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State v. Taylor

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 10-09-2013
Case #: A147423
Ortega, P.J. for the court; Sercombe, P.J.; De Muniz, S.J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A147423.pdf

Criminal Procedure: A defendant released pursuant to a security release may be convicted for second degree failure to appear without evidence of a sworn writing.

Defendant appeals from a judgment of conviction for failure to appear in the second degree. Defendant was in custody for an underlying criminal charge. Upon review of request for release, the court set bail and as part of its order the court set additional terms to the “security release.” The relevant part of this document, which was signed by the Defendant along with the payment for bail, was that the Defendant promised to appear in court on a particular time and date. On one occasion Defendant called the court to state he was running late, but never appeared that day. He was convicted for second-degree failure to appear. Defendant argued that his conviction was improper because the signed document was not a “sworn writing” and did not meet the definition of a release under state law. The Court held that there are multiple ways to obtain a release and that the language of a “security release,” which merely requires a promise to appear, does not require that the writing be a “sworn writing.” Additionally, the courts reviewed the legislative history and found that there are distinct ways the failure to appear statute can be violated. Affirmed.