State v. Hamel-Spencer

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 08-13-2014
  • Case #: A151835
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Haselton, C.J. for the Court; and Duncan, P.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Defendant has the burden to prove that multiple offenses are the result of a single criminal episode and that the first prosecutor is aware of the multiple offenses to demonstrate double jeopardy.

Defendant, who was indicted on nine counts of various theft charges, appealed her judgment contending that the trial court erred in not barring the prosecution of said counts due to a prior conviction in another county which resulted from the same theft. The appeal was brought pursuant to ORS 131.515(1) which states that “no person shall be prosecuted twice for the same offense,” and ORS 131.515(2) which provides that a person shall not be prosecuted separately for two or more offenses that resulted from the same criminal episode (“continuous and uninterrupted conduct . . .”) so long as the initial prosecutor "reasonably knows" of the multiple offenses. This Court concluded that Defendant was unable to prove that the theft of several pieces of jewelry, including the one piece that was prosecuted by the other county, occurred in the "same offense." In regards to Counts 1 and 4 through 8, this Court affirms the trial courts decision because Hamel-Spencer failed to prove that the other county's prosecutor had "reasonable knowledge" of the offenses. Vacated and remanded with instructions for the trial court to determine whether the prosecution of Counts 2 arose from the "same criminal episode" as the theft that was previously prosecuted in the other county.

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