State v. Maack

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 04-15-2015
  • Case #: A151852
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Hadlock, J. for the Court; Sercombe, P.J.; & Mooney, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 137.540(2), a trial court “may impose any special conditions of probation that are reasonably related to the crime of conviction” to facilitate the probationer’s rehabilitation or for public safety. A probation condition is valid as long as it restricts a probationer's behavior “to a permissible degree” as it reasonably relates to the purposes of probation, even if an alternate, narrower version of the condition could be imposed.

Defendant Maack appealed the trial court’s ruling revoking his probation for violating a probation condition that banned Maack from accessing the Internet. Defendant argued that that a complete ban on Internet use exceeded the State’s authority, as it was overly broad and not related to the purposes of his probation. As an initial matter, the Court found that Maack properly challenged the condition at the probation revocation hearing, and was property before it. Normally probationers must challenge a probation condition at the time it is imposed by the trial court. However, in this case Defendant’s probation officer–and not the trial court–imposed the condition prohibiting Internet use during Maack’s probation. Since Maack never had an opportunity to challenge the condition it was not a prohibited collateral challenge. As to the merits of Maack’s challenge, under ORS 137.540(2) a trial court “may impose any special conditions of probation that are reasonably related to the crime of conviction” to facilitate the probationer’s rehabilitation or for public safety. The Court held the trial court did not err in finding that the probation condition banning Maack from all Internet use was reasonably related to the probation goals because the dispositive issue is whether the probation condition restricted Maack’s behavior “to a permissible degree” as it reasonably related to the purposes of his probation, even if an alternate, narrower version of the condition could be imposed. Affirmed.

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