When a person is confronted with a criminal charge, it can be one of the most harrowing experiences in their life. Having the full power of the state against you can make a person feel small and that the odds are stacked against them. At this firm we represent clients who have been charged with a crime and help them stand up to the full power of the state to make sure that they can get a fair shake when it comes to decisions about their charges.
Our firm represents clients in a variety of criminal matters including:
- DUI and other vehicular and traffic charges
- DUI and DMV Hearings
- Domestic Violence
- Restraining Orders
- Drug Offenses
Common Questions Relating to Criminal Law
1. Should I talk to the police?
There are three rules that I always tell people when they ask this question. 1. Do not ever talk to the police. 2. Do not ever talk to the police. 3. Do not talk to the police. It is that important. When the police take a person into custody they must read that person something called the Miranda Rights. This statement includes the right to remain silent. The best thing a person can do for themselves when being questioned by police or being taken into custody is to exercise this right. Anything you say or do will be used against you and the police will say and do anything to try and get you to talk. The best thing to do in this situation is not say anything and ask for an attorney.
2. When should I get an attorney if I am being investigated?
If you or someone you know is being investigated by the police for any offense, you should get an attorney as soon as possible even if you, or that person, are innocent of the charges being investigated. Having an attorney can help to focus the district attorney and police investigation onto people and facts that they may ignore if they had to do the investigation on their own. The attorney can also help the client through any interviews the police might want to conduct and find witnesses that are important to the case. It is much easier to do this before charges and the investigation is ongoing. The attorney will also protect that client's rights for the duration of the case to make sure the client gets a fair chance with the judge or jury.
3. How do I enter Diversion if I have a DUII charge?
Diversion is a program that is available to first time DUII offenders. It involves pleading to the offense and entering the diversion program. If the person successfully completes the program then the judge will dismiss the plea and the person will not have a conviction for anything on their record. To enter Diversion, a person must be on their first DUII, and there cannot be any other charges involved with the case like endangering the welfare of a minor or a hit and run. Sometimes an attorney can work with the district attorney if there are extra charges, but a good rule of thumb is that you will not be able to enter diversion unless you do not have those extra charges. In addition, the person must not have participated in any previous diversions in the previous 15 years and the person cannot have completed any similar alcohol and drug program during that time. If all these conditions are met and the person agrees to all the stipulations of diversion, that person will likely be allowed in.
4. How can I get a conviction or arrest removed from my record?
Oregon allows a person to clear some juvenile and criminal charges from their record. Not all charges are eligible to be removed, but a lot are eligible. When a court is looking at whether to clear someone’s record, the court will often look at how the person did on probation or parole, if the person has committed any offenses (including violations) since the conviction, and the seriousness of the offenses involved. The same can be said for juvenile offenses, and the same factors are taken into account when someone is trying to clear their record of these types of offenses. As far as time goes, a person can usually try to expunge their record after 5 years of being off of probation, but a court is more likely to grant it if more time has passed or that person has a record of superlative community service in the interim.
5. How can I get the no contact order removed?
In a case involving a domestic dispute, the court will likely institute a no-contact order between the defendant and the alleged victim. The district attorney usually requests this as he believes that having a no-contact order will protect the alleged victim and will also allow the police to continue their investigation without having the alleged victim talk to the defendant. This situation likely puts strain on the people involved as someone is forced to move out of the home and the duration of the no-contact order is usually unknown. An attorney will be able to look at the situation and let the defendant know if the no-contact order will be staying in place for a long time, or if there is a chance to remove it. As criminal attorneys we can help a person get the no-contact order amended or removed by filing a motion with the court to have it amended or removed, before the court has a trial on the underlying charges.
Our firm handles all of the above matters. If you have any further questions or additional questions, please call us to schedule a consultation to speak about your issue in more depth.