State v. Jaimes-Pineda

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 05-13-2015
  • Case #: A148053
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Duncan, P.J., for the Court; Haselton, C.J.; & Schuman, S.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under OEC 401, a trail court may exercise its discretion to exclude relevant evidence if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of confusing the jury or complicating the trial. Appellate courts review a trial court’s decision to exclude evidence for abuse of discretion.

Defendant Jaimes-Pineda appeals the trial court’s judgment convicting him of two counts of assault in the fourth degree, and two counts of harassment. On appeal, Defendant submits two assignments of error: first, that the trial court erred by excluding evidence he sought to introduce in order to rebut the testimony of one of the State’s witnesses, and second, that the trial court committed plain error by ordering him to pay court-appointed attorney fees. As to the first assignment of error, Defendant argued that the evidence he sought to introduce was relevant, and that the trial court expressed no lawful reason for its exclusion. Under OEC 403, relevant evidence may be excluded at the trial court’s discretion if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of confusion of the issues or undue delay. An appellate court reviews a trial court’s decision to exclude evidence under OEC 403 for abuse of discretion, and the Court found that the trial court could reasonably conclude that inclusion of Defendant’s evidence could unnecessarily confuse the issues and cause undue delay. As to the second assignment of error, the Court found that there was no “plain error” under ORAP 5.45(1), as while defendant was unemployed at the time of trial and unable to pay the court-appointed attorney fees, he could be readily employed at any time. Thus imposition of attorney fees was not improper. Affirmed.

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