State v. Swanson, 351 Or 286 (2011)

Holding:   Statute allowing juries to consider lessor-included crimes does not allow them to consider lessor-included violations. Thus, Defendant charged with reckless driving – a misdemeanor – not entitled to instructions as to the elements of careless driving – a violation.

1)   While the lessor-included statute does not define “crime,” other statutes define “crime” and “violation” as two different things. Thus, fact that the lessor-included statute uses the term “crime” but not “violation” would seem “at first blush to compel a conclusion that the legislature intended the statute to reach crimes but not violations.” at p. 289.

2)   When attempting to determine the legislature’s intent, a Court looks “to the intent of the legislature that enacted the statute, and we also consider any later amendments or statutory changes that were intended by the legislature to modify or otherwise alter the meaning of the original terms of the statute.” at p. 290.

3)   While, in general, definition of a term in one area of the ORS does not necessarily control its meaning in another area, (cites omitted) “* * * it is clear from the legislative history of the 1973 (criminal procedure) code that the drafters intended to import into the 1973 code the 1971 definitions * * *.” at p. 293-94.

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