Criminal Charges & Sentencing

If you are facing a criminal charge in Oregon, I’m sure you are concerned about what could happen you you. You are wondering what penalties you could face if you are convicted of a crime in criminal court.

Or maybe you’ve already have been convicted or pleaded guilty and now all that is left is your sentence. Your sentencing date can be scary as you wait to hear what your future may hold. You could be looking at large fines or even a prison sentence.


There are several things the court takes into consideration when determining a sentence. The first of which is the law.

The crime you are charged with is either a felony or misdemeanor. This classification plays a large part in your sentence and the long term effects of your conviction.

Oregon Misdemeanors Penalties

Misdemeanors are the least serious crimes under Oregon law. This classification is further divided into 3 classes based on severity.

Class Maximum potential jail term Maximum potential fine Charges
Class A Misdemeanor 1 year $6250 2nd degree Theft, 4th degree Assault, DUII, Bad Checks/Credit Card Fraud
Class B Misdemeanor 6 months $2500 2nd degree Disorderly Conduct, Harrassment, Carrying A Concealed Weapon
Class C Misdemeanor 30 days $1250 3rd degree Theft

Ref: Or. Rev. Stat. §161

Oregon Felony Penalties

Felonies are much more serious offenses and carry longer potential prison sentences. A felony conviction on your record can also make it harder to find employment or housing.

Class Maximum potential prison term Maximum potential fine Charges
Class A Felony 20 years $375,000 First Degree Assault
Class B Felony 10 years $250,000 Second Degree Assault, Drug Distribution (Cocaine)
Class C Felony 5 years $125,000 Third Degree AssaultFirst Degree Theft, DUII Third Offense, Hit and Run Injury

Ref: Or. Rev. Stat. §161

There are some misdemeanors and some felonies that are not classified, meaning they are not given a “Class A”, “Class B”, or “Class C” label. The potential sentences for these crimes are stated in the particular law that describes the offense.

Pre-Sentence Investigation

Judges are given some leeway in your sentence. Because a Class B felony can carry up to 10 years in prison, this means it could also carry 1 year or 5 years. How the judge determines where at in a range to sentence you is based largely on a presentence report.

A presentence investigation is completed by a probation officer employed by the state of Oregon. This officer will gather much information on you through research and interviews and compile it for the judge. You, your family, employer, friends, and the alleged victim could all be interviewed as part of the investigation.

A final pre-sentence report contains a lot of information designed to assist the judge in determining a sentence for you. Your pre-sentence report could include:

  • Family history and support
  • Psychological evaluation or history
  • Connections in the community
  • Employment history
  • Criminal history
  • Victim statements
  • Circumstances of the offense

Perhaps the most important part of the presentence report is the recommendation from the investigating officer. While the judge doesn’t have to follow the recommendation, he will take it into consideration due to the officer’s experience supervising people committed of crimes.

The officer will use all of the information gathered to determine what kind of sentence she feels would be appropriate for you. The probation officer could recommend you be sentenced to probation if it appears that you would not be a risk to the community.

Oregon Criminal Probation – Terms & Obligations

If you are ordered to serve a term of probation, more than likely you have a suspended sentence. What this means is the judge entered a prison sentence for your charge. Because of the circumstances and perhaps the presentence report, he suspended your sentence, or put it on hold, in order to give you the opportunity to prove yourself through a period of probation.

Probation is no walk in the park, although it is usually much better than the alternative (jail).  While on probation you will be required to follow many rules, or probationary terms. These terms could include curfews, treatment and counseling recommendations, employment, school, random drug and alcohol tests, community service, or house arrest.

If you violate the terms of your probation, you can be taken back to court for a violation hearing. The outcome of this hearing could be more restriction or could even mean your suspended sentence gets activated and you are required to serve the original prison sentence.

Free Consultation on Oregon Criminal Charges & Sentencing

If you are facing a criminal charge, whether it s a misdemeanor or felony in Oregon, we can help.

As your attorney, we can help increase your chance of getting sentenced to probation. We can even help if you have been accused of violating probation. A skilled attorney fighting for you at every stage of the game is a must when you are in the Oregon criminal court system.

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