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State v. Parsons

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 11-14-2013
Case #: A147575
Wollheim, J. for the Court; Schuman, P.J.; and Nakamoto, J..
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A147575.pdf

Criminal Procedure: The proper timing for a defendant’s challenge to venue is before trial through a pretrial objection because it (1) protects defendants from potential undue hardship and unfairness of standing trial in a distant venue and (2) precludes defendants from waiting until trial to raise the issue of venue, thus creating a need for a new trial or implicating double jeopardy.

Parsons appealed a conviction of failing to validate a deer tag in Jackson County after he shot and killed a deer in violation of administrative rules. Parsons was suspected of exceeding the number of deer he was allowed to kill during the 2009 hunting season, when he admitted to authorities that he had killed a deer but could not produce the required tag. Upon investigation, the troopers eventually found a tag for the 2009 season signed by Defendant, but was not validated.  Parsons moved for judgment of acquittal, arguing the State did not prove Jackson County was the proper venue. The trial court denied his motion on the basis that adequate evidence existed to determine venue. The Court of Appeals noted that according recent Oregon Supreme Court jurisprudence in State v. Mills, the State is not constitutionally mandated to prove venue beyond a reasonable doubt and venue is not a material allegation of the crime charged. The proper timing for Defendant’s challenge to venue, however, is before trial through a pretrial objection. In the interest of fairness, the Court remanded the case to allow defendant to challenge venue. Reversed and remanded.