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Oregon Sentencing Guidelines Lawyer

Portland, Oregon, Sentencing Advocacy Attorney

Oregon has a varied and complex set of sentencing laws. Not all laws apply in all cases, and correctly identifying which ones do or do not apply to a particular case is a crucial determination.

The primary set of laws governing felony sentencing in Oregon is commonly referred to as the "Oregon Sentencing Guidelines." All felony sentences in Oregon are in some way governed by the sentencing guidelines. The guidelines rank two components in a grid system. The first component ranks the seriousness of the particular offense. Each felony crime in Oregon has been ranked in seriousness from 1 (least serious) to 11 (most serious). The second component ranks the convicted defendant's prior criminal history alphabetically from A (most serious) to I least serious. Where the two components intersect, the guidelines provide a "presumptive" sentence of either a probationary or a prison term.

Sentences outside of the presumptive range are called "departure" sentences. There can be upward or downward departure sentences. An entire body of law has developed relating to the imposition of these departure sentences. In particular, a variety of Constitutional and statutory provisions limit how and when the government may request an upward departure sentence. Upward departures may be based on defendant specific information and/or case specific information. How the government goes about proving such information, by what standard, and to whom (judge or jury) are critical questions. An experienced Oregon criminal defense attorney is necessary to ensure that a client who faces a guidelines sentencing in Oregon has fully explored the guidelines sentencing issues in each individual case.

Outside the sentencing guidelines there are a variety of more specific sentencing provisions that apply only to certain crimes, or to certain classes of individuals (usually those with prior convictions for example). The most famous of these sentencing schemes is what is commonly referred to as "Measure 11."

Measure 11 Minimum Sentences

Most serious person-to-person crimes (those in the First and Second Degree) are covered by the 1994 Ballot initiative known as Measure 11. Measure 11 establishes minimum mandatory sentences for these offenses. Measure 11 minimum sentences are:

Murder300Attempted Agg Murder120
Manslaughter I120Rape I100
Sodomy I100Sexual penetration I100
Kidnapping I90Arson I90
Assault I90Attempted murder90
Robbery I90Manslaughter II75
Rape II75Sodomy II75
Sexual penetration II75Sexual abuse I75
Assault II70Kidnapping II70
Robbery II70Robbery II70
Compel prostitution70

Measure 11 does have an escape clause for many of its second degree crimes. See our page on avoiding state mandatory minimums for more on these exceptions. Other considerations include:

  • Repeat Class A felony offenses (Denny Smith): Certain class A felonies in Oregon carry a mandatory minimum prison sentence upon a second or further conviction.
  • Repeat property offenses: Certain property crimes in Oregon carry near-mandatory "presumptive" prison sentences outside the normal sentencing guidelines.
  • Felonies committed "with a firearm": Under Oregon law the commission of a felony that involves the use or attempted use of a firearm can carry a five to thirty year mandatory minimum sentence.
  • Repeat sexual offenses: Under Oregon law certain repeat sexual offenses are subject to a near mandatory "presumptive" life sentence outside the normal sentencing guidelines.
  • Substantial quantity or commercial drug offenses: Certain drug charges now carry with them mandatory and near mandatory prison sentences outside the normal sentencing guidelines.

Our attorneys are highly knowledgeable about Oregon's complex and varied sentencing laws and how they apply to specific criminal offenses. We advocate for the lowest possible sentence and have been successful at negotiating reduced charges to obtain less severe sentences for clients.

Call an Oregon Sentencing Advocacy Lawyer

Our law firm is committed to providing the highest-quality defense at reasonable rates and is dedicated to protecting our clients' rights. We offer a free initial consultation. Call an Oregon sentencing guidelines attorney toll free at 1-888-311-2016 or send us an e-mail.

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Kohlmetz, Steen & Hanrahan, P.C. | 741 Southwest Lincoln Street Portland, OR 97201| Tel: 503-821-7449/888-311-2016 | Fax: 503-224-9417
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