Eugene, Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers

If you are facing Oregon state or municipal criminal charges, it is important to promptly retain competent criminal defense legal counsel. A thorough review by an Oregon criminal defense attorney followed by an investigation can often make or break a case. The most candid remarks from potential witnesses come before the state has had multiple opportunities to interrogate and prepare witnesses. This is especially important in serious felony cases or Measure 11 and other mandatory minimum sentence cases.


When your liberty is in jeopardy due to a criminal case, it is important to invest in an Oregon criminal attorney who will give your case the attention that it and you deserve. You need to make an informed decision about the merits and hazards of a jury trial versus the advantages of plea negotiations.

But how do you find a competent lawyer that actually does well with case strategy, research, investigation, jury selection, opening statements, case preparation, cross-examination, etc.?  Often clients are only good at finding lawyers who do well in client consults and don’t learn of their attorney’s incompetence until it’s much too late.

For over 16 years attorney Mike Arnold, regularly tried cases before juries.  And while he was at court he watched dozens, if not hundred of other lawyers in action. He has read transcripts of lawyers. He has talked to clients who fired their lawyers. He now has a wealth of information about who is incompetent and who can competently represent someone in a a complex criminal defense case, a “bet the company” commercial case, as well as child custody and divorce cases.  While he was a city prosecutor for the city of Eugene, he actually tried jury trials against many of the state’s criminal defense lawyers.  Since he is well versed in the strategies and tactics that prevail at trial, he also is well versed in the lawyers who can competently defend a complex case.

If you are looking for a lawyer, often the best referral is from a lawyer or former lawyer. But those are often the most dangerous referrals as many unscrupulous lawyers refer you to someone who refers them cases quid pro quo.  You need data-backed referrals.  Oftentimes, Mike Arnold has time to respond to requests for referrals by email if it’s not a practice area he specializes in or if he does not have time to take on a new case.  As time permits, he attempts to give back to the community by sharing his knowledge of the talent pool.

To see if Mike Arnold is taking new cases, call or text 541-797-0110, or fill out the contact form.  

Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII)

DUIIs are highly technical cases to try for the prosecution which require an experienced DUII criminal defense trial attorney well versed in Oregon law and Lane County juries. For instance, your attorney needs to have experience filing and winning motions to suppress.

Ballot Measure 11 Complex Criminal Defense

There’s a lot at stake in a Measure 11 or serious felony case. You need a defense attorney to take your case as serious as the prosecutor is taking your case. This decision is often the most important decision you or your loved one will ever make. Their life is at stake. Research attorneys and referral sources well.

Domestic Violence Charges

In Oregon, domestic violence charges are frequently tried. These cases need to be positioned for settlement negotiations by aggressively preparing for trial. Criminal defense attorneys that are former DV prosecutors are often hard to come by but are worth searching for.  There aren’t many in the state of Oregon.

All domestic violence cases of a Class C felony or below, including all non-sex crime misdemeanors, are expungable. The expungement process (also called “expunction” in Oregon) can begin after three years for one count/one crime or ten years for multiple counts.  The time begins at the time of the last Oregon conviction. If the case was dismissed, then you can expunge the case at anytime.

Oregon Sex Offense Defense

One of the scariest things in the world is being in a “he said, she said” battle for your life because of a false accusation. Whether or not it’s DHS or an ex-spouse putting words into a child’s mouth or a drunken one-night-stand with buyer’s remorse, there are very few attorneys out there who specialize in actual innocence cases which requires uncovering the motives behind these allegations to exonerate their clients. Choose your attorney wisely.

Federal Criminal Prosecution

The stakes in federal court are enormous. The sentencing guidelines are confusing for clients and attorneys without federal court experience. Do not choose an attorney who dabbles in federal courts. Make sure they have actually argued substantive motions, done a sentencing, and actually tried a case before a federal jury. Ask lots and lots of questions when vetting your lawyer.  Mike Arnold has seen many clients fire perfectly good court appointed federal defenders and hire incompetent defense lawyers.  Federal court public defenders are typically of a much higher caliber than state public defenders.  It doesn’t take long in watching lawyers in each courts to form that opinion.

Gun Rights and Self-Defense

Oregon law is very pro-gun rights but many prosecutors aren’t. You need to learn lots about Oregon gun laws before being able to vet an attorney for firearm defense. Self-defense claims are very tricky to defend especially in politically-motivated murder by firearm cases.

Hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer

If you or someone you know in Eugene or throughout western or southern Oregon needs the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, you will need to do a lot of research so you aren’t taken advantage of.  Mike Arnold has seen many clients who were better off with the free court-appointed lawyers.

Pretrial Release Decision (Bail and Release Agreements)

Your attorney can move the court for pretrial release or to reduce bail. Most Oregon counties have true judicial scrutiny of the bail amounts and release decisions. Lane County in particular has been under increased scrutiny for its failure to have an elected judge truly review the release decisions by the unelected bureaucrats at Pretrial Services, an arm of the circuit court.