2013 ORS 131.005¹
General definitions

As used in sections 1 to 311, chapter 836, Oregon Laws 1973, except as otherwise specifically provided or unless the context requires otherwise:

(1) Accusatory instrument means a grand jury indictment, an information or a complaint.

(2) Bench warrant means a process of a court in which a criminal action is pending, directing a peace officer to take into custody a defendant in the action who has previously appeared before the court upon the accusatory instrument by which the action was commenced, and to bring the defendant before the court. The function of a bench warrant is to achieve the court appearance of a defendant in a criminal action for some purpose other than the initial arraignment of the defendant in the action.

(3) Complaint means a written accusation, verified by the oath of a person and bearing an indorsement of acceptance by the district attorney having jurisdiction thereof, filed with a magistrate, and charging another person with the commission of an offense, other than an offense punishable as a felony. A complaint serves both to commence an action and as a basis for prosecution thereof.

(4) Complainants information means a written accusation, verified by the oath of a person and bearing an indorsement of acceptance by the district attorney having jurisdiction thereof, filed with a magistrate, and charging another person with the commission of an offense punishable as a felony. A complainants information serves to commence an action, but not as a basis for prosecution thereof.

(5) Correctional facility means any place used for the confinement of persons charged with or convicted of a crime or otherwise confined under a court order. Correctional facility does not include a youth correction facility as defined in ORS 162.135 (Definitions for ORS 162.135 to 162.205) and applies to a state hospital only as to persons detained therein charged with or convicted of a crime, or detained therein after acquittal of a crime by reason of mental disease or defect under ORS 161.290 (Incapacity due to immaturity) to 161.370 (Determination of fitness).

(6) Criminal action means an action at law by means of which a person is accused of the commission of a violation, misdemeanor or felony.

(7) Criminal proceeding means any proceeding which constitutes a part of a criminal action or occurs in court in connection with a prospective, pending or completed criminal action.

(8) District attorney, in addition to its ordinary meaning, includes a city attorney as prosecuting officer in the case of municipal ordinance offenses, a county counsel as prosecuting officer under a county charter in the case of county ordinance offenses, and the Attorney General in those criminal actions or proceedings within the jurisdiction of the Attorney General.

(9) District attorneys information means a written accusation by a district attorney and:

(a) If filed with a magistrate to charge a person with the commission of an offense, other than an offense punishable as a felony, serves both to commence an action and as a basis for prosecution thereof; or

(b) If filed with a magistrate to charge a person with the commission of an offense punishable as a felony, serves to commence an action, but not as a basis for prosecution thereof; or

(c) If, as is otherwise authorized by law, filed in circuit court to charge a person with the commission of an offense, serves as a basis for prosecution thereof.

(10) Information means a district attorneys information or a complainants information.

(11) Probable cause means that there is a substantial objective basis for believing that more likely than not an offense has been committed and a person to be arrested has committed it.

(12) Trial court means a court which by law has jurisdiction over an offense charged in an accusatory instrument and has authority to accept a plea thereto, or try, hear or otherwise dispose of a criminal action based on the accusatory instrument.

(13) Ultimate trial jurisdiction means the jurisdiction of a court over a criminal action or proceeding at the highest trial level.

(14) Warrant of arrest means a process of a court, directing a peace officer to arrest a defendant and to bring the defendant before the court for the purpose of arraignment upon an accusatory instrument filed therewith by which a criminal action against the defendant has been commenced. [1973 c.836 §1; 1983 c.760 §1; 1995 c.738 §3; 1997 c.249 §42; 1997 c.801 §101; 1999 c.1051 §122]

Note: Legislative Counsel has substituted chapter 836, Oregon Laws 1973, for the words this Act in sections 1 and 2, chapter 836, Oregon Laws 1973, compiled as 131.005 (General definitions) and 131.015 (Application to prior and subsequent actions). Specific ORS references have not been substituted, pursuant to 173.160 (Powers and duties of Legislative Counsel in preparing editions for publication). These sections may be determined by referring to the 1973 Comparative Section Table located in Volume 20 of ORS.

See also annota­tions under ORS 133.010 in permanent edi­tion.

Notes of Decisions

Misdemeanors may be charged in circuit court pursuant to this sec­tion. State v. Jones, 30 Or App 873, 569 P2d 19 (1977), Sup Ct review denied

Phrase as otherwise authorized by law applies specifically to an in­for­ma­­tion charging a felony, which is authorized only if constitu­tional pro­vi­sions are satisfied. State v. Jones, 30 Or App 873, 569 P2d 19 (1977), Sup Ct review denied

Uniform traffic cita­tion and complaint is complaint within meaning of this sec­tion. State v. Riggs, 35 Or App 571, 582 P2d 457 (1978), Sup Ct review denied

Extradi­tion case is crim­i­nal pro­ceed­ing as defined by this sec­tion. State ex rel Roby v. Mason, 284 Or 427, 587 P2d 94 (1978)

Where district attorney did not sign complaint in crim­i­nal ac­tion as statute requires, technical viola­tion is inconsequential because pros­e­cu­­tion of complaint to guilty verdict shows district attorney did not regard complaint as frivolous. State v. Holdner, 96 Or App 445, 772 P2d 1382 (1989), Sup Ct review denied

Officer had probable cause to arrest defendant for unlawful entry of vehicle because defendants suspicious behavior, defendants inability to es­tab­lish connec­tion between defendant and car, defendants failure to identify per­son she was supposedly waiting for and of­fi­cers knowledge of recent car prowls provided substantial objective basis for believing it was more likely than not defendant had committed crime. State v. Codr, 99 Or App 417, 782 P2d 442 (1989)

Type of bag, bags obvious weight and sound made when bag was dropped gave of­fi­cer probable cause to arrest defendant for carrying concealed weapon. State v. Anfield, 313 Or 554, 836 P2d 1337 (1992)

Where of­fi­cers observed what appeared to be drug deal, there was probable cause for arrest, not merely investigatory stop. State v. Mendoza, 123 Or App 237, 858 P2d 1350 (1993)

1997 amend­ment of defini­tion for crim­i­nal ac­tion, deleting reference to being tried for of­fense, is intended to allow collec­tion of fees in crim­i­nal ac­tions not concluded by trial and does not expand term to include pro­ceed­ings other than those before trial court. State v. Meyers, 153 Or App 551, 958 P2d 187 (1998)

To es­tab­lish probable cause, state only needs to prove that, more likely than not, defendant had requisite mental state to commit crime. State v. Rayburn, 246 Or App 486, 266 P3d 156 (2011), Sup Ct review denied

Law Review Cita­tions

7 WLJ 456 (1971)


1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 131—Preliminary Provisions; Limitations; Jurisdiction; Venue; Criminal Forfeiture; Crime Prevention, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­2013ors131.­html (2013) (last ac­cessed Apr. 27, 2014).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2013, Chapter 131, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­2013ano131.­html (2013) (last ac­cessed Apr. 27, 2014).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.