State v. Haines

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Constitutional Law
  • Date Filed: 01-25-2017
  • Case #: A155001
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Ortega, P.J. for the Court; DeVore, J.; & Garrett, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Article 1, section 11, states that the constitutional right to counsel may be waived but the waiver must be voluntarily and knowingly made. To knowingly waive the right to counsel, a defendant must be aware of the right to counsel and also understand the risk inherent in self-representation. It is up to the court to determine whether the waiver of counsel is made knowingly.

Defendant appealed his judgment of conviction for five counts of identity theft, ORS 165.800. Defendant argued that his waiver of his right to counsel was invalid because it was not voluntarily and knowingly made, violating Article 1, section 11 of the Oregon Constitution. Article 1, section 11 states that the constitutional right to counsel may be waived but the waiver must be voluntarily and knowingly made. To knowingly waive the right to counsel, a defendant must be aware of the right to counsel and also understand the risk inherent in self-representation. It is up to the court to determine whether the waiver of counsel is made knowingly. The court must look at the totality of the circumstances to determine whether the defendant understood the risk of proceeding without counsel. In this case, because there were outstanding sentencing issues the Court was unable to determine what the outcome would have been had Defendant been represented by counsel. Remanded for resentencing; otherwise affirmed.

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