State v. Hodges

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 03-11-2015
  • Case #: A152718
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Devore, J., for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; Garrett, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 165.800(1), the state must prove Defendant obtained, transferred, created, uttered or converted to his own use the personal identification of another person with the intent to deceive or defraud, and may use circumstantial evidence and reasonable inference to do so.

Defendant was driving a stolen vehicle and failed to pull over, initiating a high-speed chase during which he damaged a bank of mailboxes and drove up over a berm. A passenger dove out of the car, and Defendant took off while the officer stopped to assist the passenger. The stolen vehicle was found a short distance away; a drug dog alerted, and officers searched the vehicle. Evidence collected from the car included Defendant’s personal papers and cell phone, drug paraphernalia, a box addressed to another person, and various personally identifying documents, none in Defendant’s name. Defendant was subsequently found and arrested. At trial, the owner of the documents testified the documents were stolen from her. Defendant moved for a judgment of acquittal on the counts involving identity theft, arguing the State had failed to prove Defendant had intent to use or benefit from the documents. The court denied the motion and Defendant was convicted. On appeal, Defendant argued the court erred in denying his motion for acquittal. Under ORS 165.800(1), the state must prove Defendant obtained, transferred, created, uttered or converted to his own use the personal identification of another person with the intent to deceive or defraud, and may use circumstantial evidence and reasonable inference to do so. The Court held that the evidence presented would allow a jury to infer Defendant’s intent, including the stolen personal identification documents and documents that could easily be used to steal another’s identity. Affirmed.

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