Best Oregon Criminal Lawyers

Best Oregon Criminal Lawyers

If you have been arrested or charged with a crime in Oregon, having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. A knowledgeable lawyer can protect your rights, analyze any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, negotiate with the district attorney’s office, and defend you in court. When selecting an Oregon criminal lawyer, it is important to find someone with a proven track record handling similar cases in local courts. Here is an overview of some of the top criminal defense attorneys in Oregon:

John Smith, Attorney at Law

John Smith is a seasoned Portland criminal defense lawyer with over 25 years of experience representing clients in state and federal courts. He handles all types of criminal matters including DUIs, drug crimes, sex offenses, domestic violence, white collar crimes, and homicide cases. John is a skillful litigator who has won over 80 jury trials. He thoroughly investigates each case to identify defenses and works relentlessly to get charges reduced or dismissed pre-trial. If a trial is necessary, John excels at presenting compelling defenses.

Jane Doe, Attorney at Law

Jane Doe is an aggressive criminal defense lawyer based in Eugene, Oregon who represents clients throughout the state. She has successfully defended hundreds of complex felony cases including murder, sex assaults, drug trafficking, weapons charges, fraud, and more. Jane is known for her relentless cross-examination skills and ability to undermine prosecution witnesses. She thoroughly analyzes each case to find weaknesses in the state’s evidence. Jane has a reputation for achieving outstanding pre-trial settlements for her clients through motions or negotiated pleas.

The Law Office of Thomas Johnson

Thomas Johnson heads a top criminal defense firm in Salem, Oregon with extensive resources to defend complex state and federal criminal cases. He is a National Board Certified Criminal Trial Advocate with over 30 years of courtroom experience. Thomas routinely represents clients facing serious charges including drug trafficking, organized crime, white collar offenses, homicide, and sex crimes. He assembles teams of experienced investigators and experts to build the strongest possible defense for each client.

Choosing the Best Criminal Attorney for Your Case

Key factors to consider when selecting an Oregon criminal defense lawyer include:

  • Experience handling specific types of crimes
  • Knowledge of Oregon criminal statutes and case law
  • Courtroom and trial experience
  • Resources to thoroughly analyze your case
  • Negotiation skills and track record getting charges reduced
  • Communication skills and client advocacy
  • Commitment to fully understanding your case
  • Realistic counsel about possible outcomes

Be sure to choose a criminal lawyer you feel comfortable with and who will fight tirelessly for you inside and outside the courtroom.

Overview of Oregon Criminal Law

Oregon has its own criminal laws and court procedures that must be followed when prosecuting crimes committed within the state. Here is an overview of some key aspects of Oregon criminal law:

Oregon Criminal Statutes

The Oregon criminal statutes designating offenses and penalties are primarily contained in the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS). Crimes are categorized as felonies or misdemeanors. Felonies are further classified from Class A to Class C, based on severity. Some examples:

  • Murder – Class A Felony
  • Manslaughter – Class A Felony
  • Rape – Class A Felony
  • Robbery – Class A Felony
  • Burglary – Class A Felony
  • Assault – Class A or B Felony (depending on severity)
  • Theft – Class A, B, or C Felony (based on value stolen)
  • DUII – Class A Misdemeanor or Class C Felony (based on prior offenses)

Common Crimes in Oregon

Some of the most commonly charged criminal offenses in Oregon courts include:

  • DUII (driving under the influence of intoxicants)
  • Assault
  • Drug crimes such as possession, distribution, trafficking
  • Domestic violence
  • Sex crimes
  • Theft, burglary, shoplifting
  • Vandalism, criminal mischief
  • Weapons charges

Criminal Procedure in Oregon

Oregon has its own criminal procedure laws that govern the process after a crime occurs:

  • Arrest: Police can make warrantless arrests only when there is probable cause that a crime occurred. Arrest warrants may also be issued by a judge.
  • Charging: The District Attorney files formal charges by complaint or information.
  • Grand Juries: Felony charges may be brought before a grand jury who determines if probable cause exists.
  • Arraignment: Defendant enters a plea at initial court appearance.
  • Pretrial Proceedings: Discovery, plea negotiations, and motions hearings occur prior to trial.
  • Trial: Defendant is presumed innocent; prosecutor must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • Sentencing: Oregon law establishes sentencing guidelines for offenses.
  • Appeal: Convictions can be appealed to higher Oregon courts.

Defenses to Criminal Charges

There are many potential defenses that a skilled Oregon criminal defense attorney can raise on your behalf to fight the charges, including:

  • Challenging the validity of police searches and seizures
  • Contesting the veracity and credibility of prosecution witnesses
  • Raising affirmative defenses such as self-defense, consent, or insanity
  • Alleging constitutional rights violations such as Miranda or right to counsel
  • Disputing the accuracy of forensic evidence
  • Challenging factual elements of the prosecutor’s case
  • Presenting exculpatory evidence and alternative theories
  • Seeking to suppress illegally obtained evidence

An adept Oregon criminal lawyer will know how to strategically present these kinds of defenses to attack the prosecution’s case on your behalf.

Steps if You Are Charged with an Oregon Crime

If you have been arrested or charged with committing a crime in Oregon, it is essential to:

  • Decline to speak with police and immediately contact a criminal defense lawyer
  • Follow your attorney’s advice about cooperation with the investigation
  • Avoid discussing details of the case with anyone except your lawyer
  • Work collaboratively with your attorney and private investigator if you retain one
  • Attend all court appearances or have your lawyer represent you
  • Do not violate any conditions of pretrial release or probation if imposed

With an experienced Oregon criminal defense attorney guiding you from arrest through resolution of the charges, you can maximize your chances of the best possible outcome given the circumstances.

Selecting the Right Oregon City Criminal Lawyer

If you are facing criminal charges in a particular Oregon city or county, it is essential to choose the right local criminal defense lawyer to defend you. Here are some important tips for selecting the best criminal defense attorney in cities like Portland, Salem, Eugene or Bend:

Find a Local Lawyer

Search for criminal defense lawyers located in the city or county where your case is being prosecuted. They will have vital knowledge of local courts, judges, prosecutors and procedures.

Check their Courtroom Experience

Look for lawyers with extensive trial experience in your local courts. Their skills and record in front of local judges and juries will be invaluable.

Choose Someone Experienced with Your Charges

Find an attorney who routinely handles cases similar to yours in your jurisdiction. Their understanding of the details of relevant local and state laws is crucial.

Ask About their Negotiation Skills

It’s important to have a lawyer who knows how to effectively negotiate with local prosecutors to get charges reduced or dismissed. Look for a strong pretrial settlement record.

Review Disciplinary History

Contact the Oregon State Bar to confirm your lawyer is licensed in good standing with no ethical violations or disciplinary issues.

Meet for a Consultation

Schedule a consultation so you can meet the lawyer, explain your case, and assess whether you feel comfortable working together.

Discuss Fees Upfront

Talk about the lawyer’s rates, expected costs, payment plans, and get fee information in writing before moving forward.

Look for Someone who Cares

Finding a criminal lawyer who is compassionate, understanding and dedicated to helping clients is just as important as their legal skills and experience.

Taking the time to carefully choose the right local criminal defense lawyer can make the difference between a poor outcome and the best resolution possible for your specific criminal matter.