State v. Driver
Case # A153813
Full Text of Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A153813.pdf
Defendant Driver was charged with two separate DUIIs and appeared at his arraignment on December 15, 2010. At that time, the court set over Driver’s cases to January 10, 2011. Driver later filed a continuance, and the cases were again set over to January 24. On that date, Driver appeared and asked for an additional 30 day continuance because his counsel was just starting an investigation. The court again granted the continuance. When Driver appeared at the February hearing, he indicated that he was still waiting on discovery responses from the State. The case was again reset into April. The case was reset a few additional times, each time because Driver was waiting for the State to produce requested documents.
At one point, Driver presented the court with a subpoena for the outstanding discovery documents. The court, however, refused to sign the subpoena and told Driver to file a motion to compel. At that time, the State acknowledged its obligation to provide the requested discovery. It did not, however, produce the documents because a month later Driver filed a motion to compel discovery.
After the discovery issues were resolved, Driver’s trial was finally set for January 2013. In December of 2012, Driver filed a motion to dismiss on based statutory speedy trial grounds under former ORS 135.747. The trial court denied Driver’s motion, and he now appeals.
The Court of Appeals first determines that out of the 26 months of delay, 20 months were attributable to the State. The majority of the delays came from the State’s failure to communicate with Driver about the status of the requested discovery. Thus, the majority of the delays were unreasonable. The Court of Appeals also concludes that a delay of over 20 months exceeds expectations for a misdemeanor DUII case. In fact, the Court notes that no appellate decision has upheld the denial of a motion to dismiss under ORS 137.747 in a misdemeanor case where the cumulative delay attributable to the State exceeded 15 months and where a significant part of the delay was determined to be unreasonable. Accordingly, Driver’s motion to dismiss for statutory speedy trial violations should have been granted, and his conviction is reversed and remanded.