State v. Zepeda

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 10-14-2015
  • Case #: A155303
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Tookey, J. for the Court; Sercombe, P.J.; & Hadlock, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Pursuant to ORS 161.665(4), the State must bear the burden of proof establishing that the defendant has or might acquire resources to pay for court-appointed attorney fees to be imposed.

Defendant appealed her conviction of unlawful possession of methamphetamine and three counts of failure to appear arising from the unlawful possession charge. Defendant was initially charged with unlawful possession in 2011 when Defendant was homeless and lacked family support. Defendant had since married and was living with her husband’s parents where her basic needs were met. The trial court imposed court-appointed attorney fees on the presumption that Defendant could obtain minimum wage work. Defendant contended that the trial court erred in imposing the court-appointed attorney fees, arguing that the imposition violated ORS 161.665(4). The Court agreed with Defendant, holding that the trial court relied on the presumption that Defendant could perform minimum wage work, shifting the burden of proof to Defendant to show that she could not pay the fees. The State needed to provide proof that Defendant had resources or might obtain the resources to pay the court-appointed attorney fees for the court to impose said fees. Portion of judgment requiring defendant to pay attorney fees reversed; otherwise affirmed.

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