the record before the trial court was insufficient to reach such a conclusion. Accordingly, the trial court erred in denying Defendant's motion. Reversed and remanded.

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