A case is initiated when a police officer charges you with a crime. You may be given a citation that instructs you to appear in court on a certain day, or you may be arrested and taken to jail. Police must follow the law when investigating crimes and arresting citizens. If the police do not follow the law, the prosecutor who reviews the case may decline to proceed. If the state does issue the case, an experienced Oregon criminal defense attorney may be able to have evidence against you suppressed following the filing of a motion. It is vital to hire an experienced Oregon criminal defense attorney so
that your case can be evaluated for any legal issues surrounding your arrest.
Persons accused of less severe crimes may be released on their own recognizance either from jail or at the time of arraignment. You may not be eligible for release on bail if you have a probation or post-prison hold, or if you have a hold from a county other than the county where you are incarcerated. Bail is set by statute at the time you are taken into custody. ??In some cases, there are good reasons to ask a judge to reduce bail.
Depending on the severity of the case, this may happen at arraignment or it may happen at a scheduled bail hearing. Oregon does not have bail bondsmen. If you wish to post bail, you are required to pay 10% of the bail amount. Bail can typically be posted at the place where the person is held in custody. You may get initial payment back at the conclusion of case; however, it will be forfeited if you fail to appear at any court hearings.
In the time between your arrest or citation and your arraignment date, the state will review
your case. If you are charged with a misdemeanor, a Deputy District Attorney (DA) will review your case and decide whether or not to proceed. If you are charged with a felony, a DA will review your case and a grand jury will hear the evidence against you and vote whether or not to indict. If a DA and/or a grand jury decide that the state cannot proceed in the case against you, your case will be declined for prosecution. Under certain circumstances, a case that is declined can be issued at a later date. An Oregon criminal defense attorney can discuss with you whether you should be concerned about this happening.
If a DA and/or a grand jury do decide to proceed with the case against you, you will be arraigned on the case. The DA is the person who ultimately decides what charges you will face. The DA can add to, subtract from, or change the charges that the officer originally submitted.
Sometimes people accused of a crime are eligible for special diversionary programming. Crimes that might qualify for diversion or a diversion-like program include: misdemeanor
Driving While Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII), possession of a controlled substance cases; Domestic Violence (DV) harassment or misdemeanor assaults; and crimes like shoplifting. Whether you are eligible for this programming depends on the case and the county in which you are charged. An Oregon criminal defense attorney can let you know if this is an option for your case. If you are eligible, you will enter a program very soon after arraignment. For successful participants, the program offers attractive end results and sometimes dismissal of the case.
The time between arraignment and resolution of a case can vary from 60 days or less for a defendant held in ?custody, to close to a year for a person accused of a lesser crime in a larger county.
Resolution through Plea:
Most cases resolve with a guilty plea. The decision whether or not to plead guilty ultimately rests with the person charged. People decide to enter a guilty plea for many different reasons. Talking through your options with an experienced Oregon criminal defense attorney is the best way to know whether a guilty plea is right in your case.
Resolution through Trial:
Cases that are not resolved through a guilty plea are resolved with a trial. The defendant has the right to a jury and can also waive the right to a jury and try their case to a judge. Trial can be a very intimidating experience. If your case comes down to trial, you will want an experienced trial attorney on your side.
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