Domestic violence is a serious issue that affects many people in our state and across the country. However, not every accusation of domestic violence is true or justified. Sometimes, people may make false or exaggerated claims of abuse to gain an advantage in a divorce, custody battle or other dispute. Other times, people may misunderstand or misinterpret a situation and call the police without knowing the full story. When facing domestic violence charges in Oregon City, Oregon, you need to know your rights and how to defend yourself.
What are DV charges in Oregon?
Domestic violence charges in Oregon are not a separate category of crimes. Instead, DV charges are a designation that applies to certain offenses committed against family or household members. Family or household members include spouses, former spouses, relatives by blood or marriage, cohabitants, former cohabitants, people who have been in a sexually intimate relationship and unmarried parents of a minor child. Some of the common offenses that can be charged as domestic violence crimes in Oregon are assault, harassment, menacing, coercion and stalking.
An assault is causing physical injury to another person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly. Assault can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the degree of injury, the use of a weapon and the prior criminal history of the defendant.
Harassment is subjecting another person to offensive physical contact or threatening to do so. Harassment is usually a misdemeanor, but it can be elevated to a felony if it involves strangulation or attempted strangulation.
Menacing is placing another person in fear of imminent serious physical injury intentionally or knowingly. Menacing is a misdemeanor.
Coercion is compelling another person to engage in conduct from which they have a legal right to abstain or abstain from conduct in which they have a legal right to engage by using physical force or threats. Coercion is a felony.
Stalking is repeatedly contacting or following another person without their consent and causing them reasonable apprehension for their personal safety or the safety of their family or household members. Stalking is a felony.