Portland Assault Defense Attorney

Many violent crimes in the State of Oregon are classified as Measure 11 offenses. Conviction for a Measure 11 crime results in a mandatory minimum prison sentence that can range from 70 to 300 months. This fact makes being charged with a Measure 11 offense an extremely serious matter.

Have You Been Arrested For Assault?

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Assault

Under Oregon law, the crime of assault is categorized in degrees, with 1st degree being the most serious and 4th degree being the least serious. Both 1st- and 2nd-degree assault are Measure 11 offenses. A conviction of either crime brings a mandatory 70- or 90-month prison sentence without the possibility of either reduction or time off.

Assault 1

In Oregon, a person commits the crime of 1st-degree assault if they:

  • Intentionally  cause serious physical injury to another using a deadly or dangerous weapon;
  • Intentionally or knowingly cause serious physical injury to a child under the age of six;
  • Commit 2nd-degree assault on a pregnant woman; or
  • Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly cause serious physical injury to another while operating a motor vehicle under the influence of intoxicants and:
  1. Have three previous DUI conviction in any jurisdiction within the previous ten years; or
  2. Has been previously convicted of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide or assault in the 1st, 2d or 3rd degree; and
  3. That previous conviction involved driving a motor vehicle.

Assault 2

In Oregon, a person commits the crime of 2nd-degree assault if they:

  • Intentionally or knowingly cause serious physical injury to another;
  • Intentionally or knowingly cause physical injury to another using a deadly or dangerous weapon; or
  • Recklessly causes serious physical injury to another using a deadly or dangerous weapon under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.

It is worth noting that under this law there is no difference between seriously injuring another person and causing a minor injury with anything that can be construed as a deadly or dangerous weapon.

This means that 2nd-degree assault charges can come from something as serious as breaking someone's nose and jaw with your fists or something as relatively minor as bruising someone's leg with baseball bat.

In other words, any injury caused by an object that can be characterized as a weapon may result in a 2nd-degree assault charge, with a 70-month mandatory prison sentence upon conviction.

Measure 11 Assault Defenses

Since a Measure 11 assault charge carries such serious mandatory penalties, an equally serious defense focused on punching holes in the state's case is essential. Depending on the circumstances involved, this defense can include:

  • Self Defense - You are allowed to defend yourself when you are in imminent harm. However, your defense must be proportional to the harm you are facing. This means that while you can defend yourself against a punch by throwing a punch in return, you cannot shoot someone who is about to punch you;
  • Defense of Others - You are also allowed to defend others who are being harmed. However, once again, the rule of proportionality that applies to self-defense applies here; or
  • Fabrication - Investigation into the facts of the case may reveal that the person who claims that you assaulted them actually fabricated the entire episode. Alternatively, it may be possible to show that they were injured by someone or something else entirely.

Additionally, some charges of assault require an intent to cause serious physical injury. Oregon law defines serious physical injury as an injury that:

  • Creates a substantial risk of death; or
  • Causes serious and protracted disfigurement, protracted impairment of health, or protracted loss; or
  • Impairment of the function of any bodily organ.

So, accidentally caused serious physical harm or intentional harm that did not result in serious physical injury can be raised as a defense to some Measure 11 assault charges.

Have You Been Arrested For Assault?

Contact us for a free consultation.