Protect Your Family’s Freedom, Future and Reputation.
Over one million incidents of domestic violence are reported to the police each year in the United States. Under Oregon law, domestic violence is defined as abuse between family or household members. Domestic violence involves intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause physical injury, placing another in fear of imminent serious physical injury or any form of sexual abuse. The most common domestic violence crimes in Oregon include Assault in the Fourth Degree (misdemeanor or felony), Menacing (misdemeanor), Strangulation (currently a felony / previously a misdemeanor) and all levels of Sexual Assault crimes (felonies).
Though the crime of Assault IV is generally a misdemeanor, in the context of domestic violence cases this crime is frequently charged as a felony. Assault IV is a felony if the conduct is committed in the presence of or is witnessed by a minor child, or if the accused has previously been convicted of assaulting the same victim.
When an officer responds to an incident a domestic disturbance and has probable cause to believe that an assault has occurred between family members, or has reason to believe that one family member has placed another family member in fear of imminent serious physical injury, the officer must arrest and take into custody the individual believed to have committed the crime. This means that when an officer believes that domestic violence has occurred, there will be an arrest and the accused will spend time in jail – even if later found not guilty. In addition, as a condition of release from jail the court must impose a mandatory “no contact” provision in the release agreement. This means that the accused will be prohibited from having any contact with the victim, victim’s children, or witnesses until the case is fully resolved. This often means that the accused will be required to move out of the home and will not be able to have any contact with the victim for a minimum of several months. Though the purpose of such a condition is to protect the victim from further violence, the prohibition of contact often carries negative collateral consequences as well.
Security For Your Family
Beyond the normal consequences of a criminal conviction, domestic violence convictions carry additional serious collateral consequences. Unlike most misdemeanor convictions, domestic violence convictions prohibit the individual from purchasing and possessing firearms and ammunition. In Oregon, anyone who has ever been convicted of a misdemeanor “that has as an element of the offense the use or attempted use of physical force or the threatened use of a deadly weapon” is prohibited from owning, purchasing or possessing firearms. The date of the conviction is irrelevant, meaning a conviction that occurred before this law was passed can still impair an individual’s second amendment rights. Most often the misdemeanor crimes which cause the loss of second amendment rights are: Assault in the Fourth Degree (domestic violence), Strangulation (domestic violence), and Menacing (domestic violence).
Our attorneys have been helping individuals navigate the complexity of domestic violence charges for almost five decades. We have deep experience and are here to help you. If you, a friend, or a family member have been charged with a domestic violence crime anywhere in Oregon, call our office today. Hiring an experienced professional can make all the difference. We can help.