State v. Helms

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 05-28-2015
  • Case #: A155275, A155276
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Sercombe, P.J.; Hadlock, J.; and Tookey, J., Per Curiam.
  • Full Text Opinion

Trial court plainly erred when it assigned attorney fees to the Defendant without determining whether Defendant was able to pay those fees.

Defendant was convicted of one count of criminal mistreatment and five counts of first-degree sexual abuse in two separate cases. Defendant was sentenced to a total of 216 months in prison, and was required to pay multiple fines, including $8,510 in attorney fees. Defendant appealed, arguing that the trial court plainly erred in its assignation of attorney fees without investigating whether he was able to pay those fees. The State agreed that the trial court plainly erred. The Court found that the trial court plainly erred when it did not determine whether Defendant was able to pay attorney fees before assigning them. The Court also found that the error was severe enough to warrant correction. Reversed with regard to the attorney fees; otherwise affirmed.

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