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Portland Criminal Defense Law Blog

What are the different types of drug crimes?

Some types of criminal charges are very specific while others are very broad. The phrase "drug crimes" actually encompasses a wide variety of specific drug charges. Depending on the specific charges that a person faces, the penalties can be very different. Therefore, it is important for Oregon residents to understand the types of drug charges they face. In general, drug charges fall into one of four broader categories.

The first category is drug possession charges. These are charges for being caught with a small amount of drugs for personal use. Drug possession charges can be state or federal charges. They, too, can be broken down. Simple possession is possession for recreational use only, where possession with intent is when a person intends to distribute that amount to another.

DUII charges for driver in Portland crash

Drunk driving charges are not black-and-white. Instead, there are a variety of factors that can influence the specific charges that a person faces when arrested for driving under the influence. These factors can include the person's blood alcohol content level, the person's criminal history, if property was damaged prior to the person's arrest and if someone else was injured by the suspected drunk driver. The facts surrounding a person's arrest can, therefore, become important in a drunk driving case.

Recently, in Portland a man was arrested on DUII charges. In this case, police say that the man caused an accident while driving. Specifically, they claim that he lost control over his car and crashed into a building. The accident occurred near the intersection of 33rd and Northeast Sandy Boulevard. Apparently, his car was found through the front doors of a local business. However, no one was hurt in the accident.

Certain factors affect blood alcohol content level

If an Oregon resident is convicted of driving under the influence, that person can face serious consequences. The penalties can include jail or prison time, large fines, alcohol education classes, ignition interlock devices, loss of drivers' licenses and more. To avoid these penalties, people need to avoid conviction. While there may be some ways to fight charges once they have been brought, the best way to avoid these penalties is avoid driving with an elevated blood alcohol content level.

People may not realize that there are a variety of factors that can change how much they are affected by alcohol. These factors can affect a person's BAC level and how susceptible they are to drunk driving charges.

Probable cause and criminal charges

In a recent blog post, this blog explained that in order to get a valid warrant police had to prove to a judge that they had probable cause that a crime had occurred or was about to occur. Without proper probable cause, police could not obtain a warrant and, therefore, could not legally search a person or the person's property.

Probable cause is a requirement created by the United States' Constitution. Specifically, by the Fourth Amendment. Generally, it means that police must have enough of a reason to act. But it also means that police must have quality information. In most cases, a police officer's hunch or suspicion is not enough to meet the probable cause requirement.

What are the requirements of a valid warrant?

From time to time, this blog has mentioned that police officers must have a warrant to perform many searches. In fact, a warrant is often required before an officer can legally search someone, their house or their car -- unless an exception applies. Additionally, a warrant is often required in order for a law enforcement official to make an arrest.

If a valid warrant is not obtained before a search or arrest occurs -- and no exception applies -- then the search is considered illegal. Evidence obtained in an illegal search cannot be used in court. Therefore, if a warrant was not valid prosecutors may have a harder time obtaining a conviction. People may wonder, then, what makes a warrant valid?

Protect your record from misdemeanor charges

Misdemeanor charges may not seem like a big deal at first but when people sit down and really look at the consequences they face they may soon see a different reality. Misdemeanor charges can result in up to a year in jail and large fines. They also run the possibility of interfering with a person's employment, school opportunities, housing options and more.

They can also create a criminal record which can follow people for years in the future. In particular, young people me face additional penalties or consequences because of misdemeanor charges as they mature into adults. Therefore, it is important for everyone to create a specific criminal defense strategy to combat misdemeanor charges.

Shooting leaves 16-year-old with felony charges

In a lot of cases, criminal charges stem from one incident or act. They result from one moment in time where someone either failed to do something or acted in a way the person shouldn't have. Yet, the consequences from this one moment have the potential to stay with a person for the rest of the person's life. When the accused is young, the consequences can be even more acute.

Recently in Portland, a 16-year-old boy has been arrested on felony charges. According to reports, the boy is accused of being involved in a gang related shooting in August. Police claim that the boy was responsible for shots that were fired outside of a bar on Aug. 9 on Cully Blvd. in Northeast Portland. Reports say that no one was hurt in the incident. Following a lengthy investigation, the boy was arrested at his home in Southeast Portland. He is being held in a juvenile detention facility.

What is Measure 91?

Over the past several years there has been a shift in the way the country sees marijuana use. Subsequently, many states -- like Oregon -- have decriminalized marijuana use. Recently, states have gone ever further allowing residents to legal use recreational marijuana. As many Oregonians likely know, Measure 91 was recently passed. Some may wonder how it effects marijuana use within the state.

According to Oregon Liquor Control Commission, Measure 91 makes marijuana possession legal in some circumstances. Starting on July 15, 2015, Oregon will allow for the possession and personal use of recreational marijuana. The regulation of its use, the taxation of the drug and licenses will be controlled by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

Protect your freedom to drive after DUI allegations

The ability to drive is a right that many people look forward to in their teen years and come to depend on as adults. Without the ability to drive a car, people may not have a way to get to work, to school or to other important activities. They might not be able to transport their children where they need to go. Or, undertake important business. When a drunk driving related arrest threatens a person's ability to drive, that person needs to act fast to protect this right. In Oregon, people only have 10 days to contest a drivers' license suspension.

In Oregon, people can lose their driver's license in a number of situations including being arrested on or convicted of DUI charges or refusing to submit to a breath test. These suspensions can last for anywhere between three months or three years. In any situation, residents should know that they have legal rights and options when it comes to protecting their drivers' licenses.

Penalties for misdemeanors in Oregon

In Oregon, people can face penalties for a variety of behavior. Some of these penalties can come in form of violations -- like traffic citations -- others result in more serious criminal charges. The most serious charges are called felonies, while lesser charges are misdemeanors. Each of these categories can be broken down further depending on the specific charges. The type of charge that a person faces will change the penalty that the person can be sentenced to if convicted.There are four main types of misdemeanors in Oregon. The first is a Class A misdemeanor. This is the most serious misdemeanor charge. The maximum sentence for a Class A misdemeanor is up to one year in jail and a $6,250 fine. The second type of misdemeanor is a Class B misdemeanor. If convicted of a Class B misdemeanor the maximum penalty is six months in jail and a $3,500 fine. There are also a Class C misdemeanor. This is the least serious of the misdemeanor charges. When convicted of a Class C misdemeanor the maximum penalty includes up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,250.

There is also a fourth type of misdemeanor charge. This type is called unclassified misdemeanors. The maximum penalty for unclassified misdemeanors is defined by the particular criminal statute that controls the crime. Therefore, the penalties vary based on the particular facts of each case.

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