State v. Brown

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 05-29-2014
  • Case #: A150256
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Ortega, P.J. for the Court; Sercombe, J.; & Hadlock, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

When an incorrect legal standard is applied to a motion to dismiss in a trial court, and the correct legal standard would require findings of fact not already made, then that decision may be vacated.

Defendant appealed his conviction for driving with a suspended license, raising three assignments of error. Defendant argued that the trial court erred when it denied his motion to dismiss on speedy trial grounds under former ORS 135.747 (2011). Defendant made a factual assertion that he did not knowingly fail to appear to his court date, because the court clerk’s statement to him led him to believe that he did not need to appear until the next day. The record suggests that the trial court applied an incorrect legal standard when it denied defendant’s motion to dismiss. The Court vacated the defendant’s conviction and remanded it with instructions, because under correct legal standards the trial court would make factual findings. First, the trial court declined to determine explicitly whether defendant was being truthful. Secondly, the trial court did not implicitly make findings about defendant’s knowledge of his duty to appear that are necessary to the Glushko/Little analysis. The Court declined to affirm the trial court’s decision under the “right for the wrong reason” doctrine because the record does not support a determination that the trial court explicitly or implicitly made the findings that would be necessary to support affirmance under Glushko/Little analysis. The Court rejects the second and third assignments of error without discussion. Vacated and remanded.

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