State v. Garcia

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 08-03-2017
  • Case #: SC S064236
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Nakamoto, J. for the Court; Balmer, C.J.; Kistler, Walters, & Landau, JJ.
  • Full Text Opinion

“Under ORS 162.247(3)(a), the state is not precluded from alleging interfering and resisting arrest as alternative charges, even when based on the same acts, and, when the defendant disputes the charges, that the trial court should submit both charges to the jury with an appropriate instruction or verdict form.”

The State sought review of the Court of Appeals decision reversing the trial court’s denial of Defendant’s judgment of acquittal. At trial, defendant was charged with two counts of interfering with a peace officer, ORS 162.247, and one count of resisting arrest, ORS 162.315. At trial, Defendant moved for a judgment of acquittal on the interfering counts, arguing that ORS 162.247(3) prohibited the State from charging her with both interfering and resisting arrest for the same acts. On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the legislature intended "to preclude double charging." State v. Garcia, 278 Or App 639, 649-50, 377 P3d 596 (2016). On review to the Supreme Court, the State argued that, “contrary to the Court of Appeals’ holding, ORS 162.247(3)(a) bars a defendant’s convictions—but not the state’s charges—for both interfering and resisting arrest when the charges are based on the same acts and that, as a result, the trial court must submit both interfering and resisting arrest charges to the jury when the defendant disputes those charges, as in this case.” The Supreme Court determined that “(1) the legislature most likely intended ORS 162.247(3)(a) to permit the state to charge a defendant with both interfering with a peace officer and resisting arrest based on the same acts, given the differing mental state elements of interfering and resisting arrest, and (2) when the defendant’s guilt is a disputed matter, the trial court should submit both charges to the jury with an appropriate instruction or verdict form.” Therefore, the trial court acted properly in denying the Defendant’s judgment of acquittal because the trial court was required to submit both charges to the jury. The decision of the Court of Appeals was reversed. The judgment of the circuit court was affirmed. 

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