What will happen when charged with assault 4 in Oregon? 3 Answers as of February 18, 2011

My son's girlfriend got arrested even though he didn't press charges against her for Assault 4 on him, what can he do to get off these charges and get her released without court?

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Harris Law Firm
Harris Law Firm | Jennifer C. Robins
Assault in the fourth degree in Oregon is either a class A misdemeanor (punishable by up to a year in jail) or a class C felony (punishable by up to five years in prison). If the incident occurred in the presence of a minor, then it may be charged as a felony.

Your son does not have the power to press charges or dismiss charges. The District Attorney, or prosecuting attorney if the case is not in Circuit Court, is the person who "presses" or "files" charges. If your son would like to attempt to resolve the issue without prosecution, he should contact the prosecuting attorney and try to speak with them about it.

As far as getting his girlfriend "released," your son may not have much say in that matter. Typically, while on pre-trial release, your son and his girlfriend will not be allowed to have contact with one another.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 2/18/2011
Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre
Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre | Jonathan T. Sarre
To start off, he can call the DA and say he wants nothing to do with the prosecution. Depending on what county he lives in (that's to say how busy the DA is), if he's fairly clear on not wanting to come to court and ignores the letters they send him, the case may get dropped eventually. He can also find out who her lawyer is and get in contact with him or her and offer to help the defense in any way he can. This would help in a case where a crime really didn't occur (for example she really didn't hit him, the cops just think she did). In this way, the number one witness for the state can become a witness for the defense. The DA may decide going on with the prosecution really isn't worth it (or the jury decides that it isn't and votes "not guilty" at trial). He may want to consult with a lawyer regarding his rights as a crime victim under the Oregon constitution and how to best assert those rights as well.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 2/18/2011
Edward A. Kroll, Attorney at Law
Edward A. Kroll, Attorney at Law | Edward A. Kroll
The best place to start would be for the girlfriend to have a lawyer. If she already has one, and the case is still going forward, it could be advantageous for your son to have a lawyer as well, to represent him as a victim. While the term "victim" sounds odd here, it has a legal definition, and he has legal rights, including the right to have a say on how the case progresses. I am a former prosecutor and I spent the bulk of my time in the Domestic Violence unit in Portland, and I know how these cases work. I would be happy to talk with you and your son, or with his girlfriend.

There are several ways around this type of problem, and I can give you some options. Please feel free to call me. Best of luck.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 2/17/2011
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