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Portland Criminal Defense Law Blog

Without a defense, hard drugs can lead to hard time

There are many different types of illegal drugs. And, every drug is not treated the same. As we discussed in our last post, methamphetamine is one type of drug that people can face criminal charges for using or selling. Methamphetamine, in particular, is a Schedule II drug under federal laws. This classification changes the consequences that a person could face if convicted of drug charges. Each drug has a similar classification under federal and state law.

Certain "hard" drugs, have much more serious consequences than others. Charges involving methamphetamine, for example, have much more severe penalties than marijuana charges.

What is methamphetamine?

The state and federal governments regulate certain consumer products and goods. In addition, governmental authorities have the right to ban certain products from the marketplace. These agencies use this power to ban certain drugs. Under state and federal laws, therefore, the production, consumption or sale of certain illegal drugs can result in criminal penalties.

It is important for Oregon residents to know when a substance is illegal so that they avoid drug charges. Some drugs like marijuana, heroin and cocaine might be easy to identify, whereas, other newer drugs are more difficult.

What is aggravated vehicular homicide in Oregon?

In a recent post, this blog highlighted the story of an Oregon man that had been arrested and charged with various drunk driving related charges. In that case, the man was accused of causing a car accident that killed a 60-year-old woman. As many people know, allegations like this are very serious and can result in severe criminal penalties. However, people may not exactly understand the charges this man faces. In particular, many may wonder what aggravated vehicular homicide involves.

Under Oregon law, drivers have the legal responsibly to drive with care. They have to follow the rules of the road in order to keep other people safe. By disregarding these rules, drivers risk more than a speeding ticket, they risk serious criminal charges. Aggravated vehicular homicide is one of these more serious criminal charges.

Clackamas accident leads to multiple charges including DUII

When Oregon residents are caught driving after having too much to drink, there can be serious legal consequences. When a person is accused of drunk driving, that person risks losing their driver's license, being sentenced to jail time and being fined. These consequences can have long-term effects on the person's personal and professional lives. However, the potential consequences for a DUI increase if another person was hurt by the allegedly drunk driver.

Recently, an Oregon man was charged with multiple offenses after such an accident. According to reports, the man was driving in the Clackamas area when an accident occurred. Specifically, the man was driving and Infinity G35 on an I-205 exit ramp near Southeast Sunnyside Road when the accident occurred. Police say that the man's alcohol use and speed contributed to him crashing into a line of cars waiting at a red light at around 7:00 p.m.

Operating under the influence and boating in Oregon

When the temperatures outside heat up, many Oregonians hit local waterways to have some fun. While boating, swimming and other watersports can be fun, Oregon residents must remember that the state has laws about drinking and boating. Like driving under the influence, boating under the influence is illegal in Oregon. Not only can drinking and boating lead to safety hazards for passengers, it can result in criminal charges.

When on the water, law enforcement officials can enforce these laws. These operating under the influence laws are enforced not only by the Oregon State Police but also by the U.S. Coast Guard and county sheriffs. If a person is found with a blood alcohol content level of .08 percent or higher, then the person can be charged with an OUI offense.

Protecting against a driver's license suspension

If people make the mistake of driving under the influence, they can face a variety of criminal penalties. Jail or prison time, aggressive fines, probation and mandatory drivers education classes might come to mind when people think about the penalties for a conviction on DUI charges. However, the penalties do not stop there. There is a civil case that accompanies DUI charges. In this case, the Oregon DMV will take steps to revoke or suspend a person's driver's license.

Many Oregonians use their driver's licenses on a daily basis. Losing their license could cause many hardships in a person's life. It may become very difficult for the person to get between home and work, to see family and friends or to get to stores. Depending on the facts in a particular case, you can lose your license for between 90 days and three years. Therefore, it is imperative that people fight to keep their licenses. This isn't about a temporary inconvenience, but it's about protecting your future.

What is Oregon's Deferred Adjudication Program?

Humans are prone to making mistakes. People act out in the heat of the moment and may make decisions that are not in their best interests. In some cases, these decisions can result in criminal charges. Misdemeanor charges are common for less serious offenses. These can include shoplifting, petty-theft, simple assault, certain drug charges and traffic infractions.

When a person is charged with a misdemeanor, that person can still face penalties. In Oregon, the exact penalties vary based on the severity of the misdemeanor. If the accused person is facing a Class A misdemeanor, they could be sentenced to up to one year in jail and a $6,250 fine. On the other hand, if the person is only charged with a Class C misdemeanor, then they can only be sentenced to 30 days in jail and a $1,250 fine.

Responding to a traffic citation in Oregon

Many Oregon residents drive a car on a daily basis. Most of these drivers probably understand that they must follow rules of the road and all traffic laws. These include speed limits, license requirements and other safe driving rules. If people do not follow these rules, they risk being charged with a traffic violation. This can be as simple as a speeding ticket, or as serious as a misdemeanor charge.

When people are faced with a traffic citation, they may not think much about it. Even if they believe that they are innocent, they may not think that they have many options for proceeding with the case. However, in Oregon, there are actually four ways to respond to a traffic violation.

Misdemeanor charge dropped against Portland man

When a person is charged with a crime, other people may be quick to judge the accused. The media, neighbors, friends, employers and other members of the community might condemn a person as guilty before criminal proceedings have even taken place. Portland residents should understand, however, that just because a person has been charged with a crime, that does not mean those charges won't eventually be dropped.

Recently, this occurred with a 24-year-old man in Portland. According to reports, the man is a community advocate that sits on the TriMet Transit Equality Advisory Committee. He was apparently on a city bus when he noticed a leaky vent. Reports claim that the man approached the bus driver about the vent but was met with hostility. After a third attempt to broach the subject with the driver, the man was asked to leave the bus. Police claim that he refused and they were forced to remove him. He was subsequently charged with a second-degree trespassing charge, a misdemeanor.

What is criminal trespassing in Oregon?

Not all criminal charges are the result of a physical altercation or from the possession of contraband. Sometimes, criminal charges are the result of a person's interaction with the property of another. For example, there may be times when you are on property that you do not own. Sometime this can be intentional and, sometimes, this happens by mistake. Oregon residents might wonder: when do criminal trespassing charges apply?

According to ORS section 164.255, there are four situations in which a person could be charged with criminal trespass in the first degree in Oregon. This charge is a Class A misdemeanor. Under this section, if a person unlawfully enters or remains in a dwelling, that person commits a first degree criminal trespass. Additionally, a person could commit this misdemeanor if the person unlawfully enters or remains on the rights of way, tracks, bridges or yards of a railroad.

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