Sunday, December 22, 2013

State v. Carlson case brief

State v. Carlson case brief summary
808 P.2d 1002 (Or. 1991)

Defendant appealed a decision of the Court of Appeals (Oregon), that affirmed his convictions for unlawful possession of a controlled substance and endangering the welfare of a minor.

A police officer questioned defendant about needle marks on his arms without first advising defendant of his constitutional rights. Defendant responded, and his wife, who was present at the time, stated that defendant was lying. Defendant hung his head and shook his head back and forth.


  • The court held that the admission of defendant's statement did not violate Oregon Constitutional art. I, § 12 or U.S. Constitutional Amendment V because defendant was not under arrest and could have refused to answer questions. 
  • Wife's statement and defendant's nonverbal reaction to it were inadmissible under Or. Evid. Code 801(4)(b)(B), because state failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that defendant intended to adopt, agree, or approve the contents of wife's statement. 
  • Wife's statement was admissible as an excited utterance pursuant to Or. Evid. Code 803(2), because there was a startling event and the statement was made while the excitement persisted.
Decision affirming defendant's convictions affirmed because defendant's response to police officer's question did not violate his constitutional right against self-incrimination, and wife's statement was admissible as an excited utterance.

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