Everything You Wanted to Know About Criminal Lawyers

Criminal lawyers have a bad rap. For starters, we're not actually "criminal lawyers" but rather "criminal defense attorneys" or "criminal defense lawyers." Being a lawyer in itself isn't a crime, and representing someone accused of criminal wrongdoing isn't a crime. Nevertheless, the most common question we are asked is, "How can you defend those people?" The implication of course being that our clients are guilty, and we are helping them get away with their crimes. We're co-conspirators. Or helping them get away with it. It's a common misconception. Also, it doesn't help that most of the time, are clients are guilty of something. But than again, isn't everyone? How Do You Defend Those People? Chances are, you committed an unlawful act today. At some point, you violated Federal or State law. It's almost a certainty. Given the incredible breadth of state statutes, federal statutes, and all the state and federal administrative rules, it's almost impossible to function without breaking the law. Now, when you break a criminal law, that's when you can be accused of a crime. Why Are Criminal Lawyers Important? Criminal justice and criminal procedure are different all over the world. In the United States, there is a strong presumption of innocence. Also, our criminal justice system has taken unique approach to protecting the rights of those accused. The right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, the right to an appointed attorney (often at no expense to the accused), the right to a speedy trial, the right to see, hear, and cross-examine witnesses, and the right to a jury trial are rights somewhat unique to this country. As one of my colleagues once paraphrased, our system of justice has decided that-- even if there are [...]

By | 2017-05-20T13:53:45+00:00 May 20th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Everything You Wanted to Know About Criminal Lawyers

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

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

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

New Location for Portland DMV Hearings

Governor Kate Brown's office announced on Friday August 19, 2016 that-- effective Tuesday September 6, 2016-- Portland DMV hearings resulting from arrests by the following agencies will be held primarily out of the Office of Administrative Hearings’ Division Street office: Portland Police Bureau (PPB)* West Linn Police Department* Canby Police Department Molalla Police Department The address for the Office of Administrative Hearings’ (OAH's) Division Street office is: 9226 SE Division Street Suite E Portland, OR 97266 *Note that some Portland Police Bureau (PPB) and West Linn Police Department overflow hearings may still be held in the Tualatin office.

By | 2016-08-19T12:49:46+00:00 August 19th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on New Location for Portland DMV Hearings


Photo from Twitter. No rights to image claimed. Used under the "Fair Use" doctrine. Have you tried the new bright-orange Nike BIKETOWN bicycles in downtown Portland? My fiance and I rented two bikes on Thursday July 21, 2016, and here's what we thought about the BIKETOWN bike share program: BIKETOWN PDX Pros Both the bikes and racks are easy to find, with their bright-orange color. The bikes are easy for pedestrians and drivers to see, with their bright-orange color. The bikes are nimble and have excellent steering. The bikes come with seven speeds, front and rear brakes, an integrated locking system, and even a bell built-in to the left grip. The bikes are shaft-driven and do not use chains. This is a "pro" and a "con." The "pro" is that you won't get chain oil marks on your favorite pants. BIKETOWN PDX Cons You'll either love or hate the bright-orange corals. I think this will largely depend on whether you're a user of the service trying to find a bike, or someone who's neighborhood lost parking to the expansive and unsightly rack systems. The rental of these bikes is very expensive. After only renting a bike a dozen times, one could simply buy a basic cruiser and have it for years. We both received a warning and a $2 penalty charge for briefly locking the bikes up as we had a light dinner. The bikes apparently have odd rules about how much time you can use them, how much time they can be ridden, how much time they can remain idle, and where you can lock them up. The bikes are heavy. They are not terribly heavy for riding, but the rear of the bike [...]

By | 2016-10-13T00:19:28+00:00 July 22nd, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Oregon Maps

If you're wondering where a particular event took place in Oregon, or where your case is going to be heard, a good rule of thumb is to find the county seat on an Oregon map. Here are some excellent maps of the State of Oregon: Map of Oregon counties with county seats from Geology.com Map of Oregon counties without county seats but with "clickable" county details from Oregon Blue Book Oregon Official State Highway Map (front) from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) Oregon Official State Highway Map (back) from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) For several more Oregon maps, visit the Trans Dev / Transportation Data page of the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), or for detailed driving directions or "Street Views," visit Google Maps.

By | 2016-10-13T00:19:30+00:00 July 8th, 2014|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Oregon Maps