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How Criminal Law Proceedings Are Handled in the State of Oregon


criminal attorney

Facing criminal charges in Oregon is different than in other states. While you are obviously still advised to seek the help of a criminal attorney, you can expect both the laws and handling of your case to be slightly different than you may be used to.

Many types of criminal charges vary in the state of Oregon, including DUI penalties, and so it's important to know what to expect. If you're new to the state or are being charged with your first criminal offense, here is a simple guide to criminal defense in Oregon.

Oregon Misdemeanors or Low Level Felony Charges

If you were arrested under one of these conditions, you were likely issued a citation or release agreement with a future court appearance. Even with criminal charges, minor and first-time offenders are often released from custody even if they cannot post bail. Be sure to keep track of the citation and report to court on your scheduled date. Don't just show up on time, show up early and be prepared to wait. Failure to appear in court may result in more serious charges and repercussions.

In Oregon, there are four types of misdemeanors, with Class A being the most serious and Class C being the least. If convicted, you could be subject to jail time, fines, or both. That's why it is in your best interest to hire a criminal defense attorney in Oregon, no matter what type of charges you're facing.

Serious Felony

If you were arrested for a serious felony, you will more than likely be booked and taken into custody. You can expect to be seen before a judge on the next business day. Once taken into custody, your bail will be set. But instead of a bail bond system, Oregon law requires you to post 10% of the bail amount to be released.

Not only do felony crimes come with the possibility of more serious fines and prison time, but they can seriously impact your ability to find employment in the future.


Oregon law allows certain convictions and charges to be expunged, or removed, from your record. Misdemeanors and minor felonies are the most commonly expunged crimes. In the state of Oregon, sex crimes, Class A felony convictions (except racketeering), Class B felony convictions, traffic convictions, and more traffic arrests are barred from expungement.

Expungements are granted on a case-by-case basis, so nothing is guaranteed. It is advised that you contact a criminal attorney as soon as you are eligible for expungement in order to remove the charges from your record in a timely fashion.

There are 1,315,561 licensed lawyers in the U.S., but only a fraction of those are licensed in the state of Oregon, and even fewer still criminal attorneys.

When it comes to criminal law proceedings, don't trust just anyone. Call criminal defense attorney Rhett Bernstein at (503) 454-6610.