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Portland Criminal Defense Law Blog

Computer crimes require a strong criminal defense

Computers are an important part of most people's lives. People use computers for everything from work to play and from researching to socializing. Many Oregon residents may feel like they have all the knowledge they need about computers, the internet and technology. They may feel like they have nothing left to learn. They also may feel like computers offer a certain amount of protection, particularly online. Since the internet can be fairly anonymous, people may act differently than they would in person. In turn, people may engage in behavior that they otherwise would avoid if in the public eye.

However, many people don't realize that what they say and do on the internet can affect their public lives. It is possible to face serious criminal charges because of something that a person says or does online. Everything from cyberbullying to computer fraud can result in an arrest and charges.

The federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

While there was a time when people believed that the Internet was a fad that would quickly fade, that mentality is a thing of the past. Most Oregon residents understand the importance of the Internet and of technology in their daily lives.

In fact, many people have immersed themselves in computers and technology; whole industries, even, have been created involving these things.

What are cyber crimes?

The internet opens up a whole new world of exploration for many people. Oregon residents can virtually visit any place or anyone. The internet can be used to learn more about nearly any topic in a short amount of time.

And, as a recent post on this blog explained, it can also be used as a basis for criminal charges. In the recent case, a man was charged with various crimes after he supposedly posted his intentions to carry out a school shooting on an internet forum.

Internet post leads to arrest of Portland man

The internet has changed many Oregonians' lives for the better. It has given people access to people and things all around the world. It has also, through social media, connected people to social networks far beyond their local community. Sometimes, people turn to these social networks to vent or post about their frustrations. Whether or not people intend to act on what they talk about online, people can face serious criminal charges for internet posts.

For example, one man in Portland has recently faced criminal charges as a result of an alleged post in an internet forum. According to reports, the man complained about abuse he had suffered while attending a local Christian school. The man claimed to have suffered abuse from both the administration and from teachers.

Marijuana cultivation and federal law

Penalties for drug use can be severe. The exact penalties a person will face because of drug charges depends on a variety of factors. These factors include the type of drug involved in the case, how much of the drug was found and where the drugs were found. Other factors such as whether the person was found selling, manufacturing or cultivating a drug can also affect the particular charges and penalties the person faces. Finally, whether or not the person faces these charges in state or federal court also makes a big difference.

These factors affect every type of drug, even marijuana. Even though Oregon has relaxed its drug laws concerning marijuana, the federal government officially has not. Therefore, people can still face harsh penalties for marijuana use, cultivation or trafficking.

Criminal investigations should never be taken lightly

Criminal charges rarely appear out of nowhere. They are the product of a criminal investigation that has been opened for one reason or another. After opening a case, police officers, federal agents or other law enforcement officials will begin to investigate the situation. From the moment that the investigation has been started, they will begin to form opinions about a particular suspect.

As the case is investigated, police will create their own version of the case. They will search for evidence that supports what they believe happened. This evidence can eventually be used against a person in court. In fact, even statements made by a person during a police investigation can be used to bring felony charges against a person.

Can a felony be treated like a misdemeanor in Oregon?

When you think about criminal charges, you may think that they can be neatly separated into different categories. For example, many people may believe that all crimes will either be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony. However, it's often not that simple. You may be unaware that under certain Oregon laws, legal maneuvering is possible that can allow a crime to receive one classification over the other. In other words, it is possible in some situations to change a felony into a misdemeanor.

Under ORS section 161.570, certain Class C nonperson felonies can be changed into a Class A misdemeanor. These felonies include the unlawful possession of certain drugs including marijuana, methamphetamine and heroin.

Can you lose your car after an Oregon shooting?

In a recent case highlighted on this blog, an Oregon man has been accused of several weapons charges after allegedly being involved in a shooting. Weapon charges, like the ones the man faces in that case, can be very serious. Not only do charges like felony possession of a weapon include penalties like prison time, they can also have civil consequences.

In particular, some charges can result in the forfeiture of personal property. Under ORS section 163.707, if a car is used in a drive-by shooting, for example, the government may have the right to take away the car. Under this section, if the owner of the car is involved in the drive-by shooting, a civil in rem forfeiture of the car is possible.

Portland man faces felony charges following shooting

Because they are considered more serious than other crimes, felonies are the crimes that carry lengthy prison sentences, large fines, long terms of probation and other serious penalties.

Of course, the exact penalties will vary based on the criminal charges that a person faces. However, some of the most severe penalties on felony convictions are reserved for those charges involving a weapon. Felony possession of a firearm and other weapon charges are not treated lightly in Oregon.

Criminal defense strategies and the truth

No two people will ever view the same event in the exact same way. Even when two people see the same thing, their accounts about what happened can be very different. In the context of criminal charges, this can often lead to debates about the "truth." Prosecutors will have their story and those accused of criminal behavior will have theirs.

In these situations, the burden of proof is on the prosecutors. This means that prosecutors must show, beyond a reasonable doubt, that their version of the story is correct. People facing criminal charges, therefore, may be tempted to sit back and allow prosecutors to tell their side of the story without ever explaining their version of the truth.

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