Assault Charges in Bend, OR
Convictions for assault put you at risk of being sentenced to severe penalties,
including jail, prison, parole, and probation. In Oregon, assault charges
are categorized into four different degrees. Depending on which degree
of assault you are charged with, you may face a mandatory prison sentence.
First- and second-degree assault charges are considered Measure 11 offenses
and are subject to such mandatory sentences.
Four Degrees of Assault
Oregon Revised Statute §163.160 defines assault in the fourth degree as the crime of "intentionally,
knowingly or recklessly causing physical injury to another person,"
or with "criminal negligence causing physical injury to another by
means of a deadly weapon." Typically, Assault IV is a Class A misdemeanor.
Based on a person's criminal history or other circumstances, however,
Assault IV can be a Class C felony. These cases often involve fistfights,
domestic assault allegations, car crashes involving negligence, and accidental
firearm discharges that cause injury.
Assault III: Under Oregon Revised Statute §163.165, assault in the third degree
is a crime that generally involves "intentionally", "knowingly,"
or "recklessly" causing "serious physical harm" to
another. "Serious physical harm" is defined as a "physical
injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious
and protracted disfigurement, protracted impairment of health, or protracted
loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ." ORS §161.015
(8). Assault in the third degree is considered a Class C or B felony in
Oregon, depending on the nature of the case.
These cases can encompass a wide range of allegations, including:
- That a deadly weapon was used
- That the actions alleged show an "extreme indifference to the value
of human life"
- That the alleged victim is a youth correctional facility employee and the
defendant is committed to the facility
- That the alleged victim is an operator of a public transit vehicle performing
his or her duties
- That a person was being "aided" by another in intentionally or
knowingly causing physical harm to another
- T hat the alleged victim is an "emergency medical service provider"
performing his or her duties
- That the defendant is 18 and the alleged victim is 10 or younger
- That the alleged victim is an operator of a taxi while operating his or her taxi
This charge can encompass a wide range of behavior and is thus subject
to a great deal of prosecutorial discretion and creativity.
These cases often do not require proof that someone specifically intended
to cause harm. They do, however, require proof of "serious physical
harm." Important legal nuisances are at play in these cases that
an experienced trial lawyer can help you navigate if you are accused of
assault in the third degree in Oregon. If you are charged with an assault
in the third degree, you need to contact an attorney immediately as these
are serious allegations with huge implications.
Assault II: ORS §163.175 defines assault in the second degree as a crime involving
"intentionally or knowingly" causing "serious physical
injury" to another person in general or with a "deadly or dangerous
weapon." It can also involve "recklessly" causing "serious
physical harm" to another by using a "deadly or dangerous weapon
under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human
life." Second-degree assault is always a Class B felony.
These cases typically involve allegations that a "deadly or dangerous
weapon" was used. A "dangerous weapon" is defined as "any
weapon, device, instrument, material or substance which, under the circumstances
in which it is used, attempted to be used or threatened to be used, is
readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury." ORS
§ 161.015 (1). "Deadly weapon" is defined as "any
instrument, article or substance specifically designed for and presently
capable of causing death or serious physical injury." Thus, both
of these terms are open to interpretation, and whether something is a
deadly or dangerous weapon often is a question for the jury. These cases
can also involve an accusation of an intentional act that causes "serious
physical injury." The government is required to prove this level of harm.
Assault II is considered a Measure 11 offense and is subject to a mandatory
minimum prison sentence. You need an experienced attorney if you are facing
these complex laws that carry life-changing consequences.
Assault I: This type of offense is a Class A felony and a Measure 11 crime, which
means it is subject to a mandatory minimum prison sentence. It is the
most serious level of assault in Oregon and generally involves allegations
of intentionally causing serious physical injury to another person with
a dangerous or deadly weapon; intentionally causing harm to a child under
six years of age; committing a second-degree assault against someone known
to be pregnant; or intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing harm
to another while operating a motor vehicle under the influence of intoxicants
by someone with three prior DUI convictions or certain convictions involving
a motor vehicle incident that caused death or harm.
Proof of intent is critical in these cases, as is the correct use of prior
convictions. Also, understanding the importance of lessor included offenses,
self-defense, and other trial strategies is important in handling these
cases. If you are accused of this crime, you face a mandatory prison term
and a felony conviction for a crime of violence. You need a serious trial
lawyer to help you defend against these serious allegations.
Bend Assault Defense Attorney
Any assault is a serious charge, regardless of whether it is a felony or
misdemeanor, because it is considered a crime of violence. Also, in Oregon,
Assault I and II are Measure 11 crimes with mandatory minimum jail sentences.
Developing a strategy early on is important whether you are claiming lack
of intent, lack of injury, self-defense, or any other possible defense.
Hiring an experienced trial attorney who has handled and won these cases
in the past is critical. I have extensive jury trial experience in handling
all sorts of assault allegations.
Call today for an initial
case consultation with our Bend criminal defense firm.