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Portland Criminal Defense Law Blog

Criminal defense: Oregon felons lose rights to own firearms

There are many consequences, if one is convicted of a felony in Oregon. While there are criminal punishments associated with a particular crime -- including fines, jail or prison time, probation and more -- there are also other penalties. First, convicted felons lose their right to vote. Second, convicted felons may have to report their criminal record on housing and employment applications which can limit future opportunities. Third, convicted felons lose the right to carry or own firearms.

Violating the restrictions on convicted felons -- including the weapons rule -- can lead to additional criminal charges and penalties in the future. For example, a 23-year-old Oregon man was recently arrested on charges of felon in possession of a firearm after a traffic stop.

Oregon woman faces felony charges for child assault

A 40-year-old woman faces felony charges in an Oregon court after the alleged murder of her daughter and the attempted murder of another daughter. According to police, the woman checked in to an Oregon resort with her 2-year-old and 13-year-old daughters in late July. Three days after entering the room, a cleaning crew found the girls. According to police, when the cleaning crew found the 13-year-old, her neck was slashed. However, the girl was still alive. The 2-year-old was apparently found drowned in the bathtub.

According to reports, the 13-year-old wanted to die because her father was trying to get custody over her and her sister during a divorce. Reports claim that the 13-year-old helped her mother drown the 2-year-old before the mother used a numbing agent and sleeping pills to cut the older girl's throat.

Implied consent and field sobriety tests in Oregon

In order to make an arrest for driving under the influence, Portland police must have evidence that the person is intoxicated. To gather this evidence, police will often perform one or more blood alcohol content level tests. These tests can include breath tests, blood tests or field sobriety tests. Unlike breath tests or blood tests, a field sobriety test cannot read the exact amount of alcohol in a person's blood. Instead, the test measures certain behaviors and reactions that can suggest that a person has been drinking.

When people are questioned by police following a traffic stop, they may want to refuse to submit to a field sobriety test. Nonetheless, under Oregon code section 813.135, refusing a field sobriety test is not allowed. According to that statute, any driver on Oregon's roads has given implied consent to submit to the test. This rule applies to anyone operating a vehicle on the state's highways or on any road open to the public.

Ten arrested on drug charges in Southeast Portland

Multiple law enforcement agencies can be involved investigating a person for criminal behavior. When this occurs, every person involved in the investigation must respect the person's constitutional rights during the investigation. This means that inherent right to privacy must be respected and that police must obey search and seizure rules -- including executing a search warrant before searching a person's home.

Recently, three law enforcement agencies -- the Department of Community Justice, the Gresham Police Department and the Portland's East Precinct, Street Crimes Unit and Drug Division -- worked together to execute a warrant on a home in Southeast Portland. According to the police officers, the home was being investigated for identity theft and accusations of drug activity. The house on 76th Avenue was eventually searched and led to the arrest of 10 people on drug charges.

Portland police officer arrested on suspicion of drunk driving

Police in Portland, Oregon, will arrest anyone they believe is driving under the influence. As a recent case shows, this also includes members of their own force. According to police, a 43-year-old sergeant with the Portland Police Department was recently arrested for DUI. Police claim that the arrest took place after the man supposedly crashed his 2014 Jetta into a yard, fence and fire hydrant, causing $5,000 worth of damage on 190th Drive at around 10:00 a.m.

Following the accident, police allege that the man was taken to a local police department. While there, he was offered a blood alcohol content level test. It is not known if the police officer took the test or his BAC level. However, the man was charged with second-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving and DUI.

Police increase enforcement on Portland's sidewalks

In the warm summer weather, Portland streets can be packed with all sorts of commuters. People may be on their way to work or a recreational activity and may not even be aware that they are breaking the law. According to reports, there has been an increase in the number of people who are using skateboards and bicycles on Portland's sidewalks. Police say this creates hazards to pedestrians who are also using sidewalks.

Pedestrians are protected by riding bans. These laws were put into place decades ago to keep people from riding on city sidewalks. However, over the years, these rules have seen little enforcement. In fact, only four people were issued citations in 2013 for violating these rules.

Brothers brought back to Oregon to face sex crime charges

When felony charges are levied against an Oregon citizen, police will make all effort to arrest the individual so that criminal proceedings can continue. If an arrest is not immediately made, law enforcement officials can work with other agencies to secure the arrest. At times, other states and the federal government can even get involved in a particular search.

Recently, two Oregon brothers were found and arrested in another state. They have now been extradited back to Oregon to face prosecution on sex crimes. According to police, the pair fled Oregon to the other state after a search warrant was executed at their home. The two brothers -- both 42 years old -- had been active in their community, particularly with youth sports. One of the men was also a middle school teacher.

SWAT team executes search warrant at Oregon home

Recently, police in Tigard, Oregon served a search warrant to a local residence. The warrant was executed on Southwest Gentle Woods Drive. However, police and law enforcement officials did not release information about why the warrant was served or what the police were looking for in the search. It is known that the Washington County Tactical Negotiations Team -- also known as the SWAT team -- helped with executing the warrant.

A search warrant is a necessary component to most police searches. Under the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, police have to have a warrant to search a person's home, car or person unless an exception applies. This means that in most cases, the police will have to obtain a search warrant from a court to search an Oregon home.

Two same day car crashes result in DUII charges

Washington County, Oregon recently saw two separate car accidents that led to DUII charges for the drivers. According to police, the first accident occurred when a 26-year-old man lost control over his pickup truck. The accident allegedly took place around 4:05 p.m. on Hornecker Road near Cornelius. In the accident, police say, the truck left the roadway and flipped at least once, injuring a passenger. In this case, the driver was charged with fourth-degree assault and DUII. In the second accident, the 25-year-old driver was charged with DUII after he also lost control over a pickup truck. This accident happened around two hours after the first crash, near Gaston. Police say the truck rolled over after the driver lost control. Nobody was injured in that accident. It is unclear why police believe that either driver was drunk at the time of the accidents. To make claims, like these, police must have hard evidence of intoxication. This can include a failed field sobriety test or a blood alcohol test -- including a breath test or blood test -- with a reading over .08 percent.

Even if police have this evidence, they must have collected it appropriately for it to be good enough to use in court. Police have standard procedures that must be followed as they carry out these tests. Even the slightest irregularities can void the test, making the evidence unusable at trial.

What are the types of drug charges involving heroin in Oregon?

In a recent article, this blog highlighted the arrest of one Portland woman for possession of heroin. In that case, police accused the woman of using heroin in her car while her child was present. Many people are likely aware that heroin is illegal in Oregon. However, people may not be aware of the different drug charges that a person can face as a result of heroin.

In general there are three major categories of drug charges involving heroin. The first is possession of heroin. Possession laws apply when a person is found with less than three grams of the drug. Possession of heroin is considered a Class B felony in Oregon. A person found guilty of a Class B felony can be sentenced to up 10 years in prison.

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