- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
- Date Filed: 07-08-2021
- Case #: A167904
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Lagesen, P.J. for the Court; Kamins, J.; & James, J.
- Full Text Opinion
Defendant appealed a conviction of criminal trespass in the second degree. Defendant assigned error to the trial court's denial of his motion to dismiss, grant of the city's motion in limine, (which denied Defendant's defense of necessity), and failure to instruct the jury as to necessity. On appeal, Defendant argued that the Eighth Amendment prohibited criminalization of his conduct based on his homelessness, additionally, because of his homelessness, he was entitled to raise a necessity defense. Neither the Eighth Amendment nor Article I, section 16, prohibit the enforcement of criminal trespass laws against the homeless. "Vague, unspecified, or generalized potential harms are insufficient" to prove that the injury the defendant sought to avoid was imminent; the defendant must show "'that the threat of injury existed at the time that defendant committed his offense.'" State v. Freih, 270 Or App 555, 557, 348 P3d 324 (2015). The Court held that there is no constitutional prohibition against enforcing criminal trespass laws against the homeless. Further, the Court reasoned that because Defendant's testimony at the motion in limine hearing only showed a generalized and vague concern of harm, he did not make a requisite showing of imminent threat required for a necessity defense. Affirmed.