State v. Medina

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 05-14-2015
  • Case #: S062436
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Kistler, J. for the Court; En Banc.
  • Full Text Opinion

For the purpose of ORS 165.800 (Oregon's identity theft statute), signing a document with a false name does not amount to "utter[ing]" or “convert[ing] to [his] own use” another person’s personal identification.

Medina signed a false name on his fingerprint card and property receipt. When the fingerprint card came back with the true name, Medina was charged with identity theft. The trial court found Medina guilty of identity theft and the court of appeals affirmed. The Court affirmed all other portions of the court of appeals decision, but reversed and remanded the finding of guilt for the identity theft. The Court pointed to the legislative history and context of the statute to determine that the meaning of "utter" as used in ORS 165.800 cannot be proved only by signing two documents. The Court reversed and remanded the proceeding, stating that the trial court should have granted Medina's motion for judgment of acquittal for the charge of identity theft. The decision of the Court of Appeals is affirmed in part and reversed in part. The judgment of the circuit court is affirmed in part and reversed in part, and the case is remanded to the circuit court.

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