In 1997 the Oregon legislature passed what was then-referred to as Senate Bill 936. Senate Bill 936 made a number of changes to Oregon criminal defense statutes. No change was perhaps more significant than the addition to Oregon's evidence code of section 404(4). This section fundamentally changed the way in which Oregon courts treated an entire class of evidence commonly referred to as "prior bad acts" evidence.
Under Oregon law a person commits the crime of burglary when they: 1) Enter or remain unlawfully in a building or residence, 2) with the intent to commit a crime therein. Most people think of burglary as breaking into a building for the purpose of stealing something. However burglary under Oregon law covers a much wider range of conduct. Unlawful entry cases arise when a person enters premises without the consent or authorization of the owner. A person remains unlawfully when, after entering with permission, they fail to leave after such permission expires or is revoked. It is often said that in either case, an unlawful entry or an unlawful remaining, that a burglary conviction requires a criminal trespass for the purpose of committing a crime. What then is required for criminal trespass you might ask? Confusingly Oregon law defines criminal trespass as (did you guess it?) to "enter or remain unlawfully." It is this circular definition that is at the heart of much of the burglary confusion.
Yesterday, the Oregon Court of Appeals held that the Cornelius Oregon Police Department did not act in good faith reliance on then-existing law when it impounded and searched a car that was parked in its owner's driveway.
Today the Oregon Supreme Court upheld Ronald Everett's conviction for Solicitation to Commit Aggravated Murder on the grounds that he solicited someone to deliver damaging information about an outlaw biker to other members of that individual's outlaw biker gang, in the hopes that members of that gang might act on such information by murdering that outlaw biker.
NBA player Terrence Jones just secured a crucial win in a Portland court, and not the court you might think of. The player, who had a storied amateur basketball career peppered with championships, recently won a legal contest held in a courtroom. Jones, who plays for the Houston Rockets, a team which is embroiled in a hotly contested NBA playoff series with the Portland Trailblazers, recently had criminal charges against him dropped after a civil compromise was reached.
Criminal accusations can have a negative impact on the personal and professional life of a Portland, Oregon resident. However, for residents who made significant contributions to the community, the impact can be magnified. A former police lieutenant is in such a situation.
Recent reveleations in the Joey Pedersen/Holly Grigsby federal murder trial have revealed just how far the U.S. government will go in order to secure a conviction. In a blatant and outrageous trampling of Constitutional rights as guaranteed to all of us by the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments, the United States Attorney for the District of Oregon authorized the interception and review of confidential communications between Mr. Pedersen and his defense team. You can read about it here.
Here in Portland, Oregon, as in most states, a conviction for criminal charges means serious penalties and a possible prison sentence. A criminal record can have a negative impact on the personal and professional life of a resident. For this reason, the accused is advised to do whatever is legally possible to be free of the charges. Two Lebanon, Oregon women accused of burglary may wish to take such advice into consideration.
In nice contrast to what usually happens, the little guy won one recently at the expense of the big insurers.