My husband and / or myself have been accused by a neighbor of vehicular vandalism, can we be arrested for this by just his word?

Asked over 1 year ago - Otter Rock, OR

The neighbor is wanting to build a road through our property by means of an Easement and we have told him that he will not be allowed to do any work on the property without the proper Licensing per the CBC Contractors Board and by a Licensed Contractor of our choice as there are many who have a license that are known to be reckless. He is not happy with that. Our concern comes in the fact that the local Sheriff's deputy has been calling us saying he wants to meet with us in person and we have not been in town when he is on duty, yet but will happen at some point. Can we be arrested for this?If so is there anything we do to try to prevent this as we are in our late 50's and are nervous about having a criminal record not to mention it would be posted in our local newspaper.We didn't do thi

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Jeffrey A Turnoy

    Contributor Level 11

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . First off, do not post any more facts about your case, we never know who is watching what we say online. Secondly, people can be arrested based on the word of another, this unfortunately happens all the time. My advice to you is this: Do NOT speak to the police. If the police contact you or arrest you, simply state that you will not speak without a lawyer present. Do not try to explain the situation or say what your side is, just say you won't speak without a lawyer. You need to speak with an attorney immediately to protect yourself from any potential charges. If you cannot afford one, contact the Oregon State Bar's Modest Means program at 503-684-3763, and they will refer you to a lawyer.

  2. Daniel A Cross

    Contributor Level 4

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . To be blunt, purely with respect to the criminal law question you pose, yes, you could be arrested for criminal mischief on the report of this neighbor. I am not saying that you will be because there is not enough information for that. Whether the neighbor claims to have personally witnessed the conduct or not is important, for example. Also, the fact that you could be arrested does not mean that a prosecutor will feel that there is sufficient evidence to issues a charging instrument. In any event, my usual feeling is that a suspect rarely is wise to speak with the police. We all have the constitutional right to remain silent as well as a right to legal counsel. All suspects should be encouraged to exercise those rights. Thus, you should speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney who, if retained, can contact the officer and invoke your rights and deal with any charges if, ultimately, any are filed.

  3. Jay A Shafer

    Contributor Level 11

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I agree with Attorney Turnoy. You need to consult with an attorney now. First, it would be helpful to have an attorney ready for you should you be arrested or charged. You would hate to have something happen late on a Friday, where you are trying to find an attorney over the weekend and spend more time in custody. An attorney can also advise you of how best to navigate this before you are charged.

    additionally, if you are dealing with easements and conditions, these are tricky issues and how you act now can be permanent. You need to consult with an attorney on this issue and how best to deal with this , hopefully in a way that avoids litigation, but will help you make the right steps.

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