In the state of Oregon, many acts of physical violence and threats of physical violence result in assault charges. An assault may be considered domestic violence if the victim is classified as a family or household member. Under Oregon’s Family Abuse Protection Act, the following people may legally be considered family or household members:
- Spouses (current or former).
- Related adults (through blood, marriage, or adoption).
- Persons who live together (currently or previously).
- Parents of a child (unmarried).
- People currently in a sexually intimate relationship or who have been in a sexually intimate relationship in the last two years.
In Oregon, domestic violence crimes are typically covered under the state’s assault laws. The elements of an assault may include:
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to another person;
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing another person to fear imminent bodily injury; and/or
- Threats or force causing another person to engage in involuntary sexual acts.
If you are charged with domestic violence in Oregon, the consequences you face is may vary depending on the severity of the allegations. For example, a first-degree assault, the most serious of all assault charges, could result in 20 years in prison and up to $375,000 in fines.
Fortunately, there are several ways to defend against domestic violence charges. Here are several possible criminal defense strategies:
- Denial of allegations: You may deny the allegations by proving that you were not with the alleged victim at the time of the incident or by establishing a solid alibi.
- Self-defense: You may allege that you reasonably believed that force was necessary to protect yourself or someone else from imminent harm.
- Violation of your constitutional rights: If police performed an unlawful search for evidence, failed to read you your Miranda rights before questioning you while you were in police custody, or failed to allow you to speak to an attorney when you requested one, the police may have violated your constitutional rights. A violation of constitutional rights could result in the suppression of evidence against you, or your charges being reduced or dropped.
The strategy used to defend you will be tailored to fit the facts of your specific case.