State v. Prieto-Rubio

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 04-07-2016
  • Case #: S062344
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Landau, J. for the Court; Balmer, C.J.; Kistler, J.; Walters, J.; Landau, J.; Baldwin, J.; Brewer, J.; & Nakamoto, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under Article 1, section 11 of the Oregon Constitution, a criminal defendant’s right to counsel is violated if, when questioning the defendant about an uncharged criminal offense, it is objectively, reasonably foreseeable that the questioning will lead to incriminating evidence concerning the offense for which the defendant has obtained counsel.

On appeal to the Supreme Court, Defendant argued that the trial court violated Defendant’s right to counsel under Article I, section 11 of the Oregon Constitution by denying Defendant’s motion to suppress evidence of two other, uncharged crimes. The evidence was obtained by the State during questioning of Defendant about his charged crime. Both Defendant and the State based their arguments of when a defendant’s right to counsel attaches under Article 1, section 11, on the Court’s decision in State v. Sparklin, 296 Or 85, 672 P2d 1182 (1983), which held that a defendant’s right to counsel is limited only to questioning about the same “criminal episode” that gave rise to the charge for which a defendant obtained counsel. Sparklin, 296 Or at 94-95. The Court held that under the reasoning of Sparklin, the appropriate test for determining the permissible scope of questioning of a criminal defendant who has retained counsel is whether it is “objectively, reasonably foreseeable that the questioning will lead to incriminating evidence concerning the offense for which the defendant has obtained counsel.” Because the charged and uncharged offenses were so closely related in the instant case, the Court found that it was reasonably foreseeable that questioning Defendant about the uncharged offenses would generate evidence about the charged offense. Affirmed. The judgment of the circuit court reversed, and remanded for further proceedings.

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