State v. Paniagua

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Evidence
  • Date Filed: 12-31-2014
  • Case #: A152638
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Nakamoto, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; & Egan, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under OEC 608(1), a defense witness may not offer character testimony if that witness has insufficient contact with the individual against whom the testimony is directed.

Defendant appealed a conviction of fourth degree domestic assault, arguing that the trial court abused its discretion by excluding defense witness testimony attacking the victim’s character, truthfulness, and reliability. The trial court determined that the defense had failed to lay a proper foundation to prove that the witness had sufficient knowledge to undermine the victim’s testimony because the witness did not have sufficient contact with the victim to speak to the victim’s character. On review, the Court reviewed the proof offered by the defense witness and affirmed that, because the witness had merely seen the victim on five or six brief occasions over the past year, the defense was unable to properly form a foundation to support the witness testimony attacking the victim’s credibility. Therefore, the trial court did not abuse its discretion by excluding the witness testimony. Affirmed.

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