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Every new year brings new laws and legislation. Here’s a look at some newly enacted Oregon laws.

Two recently passed laws are meant to help rape victims get justice. SB1600 now authorizes prosecution of first-degree sex crimes any time after the crime occurred, as long as the prosecutor obtains corroborating evidence of a crime. Before January 2017, the statute of limitations for rape and other first-degree sex crimes was 12 years.

A second bill enacted in 2016 mandates Oregon’s backlog of rape kits be given speedy consideration. Oftentimes, rape kits cannot be used as evidence if they do not get processed in a timely manner. Currently, it appears 33 kits have been matched with a national database of known sex offenders.

A loophole in state law has been closed that allowed pimps and sex traffickers to avoid prosecution when they accepted drugs or other goods as services (HB 4082).

Some disabled veterans will not have to undergo annual medical exams in order to renew their medical marijuana cards (SB 1524).

It is now illegal to impersonate anyone (SB 1567 – this includes cyber impersonation) in order to intimidate, harass or physically harm them.  This was passed after a man posted an ad on Craigslist inviting men to assault his ex-girlfriend.

Poachers now face tougher penalties (HB 4046). Those convicted of breaking wildlife laws three times in 10 years may lose their guns, boats or anything else used in committing the crime.

It is also now illegal to release sky lanterns in Oregon (HB 4140). The state passed this law due to the fire danger posed by lanterns. They were already banned during fire season, but the law now expanded the ban to be year-long.

If you are facing criminal charges of any type, it is crucial to speak with an experienced Oregon criminal defense attorney. Call today for your free, initial consultation.

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