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James O'Rourke - Property Crime attorney Portland Oregon


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

503-221-1425 - Portland Office

Criminal Defense of Property Crimes in Oregon

James F. O'Rourke Jr. and Associates duii defense attorneys
 

Property Crimes

Mr. O’Rourke is an experienced criminal defense and theft crime lawyer who will defend you against misdemeanor or felony theft charges in the Portland, Gresham, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Oregon City metroplex area and throughout the state of Oregon.

In Multnomah County, felony theft crimes and misdemeanor theft crimes are prosecuted in Portland and misdemeanor theft crimes are prosecuted in Gresham, Oregon. In Washington County Oregon , theft crimes cases are heard in Hillsboro, Oregon In Clackamas County, felony and misdemeanor theft crimes cases are heard in Oregon City. Misdemeanor theft crimes are also charged in Beaverton, Lake Oswego and Troutdale Oregon municipal courts.

Theft crimes are defined in ORS Chapter 164 and include the following:

Theft by taking, appropriating, obtaining or withholding. ORS 164.015 (includes shoplifting and embezzlement)

Theft of property lost, mislaid or delivered by mistake includes the by taking . ORS 164.065

Theft by extortion includes forcing another to deliver property by threats . ORS 164.075

Theft by deception (fraud) . ORS 164.085

Theft by receiving (includes knowingly buying or keeping stolen property). ORS 164.095

Theft of services . ORS 164.125 (dine and dash, includes theft of utility or communications services)

Theft of mail . ORS 164.162

Identity Theft . ORS 165.800

Each theft crime is made of certain elements. The state of Oregon has to prove them all in order to get a conviction. Think of elements as ingredients. The state has to prove all of the ingredients of each crime to get a conviction. The basic ingredient of all theft crimes is coming into possession of the property, services or identity of another through fraudulent means.

Click the name of the crime above to learn more including the elements the state must prove and to read the text of the statute for each kind of theft crime.

In addition to the basic ingredients of each theft crime, the State Of Oregon must prove the value of the property or other facts which determine the degree or seriousness of each theft crime.

Degrees of theft crimes in Oregon:

  • Aggravated 1st degree Theft Class B felony
  • First Degree Theft Class C felony
  • Second Degree Theft Class A misdemeanor
  • Third Degree Theft Class C misdemeanor

The following table shows the factors the state must prove to establish the degree - seriousness of each theft crime.

The Degree of The Theft Crime Is Determined by:

Class C Misdemeanor Value of the property:

Theft In The Third Degree by:

  • Theft Taking some value less than $100.
  • Lost, Mislaid some value less than $100.
  • Deception some value less than $100.
  • Receiving some value less than $100.

Class A Misdemeanor Value of the property:

Theft In The Second Degree by:

  • Taking $100 or more and less than $1000
  • Lost, Mislaid $100 or more and less than $1000
  • Deception $100 or more and less than $1000
  • Receiving $100 or more and less than $1000

Class C Felony

Theft In The First Degree by:

Value of the property or other factors:

  • Taking ... 1000 or more
  • Lost, Mislaid... 1000 or more
  • Deception ... 1000 or more
  • Receiving ... 1000 or more

Extortion Any value

Other factors where Theft by Taking..., Lost, Mislaid..., Deception or Receiving involved

  • committing theft during a riot, catastrophe or other emergency (looting)
  • lending on stolen property pawning stolen property
  • property is a firearm or explosive
  • property is livestock, companion animal - a pet, wild animal removed from habitat or issue thereof
  • property is precursor substance - a substance used to make illegal controlled substances

These other factors do not apply to Theft by Extortion or Theft Of Services

Class B Felony Value of the property: 10,000 or more for all theft crimes.

Aggravated Theft In The First Degree Value:

  • Taking ... 10,000 or more
  • Lost ... 10,000 or more
  • Deception ... 10,000 or more
  • Receiving ... 10,000 or more
  • Extortion ... 10,000 or more

In most cases, the factor which determines whether a theft crime is charged as a felony theft crime or a misdemeanor theft crime is the value of the property. The higher the value of the property, the more serious the charge.

The value of property is the market value of the property at the time and place of the crime, or if that can not reasonably be determined, then the cost of replacement of the property within a reasonable time after the crime.

Aggregate value . The value of individual thefts of property may be added together - aggregated if the thefts were committed against multiple victims by similar means within a 30 day period or against the same victim, or two or more persons who are joint owners, within a 180 day period..

Example

If “Joe” steals $99 in cash from his co-worker’s till eleven times over 30 days, a prosecutor can add all eleven thefts together and charge a Class C Felony Theft in the First Degree or charge eleven counts of Class C Misdemeanor Theft in the Third Degree.

Punishment for felony theft crimes convictions.

The maximum possible punishments for theft crime convictions are:

Penalties for class C and B Felonies:

  • Class C Felony Maximum Prison 5 years Maximum Fine $125,000
  • Class B Felony Maximum Prison 10 years Maximum Fine $250,000

Penalties for class C and B Misdemeanors

  • Class C Misdemeanor Maximum Jail 30 days Maximum Fine $1,250
  • Class A Misdemeanor Maximum Jail 1 year Maximum Fine $6,250

Penalties for Violations

  • No Prison or Jail Maximum Fine: $250-$2,000

Probation and Post Prison Supervision For Theft Crimes

Persons who are convicted of felony theft crimes and who are sent to prison are placed on post prison supervision upon release. The conditions of post prison supervision can include many of the same conditions as probation.

Persons convicted of misdemeanor theft crimes and those who are convicted of felony theft crimes who are not sent to prison are placed on probation.

There are different kinds of probation.

  • Bench
  • Enhanced bench
  • Supervised

Click here to see the General Conditions of Probation for felony theft convictions. We advise our clients to review these conditions carefully before sentencing so that we can avoid problems arising from the conditions.

Special Conditions Of Probation for Identity Theft Crime Convictions often include theft classes, restitution, no contact or trespass on the property of the victim, alcohol or drug treatment, community service and jail. Most courts have packages of special conditions of probation for theft and Identity Theft crimes. Again, we advise our clients to study these special conditions carefully. We discuss these conditions with our clients before sentencing so that we are aware of any problems the conditions may cause and can bring those problems to the attention of the Court and argue for different conditions.

Click here to see Special Conditions Of Probation for Financial Crimes often applied to Theft convictions in Portland, Gresham Multnomah County Circuit Courts.

Click here to see Special Conditions Of Probation for Clackamas County often applied to Theft Convictions in Oregon City, Clackamas County Circuit Courts.

The Special Conditions of Probation for Washington County are similar to those in Multnomah and Clackamas County and are set by the Probation Officer rather than the Court.

Jail or Prison Sentences For theft Crimes

Sentences on Misdemeanor convictions are discretionary with the judge. Jail sentences for misdemeanor theft convictions are not uncommon.

Sentences on Felony and Aggravated Felony theft convictions are determined by the Judge applying the Oregon Felony Sentencing Guidelines. To calculate a sentence using the Oregon Felony Sentencing Guidelines, first we look at the degree of the crime for which the defendant is being sentenced and the value of the property which was the subject of the theft. The higher the value of the property the more serious the presumed sentence. Then we look at the defendant’s criminal history which is the number and types of prior convictions Those factors produce a presumed sentence.

If a person has a certain number and kinds of prior convictions and the right type of new charge, he will face a presumed prison sentence under the Repeat Property Offender Law also known as REPO. Click here to learn more about Repeat Property Offender Law.

There are three types of presumed sentences:

  • probationary - which includes probation and possibly jail but not prison
  • prison per felony sentencing guidelines - prison can be reduced to probation with out without jail
  • prison under the REPO statute - prison and can be reduced to probation with or without jail

Where REPO applies, the presumed sentence is the longer of the Felony Sentencing Guidelines or REPO presumed sentences. REPO presumed sentences are 18 or 24 months in prison.

The presumed sentence is only a starting point in setting the punishment for a felony theft conviction.

At sentencing, we can argue for less than the presumed Oregon Felony Sentencing Guidelines or REPO sentence based on mitigating factors which are reasons to give a person less than the presumed sentence. However, there are restrictions on the use of mitigating factors if a person was on probation for a property crime at the time of the offense or has previously had a REPO sentence reduced by mitigation.

One of the mitigating factors we use most often in theft cases is that our client is “amenable to treatment” OAR 213-008-0002(1)(a)(I).

There are many reasons people commit theft and property crimes. Addiction and theft go hand in hand. Many property and theft crime offenders suffer from alcohol or drug addiction. There are psychological/emotional conditions which motivate people to commit thefts. These conditions can be diagnosed and treated..

Successful alcohol and drug treatment or psychological or emotional treatment or counseling can be a basis for a non prison sentence. The idea is that treatment will solve the clients underlying problem and there is no need for prison to rehabilitate the client and protect society from future crimes.

We at the law firm of Portland criminal defense lawyer James F. O’Rourke, Jr. Lead the way in using successful treatment for underlying conditions to obtain appropriate sentencing results for our clients. We work with a large network of professionals who provide excellent treatment and support in Court for our clients charged with Theft crimes.

How we work as a team for you

We at James F. O’Rourke, Jr. and Associates know how to defend theft charges. We are very successful in getting charges dismissed or reduced. Our clients, who carefully follow our instructions, usually avoid jail sentences. Rarely, do any of our clients who follow our instructions receive prison sentences.

In determining our client’s exposure to punishment for theft crimes, first we determine the degree of the crime using the factors set out above. If most cases the level of the crime is determined by the value of the property. The higher the value of the property, the more serious the charge.

Next, for felony theft crimes, we look at the value of the property again to determine the presumed punishment under the Oregon Felony Sentencing Guidelines. The higher the value of the property, the higher the presumed sentence.

Then we look at the nature of the charged crime and client’s criminal history to determine if the client is subject to a prison sentence as a Repeat Property Offender REPO and/or under the Oregon Felony Sentencing guidelines.

Then we look for ways to get the charges reduced, dismissed or ways to get the district attorney or judge not to follow the presumed sentence and order something our client can live with.

Pre Charge Representation

Our criminal defense lawyers and attorneys negotiate with persons to settle civil claims before criminal charges are brought. If done correctly, this can avoid criminal prosecution all together. If not done correctly through a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney, this can lead to further criminal charges. We know how to do this correctly.

Trial

Our criminal trial lawyers and attorneys make sure the State can prove its case. The prosecution has the burden of proof - the burden of proving all the elements of each theft crime including value and ownership of the property. There are a number of defenses to theft charges.

Negotiation before and after charges are brought

We use proven methods to avoid charges or to get filed charges reduced or dismissed.. We negotiate with DA’s, Judges and Victims. Many of our cases are dismissed pursuant to Civil Compromise.

Sentencing

We use proven methods to get sentences that avoid jail or prison even for clients facing REPO sentences. We know how to structure sentences which best serve the interests of society and our clients. There are ways of doing jail time without going to jail in some cases.

We at James F. O’Rourke, Jr. and Associates know how to get good results for persons with theft convictions and are good at getting less than presumed sentences under both Oregon Felony Sentencing Guidelines and REPO laws.

We are hired to represent persons at sentencing for theft crimes after they have lost at trial with other criminal lawyers and attorneys

Immediate Misdemeanor Treatment

Class C felony Theft convictions can be reduced to misdemeanor convictions at sentencing or at the end of probation. The decision is within the discretion of the court. If a person has his sentence reduced to a Class A Misdemeanor at the time of sentencing, he will be subject to maximum penalties of up to a year in the county jail and a fine of up to $6,250. He may be placed on bench probation or supervised probation. He will be subject to the same general and special conditions of probation as if he were convicted of felony Identity Theft.

Expungement

Misdemeanor and Class C felony theft crime convictions can be expunged, sealed or cleared from one’s criminal record.. Class B felony aggravated theft convictions can not be expunged.

We at James F. O’Rourke are mindful of the consequences of having a record of a felony conviction and work very hard to avoid such a record and to set the client up to have the client’s record sealed, expungement as soon as possible.

We have recently enjoyed excellent results in courts in Portland, Gresham, Oregon City, Beaverton, Lake Oswego and Hillsboro Oregon.

Appeals

We file appeals to get Theft convictions reversed and to get a new trial or a new sentencing hearing. Click here if you want to know more

Other Post Sentencing representation

Early termination of probation (need to add this to the home page) is possible for some theft crimes after a significant portion of the probation has been served and the purposes of probation have been fulfilled.

Expungement (sealing) of criminal record is possible for most theft crimes.

Changing - Modification of Conditions Of Probation is possible for most misdemeanor and felony theft crime convictions after sentencing.

Deferred misdemeanor treatment may be requested for most felony theft crimes. Theft crimes are classified as either C or A misdemeanors or C or B felonies. In some cases felony convictions can be reduced to misdemeanor convictions at the beginning of the case, at sentencing or at the end of probation. In some cases misdemeanors can be reduced to violations.

Restoration of gun rights is possible after a felony theft conviction. We have performed this service for many people and have a very high rate of success in litigating Gun Rights Restoration Petitions.

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503-221-1425 - Portland Office
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