State v. Lomchanthala

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 12-10-2014
  • Case #: A152232
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Garrett, J. for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; & DeVore, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

A defendant is not entitled to a jury instruction defining a “voluntary act” unless some evidence has been presented that would show his acts were involuntary.

Defendant was discovered on a field and was requested to surrender for arrest on a previous warrant. Defendant took a “fighting stance” and refused to cooperate; the officer warned Defendant that if he did not surrender, the officer’s police dog would be released. This led to the dog knocking over Defendant, and both the officer and Defendant falling down a hill. After wrestling, and the officer being hit in the jaw, back-up arrived and Defendant was taken into custody. Defendant was convicted of assaulting a public safety officer. On appeal, Defendant argued a jury instruction should have been provided defining a “voluntary act,” to distinguish his actions, which were the involuntary result of being knocked down and bitten. The Court held Defendant was not entitled to such an instruction because there was no evidence that his movements were involuntary; and, the officer testified that the confrontation was “definitely a fight.” Affirmed.

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