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I was arrested in Eugene, Oregon for a crime: What now?

If you’ve been arrested for a crime in Eugene, Oregon, then it’s a good idea to consider hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney.  Veralrud and Fowler, one of the top-rated firms in Eugene, have put together a information guide that will help arrestees get through the process and protect their rights.

There are three key concepts to consider if you are arrested in Eugene or Lane county:

  1. Know your rights.  Protect yourself and your belongings in accordance with the law.
  2. Understand what to expect if you are taken into custody
  3. Be aware of what charges you are facing and when to appear in court to defend yourself.

Criminal Defense in Eugene: Know your rights and protect yourself.

Ask for the arresting officer(s)’ name or business card.  You do not have to consent to the search of your person, vehicle, or belongings, including your cell phone.  If you do, it can affect your rights regarding admissible evidence in court.  If there are any witnesses to an incident that led to your arrest, write down their names and contact information.  Take pictures of, or video record, the scene when possible.  If you were injured, take photos and keep any records of treatment that you received.  As soon as you can, write down everything you remember about the incident, people involved, and the place it happened.

When you are arrested, you have the right to request a criminal defense attorney.  You may have a very limited amount of opportunity to make phone calls, so it’s a good idea to contact a friend or family member who can help you locate a lawyer.  

If I’m Arrested in Lane County, Should I explain myself to the police?

Under Oregon law, you are required to provide your full legal name and address, but you do not have to answer any other questions or sign papers of any kind.  Anything you say can be used against you later, so it’s in your best interests to not offer any information beyond what’s required.   Even the most seemingly innocent information can be used as evidence against you by a skilled prosecutor, so there is literally nothing to be gained by talking to police officers or other representatives of the State.

Furthermore, it is unethical for anyone to verbally offer you a reduced sentence or to “go easy on you” in exchange for you confessing to a crime.  Police officers are also not allowed to use force or threats to get you to provide information.  If they do, report it to a judge, the district attorney, and your lawyer.

You are also not required to take a lie detector test.  Always consult a criminal defense lawyer  in Eugene before agreeing to take one, as these tests are not completely reliable, and the results are not always admissible in court.

I Was Booked into the Lane County Jail: Will I be released from custody?

If you are taken into custody for a misdemeanor or nonviolent felony charge, you will likely be eligible to be released on bail or with a release agreement.  A release agreement means that you agree to appear in court on a specified date and time.  DO NOT miss this court date for any reason, or you will be subject to a Failure to Appear charge and warrant will be issued for your arrest.

If you were arrested in a Domestic Violence case or serious felony charge like Assault, you will usually be held in custody until you can appear before a judge, who will set a bail amount according to the seriousness of your charges and the risk that you may flee or not appear in court.  Having a lawyer available during this process will be in your best interests, as they can help reduce the bail amount, or even secure a release agreement.

To be released, you must post ten percent of the bail amount set by the judge.  So, if your bail amount is set at $10,000, you must post $1,000 in order to be released.  

How do I know what I’m being charged with?

Before you appear in court, the district attorney’s office for Lane county will review police reports and decide which charges will be filed.  The District Attorney may file the same charges that you were arrested for or they may add, delete, or even file different charges based on their assessment of the evidence.

The District Attorney must provide you with a copy of all charges filed at your first court appearance, usually called an arraignment.  

What if I can’t make it to my court date?

The courts are not forgiving if you miss your assigned court date.  The court will file a charge of Failure to Appear and a warrant will be issued for your arrest.  You should do everything in your power to be on time and present in the correct courtroom.  If there is a very good reason for you to not appear, you should have a criminal defense attorney in Eugene appear for you and explain to the court why you could not be present.

Why should I hire a criminal defense attorney in Eugene?

An experienced Eugene criminal defense attorney will help you protect your liberty, rights, and property at every step of the legal process, including after a conviction.  Veralrud & Fowler have the experience and knowledge to fight for you and they want to help defend you against any criminal charges.  Call or email today to set up your initial consultation.

Related Links: Criminal DefenseMeet Our Attorneys

Give Us a Call at 541-345-3333 for a Free Consultation About Your Case or Send Us an Email Below

975 Oak Street, Suite 798

Eugene, OR 97401

Phone  (541) 345-3333
Fax  (541) 342-1908

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