State v. Hansen

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 11-07-2012
  • Case #: A143798
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Nakamoto, J. for the Court; Schuman, P.J.; and Wollheim, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

A variance between an indictment and the statute under which Defendant was charged, leads to an acquittal where Defendant has been prejudiced by the discrepancy.

Defendant appealed a conviction of hindering prosecution. Two deputies spotted a wanted felon exiting and returning to Defendant's house. When confronted, Defendant lied and told deputies the felon was not in the house. Deputies eventually entered the home and found the felon hiding in a bedroom. ORS 162.325 required the State to prove Defendant "prevented or obstructed...anyone from performing an act which might aid in the apprehension of a known felon." The indictment stated Defendant "prevented...the discovery or apprehension of the felon." During the trial, the State proved Defendant obstructed the apprehension of the felon, but not that he prevented the apprehension. Defendant argued that by not including the term "obstructed" in the indictment, he was found guilty of a crime for which he was unable to prepare a defense. The Court found Defendant would have had a different theory of the case if the indictment had correctly stated the charges. The Court held the discrepancy between the indictment and the statute prejudiced Defendant because he did not have the chance to prepare a defense against obstruction. Reversed.

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