Can a Minor Be Charged with Molestation?

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In today’s society, the legal system faces challenging situations, one of which involves minors who are accused of serious crimes, such as molestation. This issue raises questions about the balance between recognizing the developmental stages of minors and the need to maintain public safety. At Southwell Law, LLC, our Salem criminal defense lawyer understands the… Read more »

What Are the Two Major Categories of Defense to Crimes?

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Being charged with a crime can be a frightening and stressful experience. It’s vital to understand that under the law, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. That means the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime. One of the most important tools you have is the ability to raise… Read more »

Differences Between a Defense Attorney and a Prosecutor?

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In any courtroom drama, two pivotal characters stand out due to their distinctive, yet equally crucial roles: the defense attorney and the prosecutor. Understanding the fundamental differences between these two legal professionals is essential for anyone navigating the judicial system, particularly those seeking legal representation in criminal cases. The Defense Attorney: Protecting Your Rights A… Read more »

Automobile Stops and Dog Sniff Searches: What To Know

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A traffic stop by law enforcement is a common occurrence. The reasons vary from simple traffic violations to suspicion of more serious crimes. However, it’s essential to know that your rights are protected under the law during these stops. This FAQ is designed to empower you with essential knowledge about your rights and legal procedures… Read more »

Differences Between Concurrent and Consecutive Sentences

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At the heart of criminal sentencing lies two primary types: concurrent and consecutive sentences. These terms, although seemingly straightforward, carry significant implications for defendants, often determining the length and nature of their time in the criminal justice system. Concurrent Sentences Concurrent sentencing occurs when a judge decides that an individual will serve multiple sentences at… Read more »

What is My Sentence Going to Be for a Felony Conviction?

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A felony is a crime regarded as more serious than a misdemeanor. In Oregon, felonies are categorized into different classes (A, B, C), with Class A being the most severe. The classification significantly influences the sentencing range, which can include imprisonment, fines, probation, or a combination of these.  Factors Influencing Sentences Several factors affect sentencing… Read more »

Can the Police Force Me to Give a DNA Sample?

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DNA is the genetic material unique to each individual. Law enforcement can collect DNA through saliva swabs, cheek swabs, or blood draws. This collected DNA is then compared to evidence found at a crime scene or against databases of known offenders. While DNA testing can be a powerful investigative tool, it’s essential to understand the… Read more »

What Can You Afford to Risk? Self-Incrimination in Civil Litigation

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The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right against self-incrimination, protecting individuals from compelled testimony that could be used against them in criminal proceedings. This right extends to both criminal and civil cases in Oregon. However, it’s not an absolute shield. Self-Incrimination in Civil Cases Civil litigation, at its core, is about resolving… Read more »

Should I Get a Lawyer for a Speeding Ticket

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Getting a speeding ticket can be a frustrating experience. You may feel like you were unfairly targeted, or that the officer made a mistake. You may also be worried about the consequences of the ticket, such as points on your license or an increase in your insurance rates. If you’re considering hiring a lawyer to… Read more »

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