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Criminal defense lawyer Portland Oregon

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Law Offices of James F. O'Rourke Jr. and Associates

503-221-1425 - Portland Office



Mr. O’Rourke is an experienced criminal defense lawyer and attorney in Portland, Gresham, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Oregon City and Troutdale Courts and Courts throughout the State of Oregon. Mr. O’Rourke began as a Portland Criminal Lawyer in 1978.

Criminal defense attorney O’Rourke will defend you against criminal prosecution in the Portland metroplex area. In Multnomah County, felony and misdemeanor criminal charges are prosecuted in Portland and misdemeanor crimes are prosecuted in Gresham and Portland. In Washington County, Oregon, felony and misdemeanor cases are heard in Hillsboro, Oregon In Clackamas County, felony and misdemeanor criminal proceedings are heard in Oregon City.

Mr. O'Rourke and His Staff 
Work As a Team For You

In every criminal case we use three methods to fight the prosecution and win: attack, negotiation and mitigation. The smart thing is to concentrate our time and resources in the areas which will be most productive in achieving our goals. This is Smart Defense - focusing on using what works.

Call us today for your FREE telephone consultation at 503-221-1425 or you can tell us about your case here.


First we ATTACK the government’s case in and out of Court. We test and challenge the government’s ability to prove its case. We file motions which assert our client’s statutory and constitutional rights to limit the evidence the government can use in trial. We use aggressive investigation to test the credibility of the government’s evidence and to develop our own evidence for trail. We use powerful trial teams for the cases which go to trial.


Second, we NEGOTIATE before and after charges are filed.. Using investigation, diplomacy and hard work, we often succeed in getting the State and alleged victims to abandon prosecutions. No honest attorney can predict how a jury will decide a given case. We can give an opinion of the chances for success. Sometimes, the risks of trial are outweighed by the certainty of an offer which is too good to refuse.


Third, we develop a SENTENCING MITIGATION hearing plan in the event of a guilty verdict or in conjunction with a plea bargain. We develop and present evidence that shows that our client does not need to be punished with jail or prison to prevent him or her from offending again even if our client already has a prior criminal record. Mitigation includes turning negatives into positives.


Use of alcohol and drugs, gambling, mental health issues including depression and Bipolar and situational emotional problems including anger are the root causes of many crimes. By addressing the causes of alleged criminal behavior, we assure the Court that incarceration is not necessary to get our client to solve his or her problem.

We have an extensive network of top professionals we use to assist our clients.

We have vast experience working with clients in residential, outpatient, individual counseling and psychotherapy and 12 step recovery programs and with their spouses, families, friends and employers.

We understand the nature of addiction and the problems and feelings of recovering persons and their families, friends and employers. We know how to address those problems and concerns.

We use our clients’ successful treatment efforts to get excellent results in Court which is the essence of Turning Negatives Into Positives.

Most of our addiction recovery clients receive extremely lenient treatment from the Courts.


Our motto is Personal Service With Integrity. We strive to provide excellent individual service to our clients. We return their calls and answer their questions. We counsel and support them as they go through the criminal case process.

Our reputation is based on our results and on the way we treat our clients.

Further former client references and other information about results from trial and motion practice, negotiation, sentencing and appeal are available upon request.

Recently, about one fourth of our new clients have been referred by former clients.


We are able to handle defenses for certain clients in such a way that they never have to go to the courthouse. We know how to keep things quiet.


Among the services we provide retained clients related to criminal investigations and charges are the following:

We at James F. O’Rourke, Jr. And Associates provide Pre Charge Representation for clients suspected of, witnesses to or under investigation for supposed criminal activities. In many cases no charges are filed.

We encourage you to Assert Your Rights and Protect Yourself during any encounter with law enforcement agents or police officers before and after you have been arrested for or charged with a crime. You can always talk your way into trouble and rarely talk you way out of trouble with law enforcement agents. Consult with a criminal lawyer before talking to the police.

We appear with prospective clients at Arraignment while they obtain the funds to hire us to make sure that their cases get started correctly. At Arraignment the client is informed of the charges against them and further court dates are set. The judge makes important decisions at Arraignment about Release, Release Conditions, and the amount of Bail.

We work for the Release of persons who have been arrested and taken into custody including Bail Reduction and Release Hearings. We are able to get most of our clients released from custody during the pendency of their cases upon appropriate release conditions.

If you have been released on bail or on your own recognizance, you are probably subject to Release Conditions. Please review your release conditions carefully to make sure that you can comply with all of them. If you violate your release conditions you will be taken back into custody.

Click these links to see the Standard Release Conditions for Portland, Gresham, Multnomah County, Oregon City, Clackamas County and Hillsboro, Washington County, Oregon. The Court can also order additional or special release conditions.

We review Release Orders and Conditions with our clients. If there is a problem with a particular release condition we file a Motion For Modification Of Release Conditions.

We prepare and file pre trial motions including Motions To Suppress Illegally Obtained Evidence. Winning a Motion To Suppress can prevent the State from using evidence necessary to get a conviction. The threat of a strong Motion to Suppress is a factor the prosecution must consider in negotiations.

Our clients decide whether or not they want to go to trial. If so, their case will be tried by a highly experienced Oregon criminal trial lawyer. When a person is properly prepared, trial can be an interesting experience.

We insist that our clients maintain a plea of not guilty at least until we can negotiate the best result possible for them in exchange for changing their plea to guilty or no contest.

Most criminal charges are resolved by the criminal defense lawyer negotiating with the District Attorney and the Judge. This is called plea bargaining. Based upon decades of experience as criminal attorneys in Portland, Gresham, Beaverton, Hillsboro and Oregon City we know that well over 95% of all felony and misdemeanor criminal cases in those courts end up with clients pleading guilty or no contest to certain charges in exchange for the dismissal of other criminal charges and/or for leniency in sentencing or other considerations.

Even when a client pleads guilty or no contest, there are ways to be allowed to withdraw that plea and have the case dismissed after successfully fulfilling certain agreed conditions through various methods and programs including Deferred Sentencing, Deferred Prosecution, Conditional Discharge, STOP Court, Drug Court and Diversion Programs.

We prepare our clients carefully before a Change of Plea Hearing  at which they change their plea from one of not guilty to one of guilty or no contest to certain charges.

If you decide you want to plead guilty or no contest to felony or misdemeanor criminal charges you will be required to sign a plea petition and related documents. It is very important that you understand the contents of those documents.

We at James F. O’Rourke, Jr. And Associates advise our clients to study the plea petition and related documents before the change of plea hearing. We discuss these documents with our clients before court so that they understand their rights and the potential consequences of entering a plea of guilty or no contest. We have attached copies of Plea Petitions and related documents for Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas Counties and for Beaverton Municipal Court for the convenience of our clients.

Multnomah County Circuit Courts Plea Petition and related documents for pleas of guilty or no contest for, Portland and Gresham.

Washington County Circuit Courts Plea Petition and related documents for pleas of guilty or not contest for, Hillsboro, Oregon.

Beaverton Municipal Court Plea Petition for pleas of guilty or no contest for Beaverton, Oregon.

Clackamas County Circuit Courts Plea Petition and related documents for pleas of guilty or no contest for, Oregon City.

Plea petitions for other courts including, Troutdale, Lake Oswego West Linn, Hood River County, Tillamook County, Columbia County, Clatsop County, Yamhill County and Polk County will be provided to clients with cases in those courts.

At some time after the Change Of Plea Hearing or guilty verdict after trial, there is a Sentencing Hearing. In most cases the District Attorney tries to force the Defendant into accepting an agreed sentence through plea bargaining. Unless we are able to agree to a sentence that is acceptable and workable for the client, we prefer an open sentencing. In an open sentencing, the District attorney and the criminal defense lawyer argue about the sentence and the judge makes the decision. We do very well in open sentencing hearings using proven Mitigation strategies including those based upon Turning Negatives Into Positives.

Almost all persons convicted of Felony or Misdemeanor crimes are placed on Probation and are required to obey Probation Conditions. If you are accused of disobeying a condition of Probation, we will represent you at a Probation Violation Hearing where the Judge will decide whether you violated the probation condition and, if so, whether you should be punished for the violation.

We at James F. O’Rourke, Jr. And Associates advise our clients to carefully study the General Conditions Of Probation and Special Conditions Of Probation that might apply to them before sentencing. We discuss these conditions with our clients so that we are aware of any problems the conditions may cause so that we can bring such problems to the attention of the Court and argue for different conditions to avoid probation violation hearings later.

We can get problematic probation conditions changed after sentencing by filing a Motion To Modify Conditions Of Probation and having a hearing on the motion.

We get persons with Arrest Warrants for Probation Violations, Failure To Appear In Court and New Criminal Charges back or into the court system without having to spend time in jail in many cases. In some counties is it necessary to go to jail before a person can get back into court. Many of our clients are out of custody within hours or the same day in those counties.

We get probation terminated early by filing a Motion For Early Termination Of Probation for clients when the right circumstances exist. Recently, we had a probation terminated early so that our client could get a certain job.

We file Appeals to get judgments reversed and to get an order for a new trial or a new sentencing hearing. Appeals are based on errors of law made by the judges during trial or sentencing. We evaluate cases for possible appeals and give our clients realistic opinions about their chances of success. We brief and argue cases in the Oregon Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court for the State of Oregon.

When clients are granted a new trial after a successful appeal, we approach their cases as we do all criminal matters, by attacking the State’s case, pursuing negotiations and, if necessary, preparing for a new sentencing hearing.

When clients are granted a new sentencing hearing after appeal or as a result of negotiations, we take the opportunity to carefully develop and present all of the important evidence to the Court, including, in many cases, new evidence that was not available at the time of the original sentencing. Our goal is to persuade the Court to give our clients a more lenient sentence.

We get some Class C Felony convictions reduced to Class A Misdemeanor convictions by filing a Motion For Deferred Misdemeanor Treatment at the time of sentencing or at the end of the period of probation.

We get records of arrests and criminal convictions expunged (sealed) for qualified clients by filing a Motion for Expungement.

We represent persons charged with crimes in State and Federal Court including:

Felony and Misdemeanor DUII and DUI and related charges including Reckless Driving, Criminal Mischief, Felony and Misdemeanor Failure To Perform The Duties Of A Driver, Hit And Run, Assault in the Second, Third and Fourth Degree, Manslaughter in the First and Second Degree and more. Multnomah and Washington Counties now charge Reckless Driving with many DUII cases.

DUII related proceedings including DUII Diversion hearings, DUII Diversion Revocation Hearings, DMV Implied Consent License Suspension Hearings and Hardship Drivers License Applications.

Drug Crime Charges including Manufacture, Delivery or Possession of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and ecstasy, MDMA and marijuana grows. Almost all Manufacture, Delivery or Possession of a Controlled Substance charges are felonies.

Common practices by drug users and addicts can lead to serious charges. Growing or repackaging marijuana for sale can be charged as Manufacture Of A Controlled Substance, a Class A Felony. Possession of more than an amount sufficient for personal use can be charged as Delivery Of A Controlled Substance which is at least a Class B Felony.

When an addict writes a false prescription to obtain drugs, he or she can be charged with Forgery. If the addict uses a false identity he or she can be charged with Identity Theft.

When health care professionals, including nurses, doctors and pharmacists take drugs from their employers and do not properly record what happened to the drugs taken, he or she can be charged with Theft and Tampering With Drug Records. Each pill can be a separate Theft Charge.

Federal Drug Crimes

Theft Crime Charges including Theft In The First Degree, Theft In The Second Degree, shoplifting, embezzlement, taking and fraud.

Identity Theft

UUV, Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle, UUMV, and Possession Of A Stolen Vehicle.

Property Crime Charges including Burglary in the first and second degree, Criminal Mischief in the first and second degree, Computer crime, Forgery in the first and second degree, Criminal Possession Of A Forged Instrument in the first and second degree, and Fraudulent Use Of A Credit Card.

Federal Theft Crimes

Weapons Crime Charges

Domestic Violence Crime Charges including Misdemeanor Assault In The Fourth Degree, Felony Assault In the Fourth Degree, Harassment, Strangulation.

Measure 11 Crime Charges

Sex Crime Charges including Sex Abuse in the first, second or third degree.


While our principle offices are In Portland and Gresham, we see clients by appointment in offices in Beaverton, Hillsboro, Oregon City and Lake Oswego. Besides being a Portland criminal lawyer, Mr. O'Rourke frequently practices in Courts throughout the State of Oregon and southwest Washington. He is licensed in Washington and Oregon.


To talk to a Criminal Defense Lawyer, call 503-221-1425. We take emergency calls 24 hours a day.

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Quote Left I retained James O'Rourke to handle my alcohol related legal issues. His reputation for handling cases like mine was impeccable. My expectation was for him to find a loophole in my case and get me out of trouble. Based on my previous experience with attorneys I was skeptical.

What I received from Jim O'Rourke was (and still is) astounding...client testimonial (more)



Quote LeftMy first attorney did absolutely nothing for me, and I'm pretty sure if I found Jim first I would not have lost my job. Jim was the ideal attorney for my case because he had many years of experience and he knew exactly what to do. I thought my life was over, but after I met him, my outlook on everything changed completely...client testimonial (more)



Quote LeftThe complicated details of my son's charges, handled so expertly by you and your staff, prompted one judge to say to my son --"You are lucky you have such a good attorney - who has set out such a great program for you"...client testimonial (more)



Quote LeftWe feel compelled to write a testimonial to the superlative help James F. O'Rourke, Jr. And Associates gave us with our son's case. Hopefully this will be read by someone who, like us, finds themselves in a desperate legal situation. We can say without hesitation or reservation that our son got the best legal help possible...client testimonial (more)

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