Gutierrez v. Nooth

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Post-Conviction Relief
  • Date Filed: 12-09-2015
  • Case #: A151182
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: ARMSTRONG, P.J., for the Court; Nakamoto, J.; & Egan, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under the Fifth Amendment, in order to implicate a defendant’s right to counsel while being questioned, a defendant must know he is speaking to a police officer. Under the Sixth Amendment, a defendant’s right to counsel attaches only once a prosecution has commenced, and encompasses only those crimes formally charged or crimes that, while not formally charged, would be the same under the test in Blockburger v. United States, that whether two charges relate to one act is whether each statutory violation requires proof of a fact that the other does not.

Petitioner appealed the trial court’s judgment denying Petitioner post-conviction relief on Gutierrez’s claims that his trial counsel provided constitutionally inadequate representation when trial counsel failed to move to suppress incriminating statements Gutierrez made to a police informant and an undercover officer that Petitioner felt was in violation of his rights under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the United States Constitution. The Court held that implicit in the Fifth Amendment right to counsel established in Miranda v. Arizona, 348 U.S. 346, 86 S. Ct. 1602 (1966), and Edwards v. Arizona, 451 U.S. 477, 101 S. Ct. 1880 (1981), is that the person being interrogated understands they are being interrogated by a police officer, otherwise the right to counsel is not implicated. The Court found that since Petitioner did not establish that he knew he was speaking to a police informant or an undercover officer his Fifth Amendment rights were not violated. The Court further held that a defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel attaches only once a prosecution has commenced, and encompasses only those crimes formally charged or crimes that, while not formally charged, would be the same under the test in Blockburger v. United States, 284 U.S. 299, 52 S. Ct. 180 (1932), that whether two charges relate to one act is whether each statutory violation requires proof of a fact that the other does not. The Court held that Petitioner’s statements to the police informant and undercover officer regarding the attempted murder charges were not related to Petitioner’s kidnapping and attempted rape charges. Affirmed.

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