State v. Hurtado

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 07-26-2017
  • Case #: A161867
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Ortega, P.J. for the Court; Egan, J.; & Lagesen, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

A statement is a confession if made “for the purpose of acknowledging that the speaker is guilty of some criminal offense." A statement is an admission if "made for some purpose other than to acknowledge guilt, and if it is not so closely related to the . . . confession as to become part of it.” See State v. Manzella, 306 Or 303, 315-316 (1988).

Defendant appealed a judgment of convictions for reckless driving and DUII following a car crash. Defendant assigned error to the trial court’s denial of his motion for judgment of acquittal in which he argued the State could not prove the “driving” element of the crimes solely based on the statements he made to officers at the scene because the statements were uncorroborated confessions—not admissions—and were therefore insufficient under ORS 136.425(2) to establish he had been driving. On appeal, Defendant raised the same argument.  The State contended the statements were admissions because Defendant made them to aid with the crash investigation—not to acknowledge guilt. A statement is a confession if made “for the purpose of acknowledging that the speaker is guilty of some criminal offense.” A statement is an admission if "made for some purpose other than to acknowledge guilt, and if it is not so closely related to the . . . confession as to become part of it.” See State v. Manzella, 306 Or 303, 315-316 (1988). The Court of Appeals concluded they did not acknowledge guilt of any crime because crashing a car does not necessarily constitute the crimes of driving recklessly or DUII because the record showed Defendant’s statements were made in response to officers’ questions regarding circumstances of the crash. Thus, the Court held (1) the statements were admissions, and (2) the trial court did not err in using them to prove the case against Defendant. Affirmed. 

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