Domestic Violence / Assault, DUII, Traffic Offenses, Drug Charges
Do You Need A Criminal Defense Lawyer?
We offer a FREE case evaluation for all criminal cases. Call 503-648-4777 during normal business hours and speak with a highly rated criminal defense attorney immediately.
Being charged with a crime can be incredibly scary. Whether it is your first criminal charge or you have had prior interactions with the Oregon criminal justice system, knowing that you might be sent to jail for an extended period of time can be overwhelming.
If you are facing criminal charges, you will need top notch legal representation to defend your rights and your freedom. A conviction on a felony or misdemeanor charge can have a serious impact on your life, including imprisonment, steep fines and fees, and the challenges associated with having a criminal record. Fortunately, there are a number of potential defenses to most criminal charges that a Hillsboro criminal defense attorney can use to get you the best possible outcome for your case.
At Harris Velázquez Gibbens, our criminal defense lawyers combine experience, dedication, and commitment to protect individuals charged with criminal offenses in and around Hillsboro, OR. We represent clients throughout the region on crimes, violations, and infractions, including Washington County, Clackamas County, and Multnomah County. For each case, we take a proactive approach to help our clients achieve a favorable result.
Learn more about criminal defense law in Oregon
- Should you hire a criminal defense attorney?
- Common criminal charges and penalties
- Can an experienced criminal defense lawyer really make a difference?
- Getting an expungement
- Felony charge reductions
- Understanding domestic violence defense
- When are criminal defense attorneys necessary?
- Reducing your jail sentence
- What is Measure 11, and does it affect your case?
- Contact us to answer your criminal defense case questions
Why Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with a crime, the prosecutor may have already reached out to you with a plea deal offer. Many people are tempted to take whatever deal the prosecution is willing to give them – especially if it means that they can avoid the stress, uncertainty and expense of going through a trial. While there may be situations where it makes sense to take this plea deal, in most cases, your best option is to consult with a Hillsboro criminal defense lawyer first.
In criminal law cases, the government has a duty to prove each element of the charged offense “beyond a reasonable doubt.” If the prosecutor cannot meet this burden, then the case must be dismissed or the defendant must be found not guilty at trial.
Most people understand this basic legal rule – yet they probably aren’t familiar with the specific elements of the criminal offense in question, or how courts have interpreted these elements. A criminal defense attorney is trained to spot legal issues in order to attack the government’s case. For example, if a criminal offense requires proof that you acted with a certain level of intent, and the prosecution doesn’t have evidence of this element, your Hillsboro criminal attorney may move to have the charges against you dismissed.
In addition to examining the facts and evidence underlying the charges in your case, your lawyer will analyze your case in light of your constitutional rights. If the police have violated your rights in some way – such as by conducting an illegal search or seizure – then the evidence in your case could be suppressed. When this happens, the charges against you may be reduced or dismissed.
If you have been charged with a crime, you need a criminal law attorney who can attack the government’s case in order to get you the best possible result. A conviction can carry serious consequences, such as:
- Jail time
- Court costs
- A criminal record
- Difficulty finding a job or housing
- Inability to obtain student loans
Because the potential impact on your life is so stiff, it is always a good idea to consult with a Hillsboro criminal defense attorney as soon as you learn that you are under investigation for a crime, or immediately after being arrested. At Harris Velázquez Gibbens, our law firm offers free 15 minute phone consultations to all prospective clients so that you can get a better idea of your rights and options for defending against the charges in your case.
Possible Charges and Penalties
In Oregon, there are three categories of criminal matters: violations (infractions), misdemeanors, and felonies. Violations are the least serious type of offense, and typically just require you to pay a fee. Misdemeanor crimes may result in as much as 364 days in jail, while felony offenses can result in a prison term (period of time in custody exceeding a year).
Misdemeanor crimes are classified into three groups:
- Class A Misdemeanors carry a maximum jail time of up to 364 days and up to $6,250 in fines. An example of a Class A Misdemeanor is DUII.
- Class B Misdemeanors carry a maximum jail time of 6 months and up to $2,500 in fines. An example of a Class B Misdemeanor is harassment.
- Class C Misdemeanors carry a maximum jail time of 30 days and up to $1,250 in fines. An example of a Class C Misdemeanor is third-degree theft.
Felony charges are also classified into three groups:
- Class A Felonies carry a maximum of 20 years in prison and up to $375,000 in fines. An example of a Class A Felony is first-degree assault.
- Class B Felonies carry a maximum of 10 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines. An example of a Class B Felony is drug distribution.
- Class C Felonies carry a maximum of 5 years in prison and up to $125,000 in fines. An example of a Class C Felony is first-degree theft.
Some major felonies have specific sentences that are beyond the maximum sentence of 20 years for a Class A Felony.
Given the potential for serious jail time for these and other criminal offenses, it is critical that you reach out to a criminal lawyer as soon as possible to schedule a free consultation. A law firm that has significant experience in Oregon criminal law can help put together a strong defense to the charges against you – and may be able to reduce or minimize the effects of these criminal charges.
Facing Criminal Charges? You Need Information
Facing criminal charges can be a scary experience. One of the things that our clients fear most is uncertainty. Our criminal defense lawyers can be with you through every stage of the process, starting with your first contact with police and the prosecutor through an arrest, arraignment, any court appearances, and at trial. We’ll explain what is happening, what your options are, and what will happen next.
Court procedures and rules shouldn’t be kept secret. Our law firm is committed to ensuring that our clients are fully informed of what they are facing so that they are able to make informed decisions about their own criminal defense.
An Experienced Attorney Can Make All The Difference
Our Hillsboro criminal defense attorneys have many years of combined legal experience in criminal law and the Oregon criminal justice system. We’ve represented thousands of people in Oregon criminal courts. We represent clients charged with crimes, violations, and infractions in state court as well as in local municipal courts, including Beaverton, Lake Oswego, and Oregon City Courts.
Our Hillsboro criminal law team defends clients charged with all Oregon felony and misdemeanor crimes including:
- Drunk Driving / DUII
- Domestic Violence / Assault
- Measure 11 cases
- White Collar Crimes
- Shoplifting / Theft / Identification Theft
- Traffic Crimes / Violations / Infractions – reckless driving, hit and run, driving while suspended and revoked
- Drug Crimes
For each case, we develop a comprehensive strategy that is designed to help our clients achieve a favorable result. For some criminal matters, this may mean getting the charges reduced or dismissed. For other cases, a good result may be getting into a diversion program that may result in the dismissal of all charges against you.
A criminal conviction in your past can appear in background checks today. That can mean losing a job or job opportunity, finding yourself unable to rent a house or secure loans, and even losing your professional license or security clearance.
Some Oregonians may be eligible to have their criminal record wiped clean through a process known as expungement. From our law office in Washington County, our criminal defense attorneys offer expungement legal services for a flat fee. Give us a call to see if you may qualify to have your criminal record expunged.
Reduction of Felony
In some cases, if you have been convicted of a felony in Oregon, we can ask the court to reduce that conviction to a misdemeanor. That is a great benefit for purposes of securing employment, credit, or housing. Depending on the facts of your case, a reduction in charges could even mean having your gun rights restored.
A Special Word About Domestic Violence Charges
We understand that when representing a client charged with domestic violence, particular care and skill may be required. The arrest, the “no contact” requirement, and the delay in final disposition can greatly impact your family. As part of our legal services, we will address any no-contact orders and coordinate with family members to reach positive outcomes.
If a legal separation, dissolution, or restraining order case occurs simultaneously with the criminal charges, our legal team includes attorneys who focus their practice on domestic relations/family law. We will work together to develop a strategy for your case, answer your questions, and make sure the criminal charges don’t adversely impact your custody or property rights.
Why Hire Us?
The Winning Edge – Second Look, Second Opinion
There are a lot of criminal law attorneys in Hillsboro. So why should you hire Harris Velázquez Gibbens?
Simply put, we offer something that few lawyers can offer. Every week, our four criminal defense lawyers meet to review police reports, plea offers, and to discuss available defenses in your case and trends and changes in the courthouse. You are guaranteed that your case will be discussed in detail at our weekly meetings.
Whether it’s the latest court of appeals decision, new court policies that were recently imposed, a change in sentencing policy at the DA’s office, or even a new judge on the trial rotation, our team approach and regular meetings make sure that we are aware of all factors that could affect your case.
In other words, you aren’t just hiring one lawyer to handle your case: you get a whole team. When necessary, we will also bring in other attorneys from our firm who work in family law, personal injury, and other fields to ensure that you get the benefit of our combined experience.
Want to get your case on our next team meeting schedule? Call our law office at 503-461-2195 today for a free consultation.
Our Criminal Law Attorneys
Our law firm includes highly skilled Hillsboro criminal defense attorneys. Together, we have experience handling all types of charges, from DUII to domestic violence to property crimes to drug charges to violent felony crimes. For each case, we’ll work hard to secure your legal rights – and to fight for your freedom.
When Should I Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney?
The best way to protect your legal rights is to hire a criminal lawyer as soon as possible. In some cases, if you haven’t yet been charged with a crime, your attorney may be able to convince police or prosecutors to not bring charges. If you have already been arrested, then your lawyer can work to get the charges reduced or dismissed or to obtain a favorable plea deal.
The criminal justice system is adversarial in nature – and the state has a whole team of law enforcement officers and lawyers on its side. If you are facing criminal charges or are under investigation for a crime, you should seek legal advice immediately. In Hillsboro, Oregon, call our law firm at 503-461-2195 for a free 15-minute consultation.
How Much Jail Time am I Facing?
If you are convicted of a crime in Oregon, you may be sentenced to a term of incarceration. The specific sentence depends on what the charge is (felony versus misdemeanor) and the underlying facts of your case. For example, if you are charged with murder, you will typically be sentenced to a much longer prison term compared to a person who is accused of a crime against property.
While imprisonment may not be avoided in all cases, there is often a possibility of getting your charges or your sentence reduced. In some cases, the charges may even be dismissed or you could be sentenced to a diversion program rather than jail. Give our law office a call at 503-461-2195 to talk to a Hillsboro criminal defense attorney about your criminal charges.
What Is Measure 11 and How Will It Affect My Case?
Measure 11 is a referendum that was passed in 1994 as a way for Oregon to get “tough on crime.” It set mandatory minimum sentences for certain crimes in Oregon, including rape in the first degree, murder, assault in the first or second degree, robbery in the first or second degree, and other violent crimes. If you are convicted of a Measure 11 crime, you will likely be sentenced to a lengthy prison time with no credit for good time or programs.
Given the severity of Measure 11 charges, it is vital that you reach out to a Hillsboro criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible after being charged. An aggressive legal defense may allow you to achieve a dismissal, acquittal, or suppression of key evidence in this type of case. Give our law office a call at 503-461-2195 to schedule a free 15-minute phone interview.
Facing Criminal Charges? Don’t Wait to Call.
If you have been charged with a crime, your future could be in jeopardy. The best way to protect your legal rights is by working with a skilled Hillsboro criminal lawyer.
At Harris Velázquez Gibbens, our attorneys have extensive trial experience and in-depth knowledge of Oregon criminal law. We offer free 15-minute phone interviews to all prospective clients to help you determine if one of our criminal defense lawyers can meet your legal needs. During this call, we will listen to your story, explain how we would approach your case, and discuss our legal fees.