Mr. Beach’s client was accused of Tampering with a Witness. This potential witness had accused Mr. Beach’s client’s son of a crime. Mr. Beach’s client didn’t believe the accusation the potential witness had made and told her to tell the truth to the police. For that, the prosecutor accused Mr. Beach’s client of ‘Tampering with a Witness’ and wanted Mr. Beach’s client to go to prison. At trial, Mr. Beach pointed out that the charge the prosecutor brought against his client was the charge for trying to get someone not to testify at a trial; but, his client merely wanted the potential witness to testify truthfully. The Court of Appeals agreed with Mr. Beach’s argument entirely and ordered that Mr. Beach’s client be found Not Guilty.
Mr. Goldman represented a father in juvenile court. Six years prior, the mother had taken their daughter from Montana and came to Oregon. Here in Oregon, she concealed the daughter so that Mr. Goldman’s client could not find either of them. Eventually, the Oregon Department of Human Services Child Welfare Division took the daughter into their care because of the negligent care provided by mother. Because of this governmental action, the father was notified that his daughter had been found. Since the daughter had not seen her father in six years, Oregon DHS wanted the mother’s family to keep the daughter. Of course, Mr. Goldman’s client wanted to reestablish his relationship with his daughter and to care for her. Through months of litigation and ‘motion practice’ Mr. Goldman obtained an order requiring the Oregon DHS to return the daughter to her father. They are now back home in Montana
Mr. Beach’s client was on probation for an assault conviction. His client only had one more month of probation. However, in that last month an allegation of ‘offensive contact’ was made. This is a particularly bad allegation to have given his circumstances. Should Mr. Beach’s client be found in violation for this reason, Mr. Beach’s client could both be imprisoned and could have the length of time on probation extended. Through rigorous cross examination of the complaining person, Mr. Beach established that her story had reasons to be distrusted. Accordingly, Mr. Beach convinced the judge that the judge could not determine that it was more likely than not that Mr. Beach’s client had engaged in ‘offensive contact.’ Accordingly, no violation was found and Mr. Beach’s client was able to stay out of custody and to finish is last month of probation.
Mr. Goldman’s client was accused of violating a stalking order by going to his child’s school and entering the building to ask for a copy of his child’s records. This was allowed by the court order. However, the prosecutor argued that when he rang the doorbell asking to be let into the office, the ten second wait for the staff to open the door for him constituted him ‘waiting outside the school.’ Mr. Goldman naturally argued that a momentary pause to open a locked door is not the type of behavior intended to be prohibited by an order that forbid lurking outside the school. In fact, the order specially allowed his client to go the school to pick up his child and to request records. Unfortunately, the trial level judge decided in favor of the prosecutor. However, the Court of Appeals returned a decision holding that Mr. Goldman was correct and instructing the trial judge to enter a dismissal.
Mr. Goldman’s client was facing his eighth DUII. Due to his client’s prior history of DUIIs, the best plea offer was to spend one full year in jail. Unfortunately, this was not the best of factual cases for defense. Mr. Goldman’s client was at least a 0.20 and the police had followed all the proper procedures. The one ray of hope (and not necessarily a bright ray of hope) was that the police had not seen Mr. Goldman’s client drive. The client had told the police he drove; but, they had not actually seen him driving. Accordingly, at trial Mr. Goldman focused on how his client could not be trusted to tell the truth! He was drunk, so his mental facilities were impaired – that was a reason the prosecution was prosecuting him after all. Additionally, Mr. Goldman proved that his client had told the police many different, and incompatible, stories about what had happened. Since, the prosecutor needed the jury to believe the one story Mr. Goldman’s client had given about being the driver and Mr. Goldman proved that his client couldn’t be trusted; the jury returned a Not Guilty decision after only twenty minutes of deliberation.
Mr. Beach’s client had two criminal cases - one where he was accused of stealing a car (Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle) and another case where he was again accused of stealing a car (another Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle). If Mr. Beach’s client was convicted of either charge, Oregon law required a minimum sentence of 30 months (2 ½ years) of prison due to his prior criminal history. The offer from the prosecutor to avoid trial was for Mr. Beach’s client to do 60 months (5 years) of prison. Mr. Beach and his client declined the offer and went to trial. If Mr. Beach lost, the judge would have to impose at least the 30 months but could impose as much as 120 months (10 years) or prison. On one case, Mr. Beach proved that although his client didn’t specifically have permission to drive that car, he had been previously allowed to drive it and reasonably could have believed he still could drive it. On the other case, Mr. Beach proved that his client was arrested (for other charges) before he had the opportunity to return the car he was driving – he might have returned but for being arrested. Not Guilty on both Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle charges!
Mr. Beach’s client was accused of a domestic violence offense, was eligible for the Washington County Deferred Sentencing Program (this results in dismissal of the charges after treatment) and wished to enter the Program. However, when our client and her partner experienced this event, our client posted an online intimate photo of the other person. This constituted a new crime – generally called ‘revenge porn’ (this is not the actual name of the crime; but it is what people call it). Due to this additional charge, the prosecutor objected to Mr. Beach’s client’s entry into the Program.
During argument to the court, Mr. Beach stressed the underlying issues of control involved with domestic violence, the immediate nature of his client’s acts and how it was clearly another form of controlling behavior that this Program is designed to address. The judge agreed with the analysis and allowed entry into the Program.
Ms. Johnson’s client was on probation. A term of her client's probation is to not use illegal drugs and to submit to random drug testing. There was no dispute that such a drug test indicated illegal drugs in Ms. Johnson’s client. However, Ms. Johnson attacked the evidence of use of the drug. It was entirely possible that Ms. Johnson’s client was the victim of a ‘date rape’ drug. In a probation violation case, the judge can decide a person violated a term of probation if the judge decided the defendant 'probably' violated. After Ms. Johnson completed her case, the judge decided the state could not even prove that Ms. Johnson’s client even ‘probably’ took drugs voluntarily. Accordingly, the allegation of violation against Ms. Johnson’s client was dismissed.
People often request restraining orders without considering the many continuing and harmful effects these orders have on a person rights under the law. Merely having such an order can impact a person’s employment options, firearm rights and can significantly impact future legal cases. Accordingly, people will often challenge a restraining order even when that person has no wish to ever see or be with the other person. This was another one of these situations. Mr. Beach challenged the order, and at the hearing, obtained a dismissal of the order without needing to even offer his own evidence. Dismissal was granted at the end of the other person's argument.
Mr. Ridehalgh’s client was involved in the Washington County Domestic Violence Deferred Sentencing program. This is a program for persons accused of a first time domestic violence crimes who may agree to treatment (and many other conditions) in exchange for dismissal of the criminal charges at the conclusion of treatment. One of the conditions is that a person in this program may not commit any new crimes or engage in ‘offensive behavior’. Mr. Ridehalgh’s client was accused of committing a new crime by being in a physical fight and that this conduct was ‘offensive’. If found in violation of the agreement due to this allegation, Mr. Ridehalgh’s client would very likely have been removed from the program. This would cause a criminal conviction and possibly jail. Through only cross examination of the prosecutor’s witness, Mr. Ridehalgh established a self-defense claim that the prosecution could not overcome. Accordingly, no violation of the Deferred Sentencing program was found and Mr. Ridehalgh’s client was allowed to continue in the program.