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Domestic Violence Defense

Portland Oregon Domestic Violence Defense Attorney

Edward Kroll is a former prosecutor who worked extensively in Multnomah County’s Domestic Violence prosecution unit.  He has seen and dealt with all sorts of charges, from the most minor harassment to most serious assault.

Domestic Violence crimes occur between people who are in, or who have been in an intimate relationship.  More rarely, it is also charged when family members related by blood or marriage get into a fight.

Persons accused of any domestic violence crime in Oregon are often shocked to find out just how seriously prosecutors take these charges, even when the person has been falsely accused, or when the charges are clearly excessive.  The prosecution simply doesn’t let these go.

The consequences of a domestic violence conviction, whether misdemeanor or felony, are exceptionally serious.  They can include jail or prison time, and will always result in a no-contact order between the people involved – and their kids.  In many situations, this can lead to a person being forced to leave the family home and have no contact with their partner and children.  A conviction also prohibits one from owning guns.

Oregon’s Mandatory Arrest Law

One of the most difficult parts of any domestic violence incident is that the police are almost always required to make an arrest when they arrive at a domestic disturbance.  If one person has injuries, then an arrest will be made.  If one person says the other one threatened them, even if there are no injuries, an arrest will be made.  An arrest will be made even if the person who is injured does not want an arrest to happen.If you are arrested, the police will not just give you a ticket and tell you to go somewhere else to cool off – they will put handcuffs on you and take you to jail.  Immediately.

If the police are investigating an allegation of domestic violence, almost nothing you say can make it better.  If they are questioning you, remain silent, and speak only to a defense attorney.

Serious Charges Deserve Serious Defense

As domestic violence is a serious charge, it requires an experienced attorney to prepare an effective defense. Certain defenses are discussed on our Oregon Assault Defense page.  These include

  • Self defense.  It is certainly possible to injure someone in self-defense, as a result of you repelling their attack.  But if they have greater injuries, then you will often be the one arrested.  However, at trial, we will have every chance to present your version of events, and the state will have to prove that you did not act in self-defense.
  • Defense of others.  If you intervene to defend someone against an assault, then you may very well injure the assailant.  If that person then lies to police, or if they are the only one with injuries, then you will be arrested.  Again, at trial, the state must prove that you were not attempting to defend another person.
  • Fabrication.  Sometimes, a person just outright lies about being assaulted or threatened.  At trial, we will aggressively attack the person’s story and show the jury that you are not at fault.

 

Typical Domestic Violence Charges in Oregon

  • Assault in any degree.  This is basically defined as doing physical injury to someone else.  If a weapon was involved, or the injury was severe, then the charges can escalate drastically.  See our Assault  page for further detail on the levels of assault.
  • Harassment.  This is a lesser misdemeanor, but a very broad one.  Any physical contact that offends the other person is a basis for this charge.  Injury is not required, just offensive physical contact.  Thus, even a slight push, nudge, or bump can result in an arrest and criminal charges.
  • Strangulation.  This is usually a misdemeanor, although a past criminal history of violence or the presence of children can enhance this to a felony.  It requires that one person apply pressure on the throat or neck of the other person in an attempt to prevent normal breathing or blood circulation.
  • Menacing.  This is a misdemeanor, and does not require physical contact.  If one person intentionally puts another in fear of imminent serious physical injury, then that is enough to suffice.  It is easy to see how this can be abused, because injury need not be present.  If one person says that the other person threatened to kill them, or if someone throws a plate at a wall, then that is all that’s needed for menacing.
  • Coercion.  This is a felony, and yet another crime with a very vague definition.  Basically, if one person threatens another person in order to get them to do something (or in order to prevent them from doing something), then that can be enough for Coercion.  Again, no physical contact is needed.

Contact Us Today

Kroll & Johnson P.C. knows Oregon domestic violence laws, and they know how prosecutors prepare their cases for trial. Most importantly, they know how serious and potentially devastating these charges can be.  Contact Portland domestic violence defense attorneys Kroll & Johnson P.C. today for a free and confidential consultation, so we can begin crafting your defense.

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