State v. Hogeland

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 04-26-2017
  • Case #: A157596
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Dehoog, J. for the Court; Sercombe, P.J.; & Flynn, J. pro tempore.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 136.425(1), “[a] confession or admission of a defendant . . . cannot be given in evidence against the defendant when it [is] made under the influence of fear produced by threats.” To determine whether a person's admissions were voluntary, the Court examines whether a person’s capacity for self-determination is critical impaired, under the totality of the circumstances. State v. Ruiz-Piza, 262 Or. App. 563, 573, 325 P.3d 802 (2014).

Defendant appealed a judgment of conviction for assault in the second and third degree and criminal mistreatment in the first degree. Defendant assigned error to the trial court’s denial of his motion to suppress because his admissions were involuntary under ORS 136.425(1). On appeal, Defendant argued that his confession was induced by threats to his family and an implied promise of leniency between the option for treatment and criminal punishment. The state argued that the interview tactic was not a promise of leniency because the detective stated a crime had already been committed and never promised treatment instead of punishment. Under ORS 136.425(1), “[a] confession or admission of a defendant . . . cannot be given in evidence against the defendant when it [is] made under the influence of fear produced by threats.”  To determine whether a person's admissions were voluntary, the Court examines whether a person’s capacity for self-determination is critical impaired, under the totality of the circumstances. State v. Ruiz-Piza, 262 Or. App. 563, 573, 325 P.3d 802 (2014). The court held that under the totality of circumstances, the threats to Defendant’s family and a coinciding implied promise of leniency, the Defendant’s admission was not voluntary. Reversed.

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