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State v. Coates

Court of Appeals of Oregon

November 1, 2017

STATE OF OREGON, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
KRISTIN MICHELLE COATES, Defendant-Appellant.

          Submitted July 27, 2017

         Marion County Circuit Court 16CR05079 Claudia M. Burton, Judge.

          Ernest G. Lannet, Chief Defender, Criminal Appellate Section, and Brett J. Allin, Deputy Public Defender, Offce of Public Defense Services, fled the brief for appellant.

          Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, Benjamin Gutman, Solicitor General, and Michael A. Casper, Assistant Attorney General, fled the brief for respondent.

          Before Ortega, Presiding Judge, and Hadlock, Chief Judge, and Schuman, Senior Judge.

         Case Summary:

         Defendant appeals a judgment of conviction for driving while under the influence of intoxicants (DUII), a Class A misdemeanor, ORS 813.010. Defendant argues that the trial court's assessment of a $6, 200 fine, imposed under ORS 813.060(6), and a $225 conviction fee, imposed under ORS 813.020, exceeded the statutory maximum fine of $6, 250 for a Class A misdemeanor, ORS 161.635. Held: The ORS 813.020 conviction fee is not a fine and, therefore, is not a part of the maximum fine assessment under ORS 161.635. Further, the trial court had the authority under ORS 813.020 to impose a fee "in addition to any fine" upon defendant who had been convicted of DUII.

         Affirmed.

         [288 Or. 587] ORTEGA, P. J.

         Defendant appeals a judgment of conviction for driving while under the influence of intoxicants (DUII), a Class A misdemeanor, ORS 813.010, arguing that the trial court's assessment of a punitive fine and conviction fee exceeded the statutory maximum of $6, 250 for a Class A misdemeanor under ORS 161.635. The judgment imposed, in addition to 365 days in jail, a "Fine - DUII" of $6, 200 and a "DUII Conviction Fee" of $255, which totaled $6, 455. Defendant contends that the conviction fee of $255 is a type of fine that must be included in the trial court's assessment of the maximum amount that can be imposed on a defendant under ORS 161.635. In reviewing the court's sentence for legal error, State v. Barajas, 254 Or.App. 106, 108, 292 P.3d 636 (2012), rev den, 353 Or. 747 (2013), we conclude that the conviction fee does not count toward the maximum allowable amount and, therefore, the trial court did not err. Accordingly, we affirm.

         The facts are undisputed. The state charged defendant with DUII and alleged specifically that her blood alcohol content (BAC) while driving was .15 percent or above. Defendant pleaded guilty to DUII but left sentencing open to the trial court. At the sentencing hearing, because it was undisputed that defendant's BAC was .27 percent or above and it was her fourth DUII conviction, the state asked for a "base fine" of $6, 200 and described the fine it was seeking as "a mandatory minimum." The state also remarked that it was put on notice by defendant that it was her view that the state could not impose more than $6, 250 total for any fines, conviction fee, and court-appointed attorney fees. To answer defendant's contention, the state asserted that neither the court-appointed attorney fees nor the conviction fee were fines and therefore not considered when imposing the maximum fine for a Class A misdemeanor. The sentencing court did not impose court-appointed attorney fees but did, in addition to sentencing defendant to 365 days of incarceration in the county jail, impose a fine of $6, 200, noting that, although the maximum fine allowed by ORS 161.635 is $6, 250, it was imposing the fine that the state asked for. The court also imposed a conviction fee of $255.

         [288 Or. 588] To understand the contested amount defendant was ordered to pay, we set out the relevant provisions for imposing fines for a DUII conviction. Under ORS 813.010(6), the trial court must impose a fine for a DUII conviction, and the minimum fine imposed varies depending on the number of the defendant's DUII convictions or her BAC:

"In addition to any other sentence that may be imposed, the court shall impose one or more of the following fines on a person convicted of driving while under the ...

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