State v. Tiscornia

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 08-12-2015
  • Case #: A155368
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Duncan, P.J. for the Court; Lagesen; & Flynn
  • Full Text Opinion

A trial court commits plain error by imposing attorney fees on defendant when the court used only work history and no other information regarding whether the defendant “is or may be able” to pay attorney fees.

Defendant appealed a court-ordered imposition of fees for a state-appointed attorney based on the argument that the court did not look into whether Defendant “is or may be able” to pay, as required under ORS 151.505(3). The Court held that the trial court plainly erred in imposing the award based only on the fact that Defendant had worked for two years prior to conviction, reasoning that there was no evidence regarding Defendant’s assets or the effect of conviction on employment. The State argued that the Court should not review this issue, because it was not preserved on appeal and Defendant has the alternative ability to petition the court for reduction. Based on multiple precedents in case law, the Court rejected the State’s argument, and reversed the portion of the judgment imposing attorney fees.

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