Congratulations to Tyler Beach on Motion Argument for Domestic Violence Deferred Sentencing Program

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. 

Congratulations to Jennelle Johnson on a failed Drug Test while on Probation case

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. 

Congratulations to Tyler Beach on another Successful Challenge to a Restraining Order

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.    

Congratulations to Ron Ridehalgh on a DVDS Violation Hearing Win

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. 

Congratulations to Tyler Beach on another DUII Win

DUII carries up to 1 year of jail, an automatic 1 year driver license suspension if this is a person's first offense, at least $1000 in fines that can under some circumstances go up to $10,000.  There is also a felony form of DUI that is up to 5 years imprisonment and up to $125,000 in fines.  Mr. Beach had a DUII trial where the client was left alone for 10 minutes after driving.  Mr. Beach established at the trial that during those unobserved 10 minutes, his client could have consumed 3 shots of alcohol which would account for the result on the subsequently taken breath test.  Given that Mr. Beach established that this could reasonably have been what happened, the jury returned the verdict of Not Guilty. 

Congratulations to Thomas Goldman on a Probation Violation Win

Mr. Goldman’s client was on probation and submitted to a drug test.  The result of the drug test was that Mr. Goldman’s client violated the terms of probation by using illegal drugs.  These are notoriously difficult cases to win and can result in revocation of the probation and immediate imprisonment.  At the hearing, the prosecutor had brought the lab technician to testify about the results of the drug test.  However, Mr. Goldman chose to attack what is called in law the ‘chain of custody.’  Essentially, Mr. Goldman challenged the evidence that the sample being tested had actually come from Mr. Goldman’s client.  Since the prosecutor couldn’t respond to Mr. Goldman’s adaptive move, the judge dismissed the allegation against Mr. Goldman’s client. 

Congratulations to Tyler Beach on a Presumptive Prison Case Acquittal

Mr. Beach’s client was accused of selling stolen property.  There was no question that the property was sold by his client, that the property was stolen and that Mr. Beach’s client had prior convictions for burglary and robbery.  If convicted, the law imposed a prison term for this client under these circumstances.  Mr. Beach needed to demonstrate to the jury that his client could have legitimately come into possession of the property and legitimately believed that he could lawfully sell that property.  Mr. Beach did it.  Through rigorous cross examination of the prosecutor’s witnesses every possibility was explored.  Ultimately, the jury returned a Not Guilty verdict!

Congratulations to Thomas Goldman on Juvenile Dependency (Child Abuse and Neglect) Trial Win

Mr. Goldman represented a father in Juvenile Court.  DHS had initiated this case in juvenile dependency – this is where the government wants to have power over a family’s children due to allegations of abuse or neglect.  In this case the issue at the trial was whether the government should have power over kids (and thus the father Mr. Goldman represented) because the father smoked marijuana.  Although Oregon law no longer criminally punishes recreational use or possession of marijuana, the government can still argue that a person who uses marijuana shouldn’t care for a child.  At trial, Mr. Goldman stressed the lack of any harm to the children.  The phrase in court is that there was “no nexus” between the father’s consumption of marijuana and any identified harm to the children.  The judge agreed!

Congratulations to Jennelle Johnson in keeping her client home in Juvenile Court

Ms. Johnson represented a 14 year old girl who lives with her grandparents.  This is this girl’s home and the grandparents have been raising her.  Ms. Johnson’s client loves this home and her grandparents and wishes to stay with them until she goes to college.  Sadly, her grandfather is showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease.  Because of the grandfather’s illness, DHS Child Welfare decided to remove Mr. Johnson’s client from her home and place her in foster care because DHS believed it was unsafe to have a caregiver for a child if that caregiver is showing signs of Alzheimer.  Naturally, Ms. Johnson’s client disagreed and wanted to say at home with her grandparents.  Ms. Johnson went directly to court and got the judge to prevent DHS from removing this girl from her home, to dismiss DHS’ involvement with this family and grant the grandparents guardianship of Ms. Johnson’s client. 

Congratulations to John-Michael Thiesen on a Juvenile Court Trial Win

When the government removes children from a family the court proceeding that reviews the government’s actions is called ‘Juvenile Dependency.’  Mr. Thiesen represented a father in one of these proceedings.  The government alleged that 9 years prior to this case, the father committed a sex crime.  The government also alleged that there was domestic violence between father and mother. 

Mr. Thiesen proved that after Father was convicted, he then completed sex offender treatment and all of his terms of supervision.  Finally, on this issue, Mr. Thiesen proved that the prior conviction did not create any danger at all for his children.  Additionally, since the government was unwilling to comply with the court order Mr. Thiesen obtained requiring the government to share what interview reports they claim to have had regarding the allegation of domestic violence, the government could not offer such evidence at the trial – this is only fair, it is expected in all Oregon trials that if we have a report of an interview of a witness we must give a copy of that report to the opposition. 

Accordingly, the case against Mr. Thiesen’s client and his family was dismissed and the family reunited.