Blog

  • Self-Defense: Use of Deadly Force in the Home

    Recently, a Multnomah County grand jury declined to indict a mother who shot and killed a stranger whom she discovered in her child’s bedroom. This terrifying situation brought Oregon’s laws regarding the use of deadly force to the forefront. As an expert in the area, KATU news reached out for my analysis as an experienced Portland criminal defense attorney. Prior to the grand jury decision, I expressed skepticism that charges would be brought. As I noted in the story, a person is allowed to defend themselves with the use of deadly force in Oregon when they believe that someone is committing a burglary in their home.  Turns out that analysis was correct. Although tragic, the actions taken by this terrified mom to protect her kids were not criminal. If you are charged with a crime that involves the use of force – deadly or otherwise – you should call my office and consult with an experienced Portland criminal defense attorney today.  See the full interview here....
  • Expungement of PCS felony conviction after 3 years ̵

    The Oregon Legislature has made several key changes to the expungment statute (ORS 137.225) this legislative session. Oregon Senate Bill 908 amends the current law to allow a person convicted of a felony for possession of a Schedule 1 controlled substance (i.e. Heroin, Marijuana, etc.) to expunge the record of that conviction after three years rather than 20. Recognizing that a felony conviction has many negative collateral consequences that make it more difficult to get housing and impair one’s ability to gain employment, this change will help many people who have a single conviction for a felony drug offense put that conviction behind them and move on. If you have a PCS Felony conviction contact my office today and speak to an experienced Oregon expungement attorney to see if you are eligible to expunge your conviction....
  • Former client seeks justice in civil suit.

    I represented the plaintiff in this suit in his criminal trial in Washington County where he was acquitted after a jury trial. The impact of an arrest and prosecution can be a frustrating and damaging situation, especially under circumstances where extreme force is used by the police in making an arrest. You can read about the case here....
  • Keep Calm and Do the Right Thing

    It could happen to you. You might be late to that meeting or rushing to pick up the kids from soccer practice. All of us are guilty of negligence on the road at some point or another, but if the stars align just right, your speeding or carelessness can cause damages with eternal consequences. The most obvious way to avoid causing harm to someone’s person or property when you are behind the wheel is to follow the laws: no speeding, no drinking, and no texting. However, none of us are perfect and accidents can happen. It all comes down to those crucial moments after an accident. If you play your cards right, you might be able to mitigate the damage you have caused, but if you panic and make a mistake, you are most likely just going to dig a deeper hole for yourself. You may have seen the news coverage of the fatal hit and run accident in Vancouver on January 19th. A driver allegedly struck and killed a 45-year-old woman and her 28-year-old daughter. In the panic of the moment the defendant fled the scene rather than calling 911. The police were able to track down the suspect......
  • Restitution now required as part of Oregon DUI diversion

    Oregon House Bill 2627, which took effect upon passage, amends the DUI diversion law in Oregon to require restitution to be paid as part of the DUI diversion agreement. Restitution includes any economic damages suffered by a victim that are the result of the criminal activity. Prior to House Bill 2627, a court was not allowed to impose restitution as part of the DUI diversion agreement. Instead, prosecutors would often file additional charges to account for any economic damages suffered by a victim (i.e. Criminal Mischief, Failure to Perform the Duties of a Driver, Reckless Driving, etc.). Depending on the county or municipality in which the DUI was committed, various prosecutors offices took different approaches to deal with these charges. Some require pleas to these charges and others would allow a defendant to pay the restitution in exchange for a dismissal. Now, it appears a defendant may be able to avoid an additional criminal charge by paying the restitution as part of the diversion agreement rather than being require to deal with an additional charge in some cases. House Bill 2627 also allows the court to dismiss a DUI charge with prejudice even if a defendant has not paid all......
  • Get your revoked driver’s license back in Oregon

    If your driver’s license has been permanently revoked based on a third or subsequent DUII/DUI/DWI conviction or a felony DUII/DUI/DWI conviction in Oregon you can petition the court to get your license back. If you were convicted under ORS 813.010 and your license was permanently revoked, there is still hope. After the lapse of ten years from the date that you were sentenced to probation or ten years from the date that you were released from incarceration, under ORS 809.235 you can petition the court to restore your diving privileges. The court is not required to reinstate your driving privileges, and to get your license back you must have a hearing in front of a judge. In order to restore your right to drive it is critical that you consult with an attorney knowledgeable in the area to formulate an effective strategy to present to the court. The court will consider a number of factors when determining whether to restore your driving privileges. These are: The nature of the offense for which the driving privileges were revoked; The degree of violence involved in the offense. Other criminal and relevant noncriminal behavior of the petitioner both before and after the conviction......
  • Zimmerman verdict draws attention to Oregon’s self

    The George Zimmerman acquittal earlier this week has left many feeling unsatisfied with the verdict in that case and has raised questions about the use of self-defense in so-called “stand your ground states.” The Gresham Outlook ran a story today and I offered insight into the law in Oregon. Check out the link here. ...
  • HB 2116: DUI diversion law ammended in Oregon

    Presently, persons in Oregon’s DUI diversion program are required to install an approved ignition interlock device on any vehicle that they are operating during the diversion period under ORS 813.602. This requirement of diversion was passed in 2011. Prior to the 2011 amendment, individuals in diversion were not required to install an ignition interlock device while they were in diversion, however, they were required to install the device if they had been convicted for DUI after their license was reinstated or when operating on a hardship permit. A person convicted of DUI in Oregon is required to install the device but ORS 813.606 provides an exception to the requirement for employer owned vehicles driven for work purposes under certain circumstances. That means that if someone needs to drive for work, their employer is not required to install the device on work vehicles. This exception means in many circumstances that persons convicted of DUI are allowed to keep their jobs. However, when the Oregon legislature amended the Diversion law in 2011, they didn’t extend the employer owned vehicle exception to persons required to install an ignition interlock device based on their participation in the DUI diversion program. In an odd quirk......
  • Hillsboro woman charged with robbery over childcare expe

    Yesterday, the Oregonian reported that a Hillsboro woman was arrested and charged with robbery in the first degree, unlawful use of a weapon, and theft in the third degree after confronting her estranged husband over childcare expenses. The Hillsboro Police say that the woman made out with between $300 and $400 in cash after firing a single shot into the ceiling of an Econo Lodge hotel room ceiling.  According to the Oregonian, the husband has a history of domestic abuse against his wife....
  • Criminal defense attorney argues “Sleep Driving

    Recently, the Oregon Supreme Court decided that an individual’s rights were violated when they were not allowed an opportunity to present a defense in a DUI case. The defense that the attorney wanted to present was that the defendant was “sleep driving.” The Oregon Supreme Court found that the trial court’s decision not to allow the defense attorney to present a “sleep driving” defense was a violation of the defendant’s rights and a violation of the law. What the Oregon Supreme Court has done here is simply reinforce a staple tenant of criminal law: in order to be convicted of crime, you must commit a crime of your own volition. That is, the act of committing a crime must be a voluntary one. The criminal defense attorney in this case did a good job preserving the issue at the trial level. As a result of the work done by the criminal defense attorney, the defendant will get a new trial and he will be able to present this “sleep driving” defense in his next DUI trial. Check out the Oregonian article here....