State v. Wiggins

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 08-12-2015
  • Case #: A154895
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Duncan, P.J. for the Court; Lagesen; & Flynn
  • Full Text Opinion

A trial court errs by instructing the jury on first-degree criminal mischief when the dollar amount of damaged property does not rise to the necessary level.

Defendant appealed a conviction for first-degree criminal mischief. First-degree criminal mischief requires $1000 in intentional damage. Both the State and Defendant conceded at trial that first-degree criminal mischief had not been proven and asked for an instruction on the lesser-included offense of second-degree criminal mischief. The trial court gave an instruction on first-degree criminal mischief, and the jury found Defendant guilty on that count. On appeal, Defendant argued that the trial court erred, and the verdict should be reversed ­and remanded for acquittal. The State argued that the lesser offense of second-degree criminal mischief had been proven at trial, so the verdict should be reversed and remanded for entry of conviction for second-degree criminal mischief. The Court held that the trial court erred in giving the instruction on first-degree criminal mischief, and reversed and remanded for entry of conviction for second-degree criminal mischief.

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