State v. Soto

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 02-04-2015
  • Case #: A151123
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Tookey, J., for the Court; Sercombe, P.J.; Hadlock, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 138.050(1), a Defendant may not appeal an imposition of fines and fees for DUII within the statutorily allowable amount where the trial court misunderstood the law with respect to its discretion to reduce or waive some of the fees.

Defendant pleaded no contest to driving under the influence of intoxicants. Defendant entered into a diversion agreement, but could not afford to pay the required fees for the treatment; consequently, the trial court terminated the diversion agreement and entered a plea of no contest. Defendant appealed from the judgment imposing fines and fees, arguing the court had discretion to waive the fines and fees and failed to exercise that discretion because of a misunderstanding of the law with respect to some of the fees. ORS 138.050(1) provides that a defendant who has pleaded guilty or no contest may appeal only when the defendant makes a colorable showing that the disposition exceeds the maximum allowable by law or is unconstitutionally cruel and unusual. Defendant argued that, because the court did not exercise its discretion, the fees were not imposed consistently with the statutory requirements and therefore exceeded the maximum allowable by law. The Court held it did not have jurisdiction to consider Defendant’s appeal because, under State v. Anderson the fines and fees imposed did not exceed the maximum amount authorized by the relevant statutes, and nothing prohibited the trial court from imposing the fines and fees that it did regardless of the court’s misunderstanding that it could consider a reduction; therefore, Defendant was not exposed to a sentence that exceeded the legal maximum. Appeal dismissed.

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