Willamette Law Online

Oregon Court of Appeals


State v. Smith

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 10-26-2011
Case #: A144109
Brewer, C.J., for the Court; & Edmonds, S.J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/A144109.pdf

Criminal Law: When a prosecutor makes the decision to aggregate multiple theft offenses into a single charge, the burden is on the defendant to show that the prosecutor's aggregation system lacks sufficient criteria, or that those criteria are not consistently applied.

Defendant appealed his charge of first degree theft, after the prosecutor aggregated his multiple offenses of theft into a single charge. Defendant argued that the prosecutor's system of determining when to aggregate was not a "coherent systematic policy." The Court held that the burden to show either lack of criteria or alternatively lack of consistency in determining when to aggregate was on the defendant, and that defendant did not meet that burden. The prosecutor's system used factors in determining when to aggregate, therefore defendant's only recourse was to show inconsistency. Defendant failed to meet his burden to show that the aggregation system was inconsistent and the first-degree theft charge was upheld. Affirmed.