Historically, domestic violence has led to tragic results, yet it has been often ignored. Although with the change in time, recent years have witnessed implementation of much-needed domestic violence laws, which has saved several lives from unnecessary trauma, yet there is another side of this coin too. The hypervigilance by law enforcement, prosecutors, and DV advocates has caused this the pendulum to swing to the extreme opposite direction with often tragic consequences: (1) citizens wrongly accused and arrested (losing jobs and reputation as a result); (2) citizens wrongly convicted; (3) families ripped apart including the involvement of child protective services; (4) long-term government involvement in personal choices (such as choosing to continue to have contact with the accused); and (5) firearm/hunting restrictions.
Domestic violence cases in Oregon have serious consequences and these issues definitely need an experienced and aggressive criminal defense lawyer.
False Accusations of Domestic Violence
Generally false charges in domestic violence cases originate with an exaggerated or made-up claim of violence. In such cases, the accuser often claims memory problems due to being knocked out or choked unconscious. When there is a head injury that can be blamed, lies become easier to continue until final adjudication. The truthful charges usually originate with a charming lying abuser who is a gaslighter and narcissist or someone with an extreme anger management, explosive rage problem. We typically see two kinds of abusers: those that surprise everyone and those that everyone says, “yep, figures.” And sadly, false accusers are often very similar in mindset. However, keep in mind there is no justice without truth and the sword of cross-examination when wielded by an expert trial attorney and strategist is about as close as you get to traveling back in time and witnessing things yourself. And that’s the picture we attempt to create for a jury via a thougtful investigation.
The false or exaggerated claims by accusers often start as a result of anger or revenge to the much more complicated and conspiratorial motives, such as trying to gain the custody. These are often easy (but often expensive) to ferret out. As Mike’s grandma always said, “When you are telling the truth you don’t have to remember what you said.”
Unfortunately, if you or a loved one is being falsely accused, then you need a lawyer who is not blindly assuming that the accuser is truthful. Oregon attorney Mike Arnold is highly experienced in defending cases for those who are falsely accused in domestic violence cases. Through his experience he and his team have proved up defenses in DV cases, assisted fathers in parenting time and custody cases, and defended those wrongly accused in restraining order and stalking order matters. With vast experience across multiple practice areas, he has acquired the insight to determine what is required to unravel the accuser’s story.
Common Oregon Domestic Violence Charges:
- Assault 4 (misdemeanour): recklessly causing substantial pain or impairment of the physical condition.
- Assault 4 Felony: same as misdo plus prior conviction against same victim or a child present.
- Strangulation (misdemeanor): choking someone.
- Harassment (misdemeanor): offensive touching and intent to harass or annoy.
- Coercion (Felony): compelling someone to do something or to abstain for doing something.
- Kidnapping: moving someone from one place to another
- Other Serious Felony or Measure 11 Charges.
Remain Silent: Talk to No One
This forms the Golden Rule when the accused is in custody. In such cases the accused should always bear in mind that he should not talk to anyone about the situation, not even you, his trusted family member or friend. Bear in mind that all telephone calls in the jail are recorded. Let me repeat: It is true that all calls are recorded and these recordings will be State’s Exhibit 1 at trial. Tell your loved one to tell any investigators that they want to speak to an Oregon attorney and to say nothing else to law enforcement. No exceptions. In other words, don’t ask what happened and tell the inmate to SHUT UP if he starts to run his mouth. There’s plenty of time later.
Apply for Court Appointed Counsel
There is an Oregon legal and constitutional provision that allows you to apply for court appointed counsel, and if you qualify you can save a lot of money. If you qualify, the state of Oregon will pay for investigative fees and expert witnesses and you can still hire an attorney with outside funds. Always be 100% truthful at all times, including when filling out the financial forms.
The money you save can be utilized to pay for the attorney fees. So even if you are planning to retain an Oregon attorney, apply for court appointed counsel. Although our firm does not take court-appointed criminal cases, we can use court-appointed funds for costs.
In Oregon domestic violence cases, expert witness hold a critical position. Medical doctors can be used to show the inconsistency between the accuser’s story and the physical evidence. Research psychologists can be used to show how the child interviewer may have tainted the child’s statements by improper interviewing techniques. The list goes on and on regarding what can help a jury understand your case or what might be the final piece of evidence that tips the scales in the mind of the prosecutor to dismiss the case. The only limitations is the experience and strategic mind of your attorney so choose counsel very wisely.
The State of Oregon’s Burden of Proof: Can they prove their case?
Our constitution holds any accused person as innocent UNLESS (not UNTIL) he is proven guilty. Whether or not you committed the crime is not the major question in front of the jury. The real question in front of the jury is whether or not the state has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime. The question of actual innocence is never put before the jury. They are to weigh only the evidence against an accused.
Oregon attorney Mike Arnold can research the legal issues unique to your case and can challenge the state’s evidence through motions to suppress and motions to exclude evidence and unlawful confessions. Besides challenging the legal sufficiency of the evidence, our attorneys would also challenge the factual sufficiency of the evidence by aggressively investigating your case and having an investigator speak to witnesses for the state and for you.
Mike Arnold’s Unique Approach
Mike Arnold is highly skilled and known for utilizing his skills from other practice areas to defend the client’s case. He is not a one-dimensional lawyer and your case is not “business as usual” for the firm. One of the most unique thing about him is the wide range of experience that he has in civil and criminal litigation. This litigation has enabled him to have varied experiences and relationships with trial experts that you do not normally see in a criminal case. We analyze the unique fact issues of your case and brainstorm on what the expert witnesses will assist the jury on a given disputed fact. This often makes the difference between a simple swearing contest among witnesses and reasonable doubt. Or the difference between a file at the mercy of the government and a life at the mercy of truth and justice.
Oregon prosecutors overcharge the defendants with crimes with the aim of threatening substantially harsh sentences to force you into settlement. Our Oregon law firm does the groundwork to be prepared for any such sentencing recommendations by the state. This includes often involving an expert investigator to research the mitigating factors as well as other experts to assist at sentencing, such as drug and alcohol treatment specialists, psychological evaluators, etc. Each case is unique and you, as the client, are part of the team.
Choosing an Oregon Domestic Violence Defense Attorney
Since a domestic violence case brings with it a great threat against your liberty, you should choose a defense lawyer very carefully. Choose someone ho will give your case and you all the desired attention. If you talk to anyone and they don’t feel like the right fit, run away quickly. Trust your guts and choose a relationship that will last because only you get to make an informed decision about the benefits and risks of a jury trial versus the advantages of plea negotiations.
Eugene attorney Michael Arnold has substantial experience in trying the cases before juries. Being a former Eugene city prosecutor, he is well versed in the strategies and tactics that prevail at trial. Mr. Arnold deals with exclusively retained cases and does no court appointed defense work.
If you or someone you know in Eugene or throughout western, central, eastern, or southern Oregon who needs the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, call attorney Mike Arnold today at 541-797-0110 (call or text).