- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
- Date Filed: 05-06-2020
- Case #: A167823
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Tookey, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; & Aoyagi, J.
- Full Text Opinion
Defendant appealed an unlawful possession of methamphetamine conviction under ORS 475.894 and challenged the trial court’s ruling on April 18, 2018, that set trial for April 19, 2018. Defendant argued abuse of discretion as the ruling prevented the preparation of an adequate defense. The State argued that the date was necessary to “ensure [D]efendant’s appearance for trial,” whose failures to appear had delayed the trial for substantial periods. Although, under due process principles, there are no "mechanical tests," a criminal defendant is entitled to “reasonable latitude” with a trial court on motions for continuance. State v. Page, 18 Or App 109, 118 (1974). When ruling on the matter, courts must take into account all "circumstances of the case and the reasons presented to the court at the time." State v. Stull, 281 Or App 662, 667 (2016). The Court found that "if a defendant requires a continuance to adequately prepare a defense and would be prejudiced by a denial, then a trial court abuses its discretion by denying a motion for continuance. See State v. Hickey, 79 Or App 200 (1986). The Court concluded a continuance was necessary for Defendant to prepare a defense due to no ability of the defendant to gather crucial records in the time between arraignment and trial. Thus, the Court held that the trial court’s ruling abused its discretion. Reversed and remanded.