Portland Defender Blog

Beware of slippery jury instructions

The prosecutor will do many things to hurt defendants in criminal cases.  Sometimes, they will even attempt to get the court to issue unconstitutional jury instructions. In the recent Oregon Supreme Court case Oregon v. Schwab (9/16/2010), Justice Kistler’s concurring opinion pointed out that prosecutors in some Oregon counties are increasingly confronted defendants with an…

Skip Small Claims Court in Oregon

So, you’ve got a “small” case for just a few thousand dollars – it’s not a multi-million dollar case, but it’s a big deal to you.  Should you take your case to small claims court?  Probably not, because if you skip small claims court, you may be able to get the other side to pay…

No probation revocation for failure to pay restitution

Even though Oregon law specifically states that failure to pay restitution cannot be the basis for a revocation of probation, this is still something that judges occasionally do. In its recent opinion in State v. Kacin, the Court of Appeals unambiguously stated that probation may *not* be revoked when the only issue is failure to…

The Sound of Silence

“Prior to any questioning, [a] person must be warned that he has a right to remain silent…” Miranda v. Arizona, 384 US 436, 444 (1966). “Likewise, if the individual is alone and indicates in any manner that he does not wish to be interrogated, the police may not question him.”  Id. at 445. If you…

Consult a Lawyer Before Being Breathylized

Hopefully you will never be arrested for a DUI.  But, if you ever find yourself under arrest, you have the right to consult with an attorney before deciding whether to take a breath test. This is nothing new – Oregonians have had this right at least since 1988, when the Oregon Supreme Court issued its…

DUI Diversion Works – If You Get It Done!

You may have heard about DUI diversion.  This is a program offered to certain DUI offenders that has a variety of requirements, including completion of a drug/alcohol abuse assessment and possible treatment, attendance at a victim impact panel, payment of fines and staying out of trouble for a certain period of time (usually one year).…

Get a Lawyer At The First Sign of Trouble

In almost 100% of criminal prosecutions, a police report will be filed before the prosecutor’s office makes a formal accusation.  If someone files a police report accusing you of something, you could take a wait-and-see approach – many times, police reports are filed but no charges are ever brought against anyone.  But instead, at the…

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