State v. Medina

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 04-02-2014
  • Case #: A147883
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Tookey, J. for the court; Duncan, P.J.; and Rasmussen, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 165.800, signing a false name to a police document, which is then used to discover the signer’s true name, constitutes converting and uttering the “personal identification of another person… with intent to deceive.”

Defendant was convicted of identity theft for giving a false name to a police officer, signing that false name to documents at the police department, and submitting those documents to the police; police ran defendant’s fingerprint card, which defendant had signed, through the Automated Fingerprint Identification System, leading police to discover defendant’s identity. Defendant was arrested as a result. At trial, defendant moved for a judgment of acquittal, which was denied. On appeal, defendant contended that the court erred in denying his motion. Defendant argued his conduct was not identity theft because he neither converted a written document to his own use, nor did he “utter the personal identification of another person.” Defendant relied on 1999 legislative history and State v. Fields, which he maintained show that the legislature did not intend the identity theft statute to apply to his facts. The state argued that defendant both converted to his own use the identification of another, and that defendant acted with intent to deceive. The state relied on the legislature’s 2001 broadening of the statute to include “with intent to deceive.” The Court held that defendant converted and uttered the “personal identification of another person” when he falsified his signature on the fingerprint card. The Court further held that legislative history from 2001 does not suggest intent to limit the applicability of the identity theft statute. Affirmed.

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