State v. Clardy

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Constitutional Law
  • Date Filed: 07-19-2017
  • Case #: A154794
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Tookey, P.J. for the Court; DeHoog, J.; & Sercombe, S.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

The knowledge component of a defendant’s waiver of the right to counsel can be satisfied if the totality of the circumstances demonstrates the defendant understood the risks of self-representation; the intent component can be demonstrated by a defendant’s conduct. See State v. Howard, 172 Or App 546, 553, rev den, 332 Or 305 (2001); State v. Langley, 351 Or 652, 669 (2012).

Defendant appealed several judgments of conviction following a delayed trial in which he represented himself pro se. Defendant assigned error to the trial court’s conclusion that he waived his right to counsel.  On appeal, Defendant argued the trial court erred because he did not waive the right to counsel (1) knowingly, and (2) intentionally, as is required by Article I, section 11, of the Oregon Constitution. The state responded that, under the circumstances, the trial court correctly concluded that Defendant waived the right to counsel. The knowledge component of a defendant’s waiver of the right to counsel can be satisfied if the totality of the circumstances demonstrates the defendant understood the risks of self-representation; the intent component can be demonstrated by a defendant’s conduct. See State v. Howard, 172 Or App 546, 553, rev den, 332 Or 305 (2001); State v. Langley, 351 Or 652, 669 (2012). The Court of Appeals concluded the totality of the circumstances, including Defendant’s experience with criminal defense attorneys and the fact that he was warned of the risks of self-representation, demonstrated he intentionally waived his right to counsel. Next, the Court concluded his abusive conduct towards multiple court-appointed attorneys, coupled with a warning by the court that repetition of the conduct would result in his being required to proceed pro se, showed that Defendant intentionally waived his right to counsel. Thus, the Court held the trial court did not err in concluding that Defendant waived his right to counsel.  Affirmed. 

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