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Portland Criminal Defense Law Blog

Fire captain demoted following DUII arrest

Driving under the influence is an easy mistake to make. If a person has a drink or two, it can be easy to over indulge and not even realize it. However, this simple mistake has very serious consequences.

Oregon residents who are convicted of driving under the influence of intoxicants face serious criminal penalties. These penalties can include large fines, jail or prison time, community service, a driver's license suspension, mandatory alcohol education classes, an ignition interlock device and more. These criminal penalties can affect a person for years after the person's arrest.

Are there defenses to drunk driving in Oregon?

Many Oregon residents understand the seriousness of drunk driving charges. When people are accused of drunk driving, they can face large fines, the loss of a drivers' license, jail time, employment issues and more. Avoiding these penalties is often crucial for people who have been accused of driving under the influence.

If people have been stopped for drunk driving in Portland, they may face many uncertainties and have many questions. Frequently, people may wonder -- are there defenses to drunk driving that can help Oregon residents avoid penalties for DUI?

Your rights matter in misdemeanor cases

When people think of criminal charges, serious charges -- also known as felonies -- are likely the first thing that comes to mind. However, many people will never face felony charges in their lifetimes, but this does not mean they will not have a run-in with the law. Many people will face misdemeanor charges. These charges are less serious than felonies but still carry significant penalties. These penalties can include large fines, the loss of certain privileges, jail time and more.

While misdemeanor and felony charges are different from one another in many respects, one thing is the same -- the importance of an aggressive criminal defense. In felony and misdemeanor cases, people have constitutional rights that need to be upheld. These rights include the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney and many others. There are also rules about police conduct and evidence collection that must be followed in misdemeanor cases. In many cases, people are no aware of these rules. Many people are unfamiliar with the criminal system and all the rights they are afforded.

The legal use of marijuana in Oregon

This blog has on many occasions discussed aspects of Oregon's drug laws. In particular, its marijuana laws have been discussed at length. However, people should know that as of July 1, 2015 big changes are coming to Oregon. When Measure 91 goes into effect, Oregonians will have the right to grow, buy and use marijuana. Although people will have these privileges, there are significant rules that must be followed. People need to understand their rights in order to avoid drug charges.

Until these changes go into effect, people in Oregon do not have the right to buy, sell or use marijuana in any form -- outside of the medical marijuana program. In other words, the recreational use of the drug is strictly prohibited and can lead to drug charges. The type of charges will depend on the amount of the drug a person is found with and the circumstances surrounding a person's arrest -- if the person was selling the drug to minors, for example.

Oregon woman charged with misdemeanor for video

A person can be charged with misdemeanor charges for a variety of reasons. These charges are not as serious as felony charges but still have the potential to carry serious penalties. One Oregon woman is facing a fine of up to $6,250 and a year in jail following an online video.

In this case, the woman -- an infamous web star -- is accused of performing a live sex show to internet followers. While this is not illegal by itself, the woman is accused of doing this show -- where she was partially nude -- from the library at Oregon State University. The show lasted for 30 minutes and several students where seen in the background oblivious to the woman's behavior.

When is marijuana delivery a misdemeanor in Oregon?

Oregon is one of many states in the United States that has recently changed its marijuana laws. These laws make the use of marijuana legal within the state. However, there are still many restrictions surrounding the sale of marijuana and of other types of drugs. In many cases, people can face criminal charges for dealing marijuana.

Because the laws within the state are changing, it is important for people to know and understand their legal rights. In some cases, the delivery of marijuana can result in misdemeanor or felony charges. While this blog post can only provide information, an attorney can help answer specific legal concerns. One concern can include -- when can people face misdemeanor charges for the delivery of marijuana?

Don't try to negotiate a plea agreement alone

In a recent blog post, this blog explained that Oregon prosecutors have the right to negotiate a plea agreement with people in certain situations. When prosecutors believe that justice will be affectively served, they have the ability to agree to a plea. A plea agreement generally allows a person to agree to plead guilty or plead no contest to a criminal charge. In exchange for this agreement, the prosecutor can lower the charges the person faces or the potential punishments.

Depending on the specific situation, a plea agreement can give a person more control over the outcome of the case. This way they are not leaving the outcome up to a jury or judge but are negotiating the penalties with the prosecutor. This can keep a case from dragging out in the court system for weeks or months which benefits both the prosecutor and the accused.

Plea agreements and Oregon law

When a person is accused of a crime in Oregon, it can feel like the person has lost all control. They may not understand the criminal proceedings, the potential penalties or even how long the process is going to take. In many cases, it may feel as if the prosecutors have complete control over a situation. However, Oregon residents should know that they can play an active role in the criminal proceedings. With the right criminal defense help, people can defend against criminal charges.

While in some cases, a criminal defense might include fighting the charges in court, in other cases, the best course of action is to engage in plea negotiations. Under O.R.S. section 135.405, prosecutors have the authority to engage in negotiations with the accused in order to reach a plea agreement. Under the statute, this can be done in cases where a plea agreement would further the effective administration of the criminal justice system in Oregon.

When can an officer stop a driver for suspected DUI in Oregon?

In a recent blog post, this blog explained that police cannot use sobriety checkpoints in Oregon. Under the current state constitution such measures are illegal. This is the result of a 1987 constitutional amendment that outlawed the practice. However, as many Portland, Oregon residents know, you can still be stopped by police for suspicion of drunk driving. Unsuspecting motorists may wonder -- when can police officers stop drivers in Oregon for driving under the influence?

In many cases, a police officer can only stop a motorist for driving under the influence if the officer has a reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is occurring. This means the officer must have some reason to pull a person over to investigate a potential DUI case. Police cannot, therefore, stop unknowing motorists who have not given any reason for the officer to think that a crime has taken place.

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