State v. Beltran-Chavez

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Evidence
  • Date Filed: 07-06-2017
  • Case #: A152983
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Duncan, J. pro tempore for the court; DeVore, P.J.; & Hadlock, C.J., dissenting.
  • Full Text Opinion

If evidence will be perceived by a jury as scientific and, therefore, have an "unusually high degrees of persuasive power," a court must ensure that the "persuasive appeal is legitimate." State v. Okey, 321 Or 285, 291 (1995).

Defendant appealed a judgment of convictions for driving under the influence of intoxicants, ORS 813.010, and for failing to perform the duties of a driver, ORS 811.700. Defendant assigned error to the trial court’s denial of his pretrial motion to prohibit testimony from the arresting officer “that Defendant had ‘passed’ or ‘failed’ the walk-and turn or one-leg-stand tests.”. Defendant argued that the officer’s testimony should be considered “scientific” because it contained testimony concluding whether Defendant performance “passed” or “failed” the walk-and-turn or one-leg-stand DUII tests. Defendant argued the State did not lay adequate foundation for the arresting officer to provide scientific testimony. “If evidence will be perceived by a jury as scientific and, therefore, have an ‘unusually high degrees of persuasive power,’ a court must ensure that the ‘persuasive appeal is legitimate.’” State v. Okey, 321 Or 285, 291 (1995). In this case, the officer testified that Defendant had exhibited four out of eight “clues” which “meant that [D]efendant had failed the test. The Court held that the testimony by the arresting officer was scientific because it the arresting officer’s opinion was based on scientific data from scientific tests. Reversed and remanded. Hadlock, C.J., dissenting.

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