Domestic violence charges are a serious criminal offense due to the far-reaching consequences of a conviction under state and federal law. Many domestic violence cases in Oregon originate from disputes and arguments that arise at home. Emotions run high, things are said and done (often by both parties), the police are called, and from that point forward a conflict that might have been resolved through counseling is now a serious criminal case. Our attorneys understand how people find themselves in these situations, and we have the skill and experience to help you get the best result.
Oregon law defines “domestic violence” as “abuse between family or household members.” Spouses, former spouses, adults related by blood or marriage, roommates, sexual or intimate partners and unmarried parents fall under the domestic violence law. Surprisingly, children do not fall under the domestic violence statute. Regardless, crimes against children are extremely serious offenses in spite of falling outside the definition of family or household members.
Domestic abuse ORS 135.230 defines abuse in three ways:
Oregon law also has a mandatory arrest statute that applies to domestic violence. ORS 133.055 provides that a police officer “shall arrest and take into custody” the alleged assailant when the officer has probable cause to believe that an assault has occurred between family or household members.
In addition, the Oregon Evidence Code has certain exceptions permitting hearsay and prior convictions to be used against you at trial. ORS 40.460 (Rule 803) permits hearsay statements made within 24 hours after a domestic violence incident. ORS 40.355 (Rule 609) allows evidence of certain prior domestic violence offenses to be used against a person who testifies.
Domestic violence charges can result in felony or misdemeanor convictions with severe consequences. The direct consequences of a felony include potential prison time and always result in the loss of gun rights. Additionally, even misdemeanor domestic violence convictions result in the immediate loss of the right to possess firearms or ammunition under both state and federal law.
For these reasons, Boender & Payment, Attorneys, should be engaged as soon as possible after a domestic violence arrest. We are always prepared to engage with an experienced licensed private investigator to assist us in defending your case. You will need a team who understands domestic violence defense.