State v. Johnson

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Sentencing
  • Date Filed: 10-11-2017
  • Case #: A159018
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: DeHoog, J. for the Court; DeVore, P.J.; & James, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 135.432(3), a defendant must be given a reasonable opportunity to withdraw his or her plea if the trial court changes the terms of a sentencing agreement after already having accepted them.

Defendant appealed a judgment of conviction that was obtained pursuant to a plea agreement. Defendant assigned error to the trial court’s determination that he may not be considered for particular release programs provided under ORS 137.750(1). On appeal, Defendant argued that the trial court was required to provide him with an opportunity to withdraw his plea when it imposed an amended sentence. In response, the State countered that the trial court did not “demonstrably depart” from the agreement as the term "936 credits" is not clearly defined by any authority. Under ORS 135.432(3), a defendant must be given a reasonable opportunity to withdraw his or her plea if the trial court changes the terms of a sentencing agreement after already having accepted them. The Court of Appeals first concluded that the term "936 credits" has a meaning that is clearly defined in Oregon case law. The Court then held that the trial court erred because its denial of Defendant's privileges under ORS 137.750(1) changed the terms of the sentence, and so the court was required to provide Defendant   with a reasonable opportunity to withdraw his plea. Reversed and remanded. 

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