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State v. Gonzalez-Valenzuela

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 08-21-2013
Case #: A146278
Sercombe, J. for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; and Haselton, C.J., concurring
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A146278.pdf

Criminal Law: Under ORS 163.575(1)(b), when a person in possession of controlled substances knowingly permits minors to remain in a place where unlawful activity involving controlled substances is maintained that person may be convicted of endangering the welfare of a minor.

Defendant appealed a conviction of two counts of endangering the welfare of a minor. During a traffic stop, Defendant consented to a search of her purse. Defendant was a passenger in a car with her two minor children. The search revealed Defendant’s possession of controlled substances. At trial, Defendant argued that mere possession of the controlled substances is passive conduct, therefore, under ORS 163.575(1)(b) not “activity involving controlled substances.” The trial court denied Defendant’s motion for judgment of acquittal on those charges. The State argued that mere possession of controlled substances is an “activity involving controlled substances” based on the text, context and legislative history of ORS 163.575(1)(b). The Court held that Defendant knowingly permitted her children to remain in a place where she possessed, transported, and stored controlled substances, which constituted sufficient evidence to establish that Defendant violated ORS 163.575(1)(b). Thus, the trial court did not error.  Affirmed.