Eby v. Premo

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Post-Conviction Relief, Article I, Section 11, Oregon Constitution
  • Date Filed: 11-09-2016
  • Case #: A154846
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Lagesen, P.J. for the Court; Schuman, S.J.; & Garrett, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under the Sixth Amendment, “a petitioner claim[ing] that his [or her] trial lawyer’s deficient performance caused [them] to forgo a favorable plea must show that, but for counsel’s deficiency, there was a reasonable probability that (1) the petitioner would have pleaded guilty; (2) the plea would have been accepted by the trial court; and (3) the pleas would have resulted in a more favorable disposition of the case.”

Eby appealed a judgment denying his petition for post-conviction relief on the basis that his attorney was constitutionally inadequate and ineffective in violation of Eby's rights under Article I, section 11 of the Oregon Constitution. Eby asserted that he told his attorney he wanted to accept a plea deal while one of the assault charges was a misdemeanor. Instead, Eby's attorney rejected the plea deal and the assault charge was ultimately elevated to a felony and Eby was convicted of that felony. The post-conviction court concluded that Eby's attorney was not deficient for following a different strategy than Eby wanted and even if the attorney had followed Eby's approach, the DA could have set aside the deal in order to pursue the felony charge. Without considering the adequacy of the attorney's performance, the Court concluded that Eby was not prejudiced by the attorney's performance. For the Court to find prejudice when an attorney's performance allegedly caused a defendant to forgo a favorable plea, the Court must find that, "but for counsel's deficiency, there is a reasonable probability that (1) the petitioner would have pleaded guilty; (2) the plea would have been accepted by the trial court; and (3) the plea would have resulted in a more favorable disposition of the case than the one the petitioner received." The Court held that Eby had not proved prejudice because, contrary to Eby's argument, there was no legal basis for the trial court being required to accept the plea. Affirmed. 

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