State v. Campbell

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 10-17-2013
  • Case #: S060046
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Per Curiam; Walters, J. Concurring
  • Full Text Opinion

When a defendant drives unlawfully while simultaneously possessing illegal contraband, there is only one “criminal episode” and joinder of the charges is permitted.

The issue in this case was whether joinder is permitted for drug possession that occurs simultaneously with other criminal conduct. Under Oregon's former jeopardy statute, ORS 131.515(2), no person shall be prosecuted for two or more offenses arising from the same "criminal episode." “Criminal episode” refers to continuous and uninterrupted conduct of at least one offense that is joined in time, place and circumstances and directed to the accomplishment of a “single criminal objective.” To be directed to the accomplishment of a single criminal objective, the two offenses may be dissimilar. Two or more offenses may be directed at more than one criminal objective and still be part of the same criminal episode so long as they are directed toward a single overarching criminal objective. Accordingly, when a defendant drives unlawfully while simultaneously possessing illegal contraband, joinder of the charges is permitted because there is only one “criminal episode” as both unlawful acts occur at the same time and share the same criminal objective.

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