Criminal Defense Representative Cases

05-22-2015 – A marine veteran and former UFC 44 mixed martial artist from Springfield, Oregon, had murder charges dropped in exchange for an accidental death conviction. Gerald Strebendt was charged in 2014 with one count of intentional murder. He hired Eugene criminal defense lawyer Mike Arnold to assist in the investigation pre-filing.

Sodomy I (Jessica’s Law) – 3 Measure 11 counts dismissed after innocence proved

This was a Jessica’s Law case where, if convicted, Client was facing a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 25 to 75 years in prison. Client passed a polygraph in the case and Mike Arnold oversaw an investigation illustrating his actual innocence, including the interviewing of witnesses.

Michael Arnold, stated, “Our client is thankful for his release and dismissal of these terrible false accusations against him.  He was a wrongfully accused innocent man who had three months of his life stolen from him due to lies and an incomplete investigation. Our investigation showed a lack of motive and lack of opportunity to commit the acts alleged against him. The Government’s incomplete investigation turned what should have been an uncomfortable family matter involving a very troubled child into an unjustly incarcerated man and placed unthinkable stress on his family.  Our client looks forward to getting back to his life outside of custody with the support of his family and his fiancée and trying to move on after several months in custody for crimes he didn’t commit.  However, it’s unfortunate that it took a diligent defense team and tens of thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees to secure the dismissal of charges against an innocent man.  In the future, I hope that prosecutors will conduct more thorough grand jury investigations that include witnesses that might not be helpful to ‘proving guilt.’  Grand juries need to be conducted as truth-seeking bodies that don’t charge crimes of this magnitude without hearing all relevant information.”

Federal Felon in Possession Dismissed

Federal criminal defense client was facing life in prison. After innovative motion practice regarding a Mongol informant, the federal case was dismissed in exchange for a state court probationary sentence with a downward departure.

Harassment – Self-defense after being threatened by baseball bat and pepper spray – NOT GUILTY VERDICT

A Eugene Municipal Court jury found client not-guilty of physical harassment after 21 minutes of deliberations. Client accused of tackling a man in his estranged wife’s home and throwing him into the bushes after man confronted client with baseball bat and pepper spray. Accusations stemmed from a child custody dispute between the client and his estranged wife. Client did not testify.

Assault, Harassment, and Reckless Endangering – Self-defense against gas station owner at the coast – NOT GUILTY VERDICT

Client accused of assaulting gas station owner and running over woman’s foot while leaving the scene. Vigorous cross-examination of the state’s six eye witnesses and two police officers, showed flaws in the investigation, a rush to judgment, biases of the witnesses, and faulty memories or lies. Client did not testify. After 47 minutes of deliberating, a Lincoln County jury found him not guilty of all charges.

Sex Abuse Case dismissed

Client charged with sexually abusing his employee.  After an investigation showed that some of the complaining witnesses recanted their statements and motives for false accusations discovered, case dismissed before trial.

Sex Abuse 1 (75 month minimum prison), Assault 2 (70 month minimum), Sex Abuse 3, Coercion, Criminal Mistreatment in the First Degree x 2 – Custody case motivates false accusations against father

Client jailed with $1.68 million bail setting after being falsely accused of smothering his wife with a pillow and sexually assaulting two adoptive daughters, among other claims. The case eventually resolved with an Alford Plea to one count of coercion for allegedly forcing a remote control out of wife’s hands, which was expunged at the end of probation, no additional jail time, and a dismissal of all remaining charges. After the dismissal, client was able to resume parenting time with his biological daughter and continue to be an active father.

Unlawful Use of Weapon – Menancing with Knife at Motel

Desert Storm veteran goes off medications for PTSD and has mental breakdown at a motel. He breaks a window and scares everyone, including law enforcement with K-Bar military knife. Resolved with a guilty plea to misdemeanors, payment of restitution to motel, no probation and no additional jail.

Assault II – Fractured Skull from Kicking

Client accused of punching man on bike and then fracturing his skull by kicking him after drinking at bar. “Witness” calls police and says that client did it. Client says that witness did it. Original offer, 24-months prison. Prison offer continues throughout next court appearances. Prosecutor settles for no prison a few days before trial.

Possession of Meth – the Empty Chair

Client accused of possession meth. She says it belonged to boyfriend who was driving. We move for mistrial which was granted after officer makes a statement contrary to a pretrial order.


Three high-profile counts of kidnapping women and driving them to ATMs for them to withdraw money to fund heroin addiction. Prosecutor argues that client could face the rest of his life in prison but settles for 21-month lid. We conducted a several hours long sentencing hearing calling an expert witness on lack of future dangerousness as well as several witnesses to discuss client’s home life and addiction.

Sex Abuse – Church Youth Group Sex Abuse of Minor

Client admitted to having sex with a teenager that he met at a church camp. Settled for the non-registerable offense of Coercion, which was expungable after three years.

Possession of Cocaine – No File Due to Bad Warrant

We obtained the search warrant return and affidavit prior to DA reviewing the case. After pointing out the deficiencies in the warrant, no charges were filed.

Dog-at-Large – Llama castration via pit bull: civil compromise

Client’s pit bulls got loose and chased neighbor’s prize-winning llamas. One had to be put down and the other was unable to continue being the herd’s sire. The charges were dropped after a civil compromise was reached.

Delivery of Meth – Federal Court

Settled by an agreement to dismiss federal case in exchange for state court plea.

Attempted Sex Abuse I – Dismissed

Client accused of having unwanted sexual contact with a woman while she slept in a hotel room.  After thorough defense investigation of witnesses to incident were presented to the DA, all charges were dismissed before trial.

DUII/Assault II – Running over Man at Bar While Driving Drunk

Convinced the DA that driver was fleeing an attempted assault and that “victim” was trying to keep him from leaving. All charges dismissed.

DV/Felony Assault IV – Menacing with Bag of Potatoes

Client facing several years in prison for second assault conviction against his wife. Global settlement included less than one-year in prison and future parenting time with his children.

Criminal Trespass at Bar – Bar Fight Gone Bad

Bail forfeiture and dismissal.

Criminal Mistreatment I (Felony) – Elder Abuse at Nursing Home

Dismissal after our expert medical witness found that injuries were consistent with client’s version of what happened.

Assault – Broken Nose at Football Game

Self-defense claim by college girl accused of punching season ticket holder in the nose with right cross. Diversion agreement; no conviction.

Theft- “Stolen” wallet from grocery store

Little old lady accidentally grabs a misplaced wallet after emptying her purse at the pharmacy.  When she gets home, she discovers it and makes phone calls based on the business cards inside to find the owner.  She finds a Costco card and turns it in there to see if they could call the owner.  Overreaching government investigators and prosecutor spend tax dollars attempting to convict her of a theft crime. Arnold aggressively defends. Result: Dismissed days before the jury trial.

Harassment dismissed

Client accused of Harassment at an outdoor music festival.  Case resolved with a plea to a violation and a fine, preventing any criminal conviction at all in the case.

Marijuana conspiracy dismissed

In a notable case, Oregon attorney Mike Arnold was involved in representing a client, charged in a complex case associated with the transportation of hemp and marijuana across state lines.