Domestic Violence Attorneys in Albany, Oregon
Domestic violence is a serious offense with potentially severe consequences, including time behind bars and loss of certain rights. If you are facing domestic violence charges, it is imperative that you contact a skilled criminal defense attorney who will fight to protect your freedom and future.
At Felling & Reid, LLC, our domestic violence attorneys can provide invaluable advice and support throughout the entire process, from arraignment (your first appearance in court) all the way to the resolution of your case. Timothy Felling, Tyler Reid, and Dillon Duxbury will use their decades of combined legal experience to fight for your rights and defend your freedom. With an office in Albany, Oregon, we serve individuals facing criminal charges throughout Marion County, Polk County, Linn County, and Benton County.
Domestic Violence in Oregon
Under Oregon law, domestic violence is defined as an act or behavior used to control or cause injury to another person with a specific relationship to you. Domestic violence may be in the form of physical abuse, emotional abuse, threats, or economic control. In reports of domestic violence, women are more likely to be the victim - according to the website of the Oregon State Legislature, one in 10 women in the state of Oregon (ages 20-55) said their current or former intimate partner assaulted them physically or sexually in the preceding five years.
For domestic violence charges to apply, abuse must take place between family or household members, including:
Current or former spouses,
Adult individuals related by blood,
Adult individuals cohabitating and/or involved in an intimate relationship, or
Parents of minor children who are not married.
Oregon law recognizes several types of offenses that fall under the category of “domestic violence” charges. These include the following:
When facing criminal charges for domestic violence in Oregon, you will be subject to a No Contact Order, which, logically, bars contact with the alleged victim and this may or may not be continued when the case is concluded. Given the serious nature of domestic violence charges and the consequences associated with this offense, it is crucial that you contact a domestic violence attorney in Albany, Oregon, as soon as possible.
Possible Consequences and Penalties
Domestic violence charges have specific possible penalties you may be facing.
Incarceration. A conviction for domestic violence can result in jail time. The length of the sentence will depend on the severity of the offense and the circumstances surrounding the offense.
Fines. You may also be fined if convicted of domestic violence. The amount of the fine will depend on the severity of the offense and whether it is your first, second, or subsequent offense.
Restrictions on firearm possession. Federal law prohibits individuals who have been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony domestic violence offense from possessing firearms.
Anger management classes. Many jurisdictions require individuals convicted of domestic violence to complete anger management classes as part of their sentence.
Loss of child custody rights or other parenting privileges. A conviction for domestic violence can result in the loss of child custody rights or other parenting privileges.
Deportation. Non-citizens who are convicted of domestic violence may be deported from the United States.
DV Review Hearings. You may be required to continue checking in with the court periodically.
These are some of the possible consequences of a domestic violence conviction. Each case is unique, which is why penalties vary greatly from one case to another.
If you have been accused of domestic violence, it is imperative that you understand the possible defenses you may use in your case:
Falsely accused. One of the most common defenses against domestic violence charges is that the defendant was falsely accused. This defense requires a lot more evidence than simply claiming innocence. This defense relies on proving that the accuser either lied or had no reasonable basis for making their claims in the first place.
Self-defense. Another defense strategy is self-defense. Domestic violence laws vary from state to state, but generally speaking, self-defense can be used as a viable defense if it can be proven that a person was only acting out of necessity to protect themselves or another person (e.g., the kids) from physical harm or death. In Oregon, individuals are legally allowed to use physical force to the extent that they reasonably believe to be necessary to protect themselves or someone else.
Lack of intent. A third possible defense is a lack of intent. In order for someone to be found guilty of committing domestic violence, it must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that they acted deliberately and had full knowledge of their behavior’s consequences. If there’s no evidence proving this was the case, then it’s possible for someone to argue that they did not intend to commit any form of abuse and should therefore not face criminal prosecution for it.
Insufficient evidence. The fourth potential defense is the lack of proof. In order for an accuser’s claims against you to hold up in court, there must be sufficient proof—generally in the form of eyewitness testimony or physical evidence such as photographs, videos, or medical records—that a crime took place and that you committed the crime. Without this kind of proof, it’s highly unlikely that prosecutors will pursue criminal charges against the accused individual. Even if they do, the accused will have greater leeway when building their own defense case since there won’t be much hard evidence presented by prosecutors linking them to any wrongdoing.
Consent. Another potential defense against domestic violence charges is consent. If both parties mutually agreed upon engaging in physical contact (like wrestling) or consensual sex acts which resulted in one party being hurt or injured (even unintentionally), this could potentially serve as a valid legal defense argument against accusations made by someone who had previously given permission for those activities to take place. However, situations in which the “consent” defense may be used are rare.
Each case is unique, which is why it is important to consult with a knowledgeable criminal attorney regarding your specific circumstances so you can determine which type(s) of legal strategies would work best for your particular case. A skilled attorney will help you understand the nuances of the law and provide guidance on what arguments may be most effective when defending yourself against these charges.
Domestic Violence Attorneys Serving Albany, Oregon
Having access to quality legal representation is essential when it comes to facing domestic violence charges. An experienced attorney can provide invaluable advice on how to approach your case and best present your side of the story in court. Our domestic violence attorneys in Albany, Oregon, can provide you with knowledgeable and compassionate representation. Contact our office today to get started on your case.