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|"I defend people facing misdemeanor and felony assault charges in the State of Oregon."|
I just got arrested / cited for an Oregon assault charge. What happens now?
As a so-called person crime, assault charges are treated more seriously than many other charges. Often times, a person arrested for assault is booked into custody and brought before a judge the next business day. This is particularly true for a domestic assault or a felony assault charge. Sometimes though a person charged with a minor assault charge (such as assault in the fourth degree) may be given a citation or release agreement to appear in custody a few weeks down the road.
If you are charged with assault in the second degree or assault in the first degree, you will likely have a very high bail, because these are Measure 11 offenses. If you are unable to post bail, your attorney may be able to set a bail reduction hearing in an attempt to get a judge to lower your bail.
If you are released from custody after your arrest (whether on bail or on your own recognizance), be sure to read, understand, and obey any release agreement or release conditions. This is especially true of any "no contact" order. Do not have contact, direct or indirect, with the complaining witness in your case or you risk being taken into custody. This can be difficult if the complaining witness is your spouse or significant other, but it is critically important. Your attorney may be able to request the judge to modify the no contact order at a later time.
What is the difference between the various Oregon assault charges?
There are four degrees of assault in the State of Oregon. The different assault charges are summarized in very general terms below. Please note that the charges are abbreviated as follows:
Keep in mind, this is only a general summary of the various assault charges. Another assault crime is Assaulting a Public Safety Officer or APSO. You commit the crime of assaulting a public safety officer if you intentionally or knowingly causes physical injury to another person, knowing the other person to be a peace (police) officer, corrections officer, youth correction officer, parole and probation officer, animal control officer, firefighter or staff member, and while the public safety officer is acting in the course of official duty. APSO is a Class C felony.
Oregon criminal law does not use the term "battery" as some states do.
How does assault in the fourth degree go from a misdemeanor to a felony crime?
Ordinarily a charge of assault in the fourth degree is a Class A misdemeanor; however, an assault in the fourth degree becomes a Class C felony if the defendant:
(a) Has previously been convicted of assaulting the same victim;
(b) Has previously been convicted at least three times of assault and all of the assaults involved domestic violence;
(c) The assault is committed in the immediate presence of, or is witnessed by, the person’s or the victim’s minor child or stepchild or a minor child residing within the household of the person or victim; or
(d) The person commits the assault knowing that the victim is pregnant.
What about "assault and battery," "aggravated assault" or "assault with a deadly weapon?"
Oregon doesn't use those terms in this state's criminal code, although if someone is assaulted with a gun, the state may add the words "with a firearm" such as assault in the first degree with a firearm.
What about the crime of "vehicular assault?"
Oregon does not have a distinct crime called vehicular assault. If you injure someone while recklessly (or intentionally) driving a vehicle (i.e. you're DUII) you face one of the assault charges outlined in the table above (usually Assault IV, Assault III, or Assault II).
What is meant by "domestic violence?"
Domestic violence is a term that refers to abuse between family or household members. Accusations of assaults between family or household members are usually treated more seriously by the courts and the various DA's Offices than assaults between strangers. Your lawyer can explain more about domestic assaults. Keep in mind that there is no crime in Oregon called "domestic violence" or "domestic assault." The charges are the same as in the table above.
What is a civil compromise?
Certain crimes, including some assault crimes, may be compromised and dismissed if the complaining witness (victim) and the court (judge) agree. There is a formal process to apply to have charges dismissed pursuant to a civil compromise. First, the complaining witness must acknowledge in writing that the person has received satisfaction for the injury. Next, the court must be convinced that dismissal of the charge(s) pursuant to civil compromise is lawful and appropriate. If both of these conditions are met, the court will sign an order dismissing the charge(s) pursuant to the civil compromise.
Several issues may affect the ability of a defendant to obtain a civil compromise. Whether the DA objects, consents, or takes no position is a significant factor. Also, if a defendant has a prior record or a prior civil compromise, getting the court to agree to a civil compromise may not be possible. You cannot civilly compromise an assault involving family or household members (domestic violence), an assault in the first degree, an attempted assault in the first degree, or an assault in the second degree.
I was defending myself. How can I be charged with assault?
Under Oregon law, "self defense" and "defense of others" and "defense of property" are valid defenses to assault (and some other) charges. Ultimately, its up to the jury to determine if they feel the use of these defenses are an adequate defense to the crime charged.
Can I expunge or seal an assault conviction?
Some assault convictions (Class A misdemeanors / Class C felonies) are eligible to be expunged or sealed if you meet the eligibility requirements in the statutes. Examples include: assault in the fourth degree; assault in the third degree; attempted assault in the fourth degree; attempted assault in the third degree; and attempted assault in the second degree.
However, you cannot expunge a conviction for assault in the second degree or assault in the first degree or attempted assault in the first degree. If you're found not guilty or the case is otherwise dismissed, you should be able to expunge the arrest record at some point. Assaults involving domestic violence may be expunged if they are otherwise eligible.
How do I contact David Lesh for help with my Oregon assault case?
Mr. Lesh does not charge for an initial consultation. Call his office at 503.546.2928 to speak with him. Mr. Lesh's office is located at 434 NW 19th Avenue in Portland.
David N Lesh
Oregon Assault Lawyer
Former Oregon prosecutor
No cost initial consultation
434 NW 19th Avenue
Portland, OR 97209
David Lesh Mini Biography
Oregon attorney since 1990;
Former assault prosecutor;
Former lawyer to the Portland Police Bureau;
Sought after criminal defense attorney.
"Again and again, thank you for everything."
B. and R.
"I cannot thank you enough for your outstanding representation and paragon performance in the courtroom on Friday. It was a pleasure to have someone as adept as you to argue for the reduced sentence . . . Thanks a million." J.
First Degree Assault
Second Degree Assault
Third Degree Assault
Fourth Degree Assault
State of Oregon
Hood River County
Assault Defense Lawyer
DV = Domestic Violence
Sentencing and Penalties
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