Domestic Violence Defense in Oregon

There are several types of “domestic violence” (DV) charges in Oregon. How you are treated and what your defenses may be depends on which county your case was filed in, as well as additional factors such as the particular facts of your case, prior criminal history (if any), whether children were present and so on.

‘Person Crime’ is a designation given under Oregon law to certain specific offenses that involve offensive person to person conduct. Person crimes can be either person felonies or person misdemeanors. If someone is convicted of a person crime, the designation itself has little impact at time of sentencing. Where these offenses really come into play is when an individual who has previously been convicted of a person crime is sentenced on a new felony charge. At that point any prior person crimes in the individual’s past will serve to greatly enhance his or her sentence pursuant to the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission Sentencing Guidelines Grid.

This is the lowest level offense that someone is likely to face when arrested following a domestic disturbance. A Class ‘B’ misdemeanor, it is also the only DV offense that is not a person crime. Generally, any time one person makes unwanted physical contact with another person and the offended party reports it to the police, the crime of harassment is charged. Harassment is also the most common charge that is pleaded down to in DV cases. That is to say the district attorney (DA) may agree to drop more serious charges (Assault-4) for a plea to Harassment during negotiations with defense counsel.

Assault-4, as it is commonly known, is probably the most common offense charged in DV cases.       A person commits the crime of assault in the fourth degree if the person:

(a) Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes physical injury to another; or

(b) With criminal negligence causes physical injury to another by means of a deadly weapon.

Generally, Assault-4 is a Class ‘A’ misdemeanor, unless it was committed in the presence of a child or the person charged with the assault has previously been convicted of assaulting the same person, when it is charged as a Class ‘C’ felony.


Harassment and Assault-4 are by far the most common offenses charged by the DA when someone is arrested following a domestic disturbance. However, there are many other offenses that individual can find themselves charged with after being arrested following a domestic disturbance. Many Oregon counties offer ‘domestic violence diversion’ programs or ‘deferred sentencing’ programs that can eventually end in dismissal of the charges (after months of counseling and treatment). An experienced Oregon criminal defense attorney with a solid background handling crimes of domestic violence can be crucial to the navigating the quagmire of these cases and helping you determine the best possible outcome.

Contact Domestic Violence Defense Attorney Squire Bozorth today to discuss your case.

Oregon Marijuana Lawyer – Defense Attorney

As Oregonians know well, marijuana occupies a unique spot in Oregon’s Criminal Code. Both criminal and non-criminal (violation) and often outright legal (medical), marijuana law in Oregon can be especially confusing for the layperson. Heck, even a seasoned marijuana lawyer can be perplexed by the way the criminal justice system treats this humble plant.

VIOLATION: Under ORS 475.864(2) possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is declared a violation. What is a violation? Most importantly it is not a crime. Crimes consist of misdemeanors and felonies. Violations can best be thought of as ‘tickets’. Speeding is a violation, so is running a red light. However, the violation of less than one ounce of marijuana can have onerous consequences including fines and in some cases ‘education’ classes.

FELONY: Once possession exceeds an ounce, Oregon law goes from 0 to 60 in the blink of an eye. No ‘misdemeanor’ middle ground, once a individual exceeds an ounce, possession of marijuana is classed as a ‘B’ felony. With maximums of 10 years in prison and $250,000 fine one can be sure that this is no mere ‘ticket’. Realistically, however, this crime is a level ‘1’ on the Oregon Sentencing Guidelines Grid (pdf here) and rarely results in more than 10 days jail (if any jail at all). Indeed many district attorney’s offices are willing to negotiate misdemeanor treatment for marijuana offenders. Still, there are significant risks any time one is charged with felony and the prudent defendant is wise to consult with an experienced Oregon criminal defense attorney regarding their particular situation.

Contact Marijuana Defense Attorney Squire Bozorth today for a free consultation about your case.

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