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About Michael Romano

Michael Romano is an Oregon lawyer and attorney focusing on criminal defense, divorce, DUI, and family law. He has law offices in both Portland and Bend Oregon.

Robbery vs Burglary in Oregon

Even though the terms "robbery" and "burglary" are often used interchangeably, they are legally different charges and concepts. Both burglary and robbery are defined by statute: Robbery in the First Degree is defined by Oregon law ORS 164.415 (1) A person commits the crime of robbery in the first degree if the person violates ORS 164.395 and the person: (a) Is armed with a deadly weapon; (b) Uses or attempts to use a dangerous weapon; or (c) Causes or attempts to cause serious physical injury to any person. (2) Robbery in the first degree is a Class A felony. Robbery in the Second Degree is defined by Oregon law ORS 164.405 (1) A person commits the crime of robbery in the second degree if the person violates ORS 164.395 and the person: (a) Represents by word or conduct that the person is armed with what purports to be a dangerous or deadly weapon; or (b) Is aided by another person actually present. (2) Robbery in the second degree is a Class B felony. Robbery in the Third Degree is defined by Oregon law ORS 164.395 (1) A person commits the crime of robbery in the third degree if in the course of committing or attempting to commit theft or unauthorized use of a vehicle as defined in ORS 164.135 the person uses or threatens the immediate use of physical force upon another person with the intent of: (a) Preventing or overcoming resistance to the taking of the property or to retention thereof immediately after the taking; or (b) Compelling the owner of such property or another person to deliver the property or to engage in other conduct which might aid in the commission of the theft or [...]

By | 2017-05-19T17:33:48+00:00 May 19th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Robbery vs Burglary in Oregon

Is the Textalyzer coming to Oregon?

Texting while driving is unlawful in Oregon under ORS 811.507. According to the Wall Street Journal, at least 46 states have laws barring texting while driving and 14 ban all hand-held devices. Some states may be looking at adopting a "Textalyzer" in order to determine if people have been "texting" (sending or receiving text messages) prior to being stopped, or prior to crashing. Cellebrite's Textalyzer An Israel-based tech company named Cellebrite is purportedly the first to develop a plug-in device which can examine a driver's cell phone to detect texting activity. Legislation in New York-- called "Evan’s Law"-- has been introduced in the New York Legislature over the winter of 2016-2107. It would give police officers the authority to use a Textalyzer when distracted driving is suspected. Similar legislation is being considered in Tennessee, New Jersey and the city of Chicago. Cellebrite claims that it's technology does not raise privacy concerns because it's designed only to determine usage, not to actually access the messages for viewing. In theory, if the police determined that a mobile device was used by the driver, they could confirm it using the Textalyzer and then determine whether they should get a warrant for more detailed information. Currently, Oregon does not have any pending legislation mandating or even allowing use of a device such as the Cellebrite Textalyzer.

By | 2017-05-15T16:08:59+00:00 May 15th, 2017|Categories: Criminal Defense, DUI|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on Is the Textalyzer coming to Oregon?

Top Five Alternative Breakup Songs

Breakups and divorce are stressful things to deal with. One way to get through these times is to listen to music created by people who understand the situation at hand. Artists have sung about many sorts of separations over time. Here are just a few notable tunes that have risen in fame over the years. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8v_4O44sfjM Christina Perri – Jar of Hearts Christina Perri's dream was to move to Los Angeles and be able to focus solely on creating her own music, but it wasn't easy. After a marriage and divorce, she retreated across the country. Upon resurfacing, she was armed with a self-written song that was powerful yet haunting. The lyrics encourage listeners to be brave and move on from the heartache that they have experienced in the past. It cuts just deep enough, but has a strong message to tell: There's no sense in going back to someone who continues to cause pain. Every possible chance has been taken and every promise has been broken. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssdgFoHLwnk Bon Iver – Skinny Love This song was written about a specific time in a relationship. The part where it's understood that there is no longer any weight in it– or perhaps there never was. There is no nourishment to keep it on its feet, no healthy reason why it has been continuing on this long. The connection has faded, and the relationship is starving. It's a sad realization to have, but crucial to recognize. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EwViQxSJJQ Beyoncé – Irreplaceable The most successful single in 2006, “Irreplaceable” is one of Beyoncé's most popular songs to date. Its catchy tune informs the wrongdoer that he wasn't one of a kind. He messed up, and his presence [...]

By | 2017-03-30T08:49:47+00:00 March 30th, 2017|Categories: Divorce|Comments Off on Top Five Alternative Breakup Songs

Compensation for Portland Pothole Damage

Many people are wondering this time of year if they can receive compensation for damage from Portland's potholes. The potholes are everywhere, and they cause damage to tires, suspension systems, car bodies, and even injuries. Why Are Portland's Potholes So Bad? Winter rolls around every year. To Portland, that season brings a lot of cold, snow, rain, and potholes. These little pockets in the road- which can also be rather big pockets- can prove to be very dangerous. You can't always see them as you drive or ride along the road. Potholes damage vehicles, bicycles, and potentially even the people utilizing those methods of transportation. But because these roads are property of the city, and not privately owned, it begs the question of whom is at fault for damage caused. All streets have essentially been built by using the Macadam method. The core of this method means using soil as the base for creating paved streets. Soil absorbs water, but engineers created a way for water to run off the road before becoming absorbed- which could damage the road. But water can be quite determined, slithering into places where it is unwanted. The soil soaks up the water beneath the rock and stone layers and freezes during the winter. As the water expands, it breaks apart the stones. This is generally why most potholes become even more dangerously evident in the springtime. Portland Potholes Damage Cars and Injury People In Portland, there have been many accidents caused from potholes. For city residents, it's become second nature to watch out for potholes in secondary streets. But in March 2011, a giant 15-foot pothole opened up on I-95. Potholes are much less common on interstates. This particular [...]

By | 2017-03-22T14:08:01+00:00 March 6th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Compensation for Portland Pothole Damage

Can You Get A DUI After Only Two Drinks?

Many people heading out to the local club or bar wonder, "Can you get a DUI after only two drinks?" The answer is, "It depends." It depends primarily on five factors: Did you have food before or with the drinks? What is your sex and weight? How large are the drinks? How long have you been drinking? What type of alcohol are you drinking? There are actually over a dozen types of alcohol in chemistry. The alcohol that humans typically drink is called ethanol. Contrary to popular belief, when you drink ethanol, very little of it is actually absorbed through the stomach. It's absorbed primarily through the intestines. The reason this is important is because there's a valve at the base of the stomach called the pyloric valve. This valve closes when there is food in the stomach. Many people mistakenly believe that eating food before or during drinking will prevent them from getting drunk or-- more accurately-- intoxicated or impaired. Actually, it will simply delay or slow the process. We typically refer to this as slowing the rate of absorption. In some situations, if the rate of absorption is slowed sufficiently, this will prevent the drinker from every becoming intoxicated or impaired. How Sex and Weight Affect Alcohol Metabolism Ethanol is metabolized at a different rate in women than it is in men. This is due to general differences in body composition. Ethanol is also highly soluble in water, and women have a higher percentage of water in their bodies than men. In addition, women typically have less of the enzymes used to metabolize alcohol than men do (alcohol dehydrogenase and acetaldehyde dehydrogenase). Independent  of sex, body weight also determines the amount of space and mass which alcohol can [...]

By | 2017-03-04T21:20:05+00:00 March 4th, 2017|Categories: Criminal Defense, DUI|Tags: , , |Comments Off on Can You Get A DUI After Only Two Drinks?

Portland Gains Emergency Mental Health Care

Hospitals caring for the mentally ill have evolved greatly over the years. One of the newest additions to the field has been built in Portland. Through a collaboration between Adventist Health, Kaiser Permanente, Legacy Health and Oregon Health & Science University, the Unity Center for Behavioral Health has recently opened specifically for delivering emergency psychiatric services. Unmatched by any other clinic in the area, it offers emergency psychiatric services to its patients. This has come none too soon. Struggles of Living With Mental Illness Working through mental illness is enough of an issue and struggle in itself. However, the battle isn't always confined to the mind. Some have been dealing with undue external stress from those who should be protecting them, not harming them. Portland has had a history of police violence and brutality towards the mentally ill. Various unprovoked attacks from the police have put some lives at risk, and ended others. There has been disorder among the homeless community in the past as well, which police have struggled to deal with. Approximately 18.5% of the adult American population deals with some form of mental illness in a given year. Of the homeless, it's estimated to be 26%. Children and adolescents are not strangers to struggling against mental illness, either. Over the past 25 years, there have been an increase of mental illness cases. It's clear that now, more than ever, mental health is not something to ignore or forget about. Accommodating the Mind and Body That is where the Unity Center for Behavioral Health comes in. Their facilities help address the burden that mental illness causes. Sometimes, even a serene surrounding can help tame a distracted mind. Unity Health Center has taken great care [...]

By | 2017-02-28T15:47:52+00:00 February 28th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Portland Gains Emergency Mental Health Care

Marijuana Delivery Services in Oregon

Recreational cannabis dispensaries will soon be able to begin marijuana delivery throughout Oregon. Oregonians will be able to call their local dispensary and place an order for marijuana – just like their pizza or Chinese food. Since its legalization in 2015, marijuana has been a controversial subject, with lawmakers scrambling to figure out the fine details of marijuana sales and possession in Oregon. However, Oregonians and Portlanders alike, certainly feel the presence and influence of marijuana in the state. According to Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB), marijuana sales reached $265 million in 2015. As reported on KGW, multiple dispensaries throughout Oregon have applied for permits to begin servicing customers who place mobile orders for cannabis. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) is still requiring customers to be over the age of 21, and allowing deliveries solely between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. Additionally, dispensaries will only be allowed to deliver in cities where they are permitted to sell. Oregon will be the first state to allow such a service. Though the service is barely starting, the OLCC is making sure that business have the adequate permits to sell and deliver marijuana. In Portland, there are currently just under 170 dispensaries. The application for home delivery will cost dispensaries $750 and the license will be another $3,500. While marijuana continues to become more accessible to people, it is still unlawful to drive while high in the state of Oregon. With this new delivery service, customers will be able to stay home and get cannabis delivered right to their front door. Driving under the influence of marijuana is still subject to punishment under the law. It’s important to remember that marijuana laws and regulations are constantly changing in [...]

By | 2017-02-22T12:53:49+00:00 February 22nd, 2017|Categories: Criminal Defense, DUI|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on Marijuana Delivery Services in Oregon

DUI and Reaction Times

Most people have heard of the roadside tests administered for DUI investigations. But interestingly enough, the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) do not directly measure reaction times at all. Why Are Fast Reaction Times Important for Driving? Driving a car may seem simply enough, but it's actually a complex task. In addition to hand-eye-coordination, driving also requires foot-eye-coordination in order to apply acceleration and braking. A driver must be able to swerve or brake quickly to avoid collisions. To do this, the driver needs to be able to have an awareness of distance, speed, and the amount of time needed to slow a vehicle safely without overreacting. How Does Alcohol Affect Reaction Times? Alcohol is a Central Nervous System (CNS) depressant. Because alcohol is water-soluble and can penetrate the blood-brain barrier, the nervous system is a particular target for the negative effects of alcohol. Alcoholism and sustained use of alcohol can have an even greater effect on the brain. Alcohol slows reaction times. Why Don't DUI Field Sobriety Tests Gauge Reaction Times? The three field sobriety tests that are most commonly used by the police in DUI investigations do not specifically test for reaction times. Two of the tests are primarily focused on balance. For example, the Walk and Turn test is very similar to the challenge of walking on a balance beam. Most people can't do this without raising their arms slightly for balance. On the One Leg Stand test, the test subject is supposed to stand on one foot while holding the other leg out in front. Most people can't do this without raising their arms slightly for balance. For both the Walk and Turn and One Leg Stand tests, raising arms for balance [...]

By | 2017-02-22T12:35:07+00:00 February 22nd, 2017|Categories: DUI|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on DUI and Reaction Times

What Can We Learn From Johnny Depp’s Divorce?

What can we learn from a celebrity divorce like that of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard? Their divorce settled in August of 2016. While that may be old news in the fast paced celebrity news cycle, details are still emerging into 2017. Photo: REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni, used under Fair Use doctrine. TMZ reported last summer that Heard agreed to drop her domestic violence allegations, and Depp agreed to pay her $7 million dollars for their 15-month marriage. On February 1st, 2017, the Telegraph.co.uk reported the following details: Depp's business managers at The Management Group supposedly handled the actor's finances from 1999 until early 2016-- an especially lucrative period of his career. Depp sued his managers on January 13th, 2017 seeking more than $25 million that he contends was mismanaged. Among other things, his lawsuit alleged the company failed to file Depp's taxes on time, costing him $5.7 million in penalties. Depp's former business managers have alleged in a countersuit for unpaid management fees that Depp had a lavish lifestyle which cost more than $2 million per month to maintain. They also alleged that Depp paid more than $75 million to buy and maintain 14 homes, including a French chateau and a chain of islands in the Bahamas. Depp reportedly spend $3 million to blast Hunter Thompson’s ashes out of a cannon. Depp allegedly spent $30,000 per month on wine. Depp also reportedly spent $18 million to buy and renovate a 150-foot yacht. He reportedly collected and amassed fine art and Hollywood memorabilia requiring 12 storage facilities to maintain. While most people cannot dream of these kinds of extravagances, there are some universal truths that be gleaned from these allegations: Domestic violence can be found in all relationships. It's not a matter of [...]

By | 2017-01-31T19:06:44+00:00 January 31st, 2017|Categories: Divorce|Tags: |Comments Off on What Can We Learn From Johnny Depp’s Divorce?

Will Oregon Lower The Legal DUI Limit To .05?

Many social drinkers wonder if any amount of drinking before driving soon be outlawed. Will Oregon lower the legal DUI limit to .05? The legal limit for DUI in Oregon is currently .08 BAC. From time to time, there is talk in other states around the country about lowering the legal limit for DUI down to .05 BAC or even .04 BAC. Commercial truck drivers in the United States are already prohibited from driving with a BAC of .04 greater. Also, several European countries have a presumptive limit of .05 BAC (most notably France and Germany). As of January 2017, there is the possibility that Utah may lower it's legal limit to .05. But at the present time, it does not look likely that Oregon will be reducing the DUI legal limit to .05 or .04 for non-commercial drivers. A couple other points should be noted about the .05 standard used in much of Europe. An average-bodied man having about three drinks in a social drinking setting could go over a .05 BAC. An average-bodied woman could easily reach .05 BAC with only two drinks. This is important to mention because we are not talking about a violent alcoholic drinking all night long on an empty stomach in order to obtain a .05 BAC before driving around recklessly. We are talking about "normal" people having a few drinks with friends while having dinner at a restaurant, and then later stopped and accused of being unable to drive safely. Lastly, when people advocate for a lowing of the blood alcohol limits in Oregon or anywhere else in the country, it's a safe bet they are not going to stop once they reach a given number (.05, .04, [...]

By | 2017-01-07T18:32:03+00:00 January 7th, 2017|Categories: Criminal Defense, DUI|Tags: , |Comments Off on Will Oregon Lower The Legal DUI Limit To .05?