State v. Garcia

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 03-16-2017
  • Case #: A160395
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Devore, J. for the Court; Duncan, P.J.; & Garrett, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 132.550(7), an indictment must contain a statement of the acts constituting the offense in ordinary and concise language, without repetition, and in such manner as to enable a person of common understanding to know what is intended.

Defendant appealed a judgment of conviction for first-degree burglary of a dwelling. Defendant assigned error to the trial court's amendment of the indictment right before trial began. Under ORS 132.550(7), an indictment must contain a statement of the acts constituting the offense in ordinary and concise language, without repetition, and in such manner as to enable a person of common understanding to know what is intended. The Court did not decide whether the change was a change of a material element of the burglary count itself because any error was harmless. The amendment did not affect the verdict or substantially affect the rights of Defendant. In this case, Defendant was not prejudiced by the indictment’s amendment, whether through a lack of notice, an inability to defend, a risk of double jeopardy, or being tried on a charge other than which he was charged. The Court concluded that even if the trial court had erred in allowing the amendment, the error was harmless. Affirmed.

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