Experienced Criminal & DUI Attorney

Have you been accused of assaulting or harming your spouse or other family member?

Domestic violence is a very commonly-charged crime in the Portland area and throughout the state of Oregon. An experienced criminal defense attorney who understands assault cases, and the special nature of domestic violence cases, can help you defend yourself from this type of accusation.

Domestic violence usually refers to criminal physical violence between people who are married or dating. Oregon’s domestic violence laws are relatively broad. Law enforcement typically reacts swiftly to reports of domestic violence and will intervene to prevent future abuse from occurring.

When called to the scene, the police will often arrest one person solely on the basis of the stories that they hear in that particular moment, even in cases where there is little or no physical proof. Anyone can see the benefit of the police erring on the side of caution in a domestic violence situation. However, in many unfortunate circumstances, innocent people are arrested based on false accusations or misunderstandings. If you have been unfairly or maliciously accused of domestic violence, you need a dedicated Portland criminal attorney fighting for you.

What types of crimes are considered domestic violence?

There are many different crimes that are related to domestic violence. Domestic violence or abuse can involve any form of physical, emotional, financial or sexual abuse or acts of intimidation, menacing, or molestation between dating partners, married couples, or other family members.

Under Oregon law, domestic violence crimes can occur between any of the following people:

  • Spouses
  • Former spouses
  • People related by blood, marriage or adoption
  • People living together in a relationship, or who were previously living together in a relationship
  • People who have been involved in a sexually intimate relationship together
  • The parents of  a child, even if the parents are not married

Abuse between you and any of the people described above can refer to some or all of the following acts:

  • Attempting to cause injury or intentionally or recklessly causing injury to your spouse or family members. This may include kicking, punching, choking, or throwing objects.
  • Intentionally or recklessly placing your spouse or other family member in fear of an imminent bodily injury. If it is reasonable for a person in their position to be fearful that your abuse was imminent, the government may be able to accuse you of domestic violence.
  • Forcing your sexual partner to have sex through threats or force.

Depending on the circumstances, other crimes that may be associated with domestic violence or the abuse of a loved one include:

  • Child abuse, endangerment or neglect: children are dependent upon their parents and may be abused by one parent or the other in difficult family circumstances.
  • Elder abuse or neglect: senior citizens are dependent on loved ones in many cases and it is not uncommon for them to be taken advantage of financially or physically and emotionally ignored or neglected.
  • Stalking and threats: Stalking is where you place the other person in reasonable fear for their physical safety and well-being. This sometimes occurs after a sexual or romantic relationship has come to an end.
  • Financial abuse: taking financial advantage of a loved one or using financial circumstances to coerce a family or household member into taking actions is a crime. A good example is wrongfully taking or using Social Security, pension or retirement funds from an elderly dependent that lives with you.

There is a great deal of overlap between these various categories of domestic abuse. So, many people accused of domestic violence find themselves facing multiple charges. As such, if you are being prosecuted for domestic violence, your case can become very complicated.

Given the overlapping nature of these various domestic violence related crimes, you may face many charges and punishments for what may have seemed like only one incident or act. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the process of being accused and going to court. You want an experienced, compassionate domestic violence defense attorney telling your side of the story.

My ex is making false accusations of abuse and I was arrested. What do I do?

As mentioned above, the police have a strong interest in preventing domestic violence. Many times an arrest is made based solely on the alleged victim’s statements and you can end up in jail or subject to a restraining order for no legitimate reason. Unfortunately, many people know how strict the laws are and they take advantage of that to “get even” with their ex-spouse or lover.

If you are in this unfortunate situation, Portland Defender can help you fight back. Most initial restraining orders are temporary and if you are eventually charged with a crime, the prosecutor will still have to prove that you were guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. A skilled criminal lawyer can evaluate the facts of your case and help you evaluate your best defense strategy.

What kinds of punishments do domestic violence crimes carry?

Just as there are many factors to be analyzed in a domestic violence case, there is a broad range of potential legal outcomes. You may face a restraining order, fines, probation or jail time if convicted. If you have previous convictions or are accused of other concurrent crimes, the punishment may be far more severe. Our focus at Portland Defender is to evaluate your case and then develop a thorough defense strategy that addresses all of your concerns. We can help you fight for your rights and vindicate your reputation. Call Portland Defender today for a free consultation at (503) 592-0606.

What about domestic violence diversion in Oregon?

You may have already heard about DUI diversion, but you should also know that in Oregon, many people who have been accused of domestic violence for the first time may be eligible for a domestic violence diversion program called “Domestic Violence Deferred Sentencing,” or DVDS for short.

The benefit of this program is that if you successfully complete DVDS, the court will completely dismiss the domestic violence charges against you. And a few years later, you will even be eligible to have the record of your arrest sealed.

The Domestic Violence Deferred Sentencing program is available for most first-time offenders facing relatively-minor domestic violence charges. If your charges include allegations about deadly weapons or substantial injury, you won’t be eligible.

Once you are in the DVDS program, you will need to complete the following requirements:

  • Domestic Violence Intervention treatment program
  • Drug/alcohol evaluation, and potential drug/alcohol abuse treatment
  • No consumption of alcohol or drugs for 18 months
  • Parenting classes (if you are a parent)

The DVDS program could be a great option for you. Talk to a lawyer from Portland Defender to find out if you are eligible, and to learn whether DVDS would be the right decision to make in your case. Even if you are not eligible for DVDS, a lawyer from Portland Defender will be able to provide you with a top-notch defense in any domestic violence case. Call us today for a free consultation at (503) 592-0606.

Portland Defender PC

2117 NE Oregon St. Suite 503
Portland, Oregon 97232

Phone: (503) 592-0606

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