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Penalties for misdemeanors in Oregon

In Oregon, people can face penalties for a variety of behavior. Some of these penalties can come in form of violations -- like traffic citations -- others result in more serious criminal charges. The most serious charges are called felonies, while lesser charges are misdemeanors. Each of these categories can be broken down further depending on the specific charges. The type of charge that a person faces will change the penalty that the person can be sentenced to if convicted.There are four main types of misdemeanors in Oregon. The first is a Class A misdemeanor. This is the most serious misdemeanor charge. The maximum sentence for a Class A misdemeanor is up to one year in jail and a $6,250 fine. The second type of misdemeanor is a Class B misdemeanor. If convicted of a Class B misdemeanor the maximum penalty is six months in jail and a $3,500 fine. There are also a Class C misdemeanor. This is the least serious of the misdemeanor charges. When convicted of a Class C misdemeanor the maximum penalty includes up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,250.

There is also a fourth type of misdemeanor charge. This type is called unclassified misdemeanors. The maximum penalty for unclassified misdemeanors is defined by the particular criminal statute that controls the crime. Therefore, the penalties vary based on the particular facts of each case.

It is important for those facing misdemeanor charges to understand what type of charge they are facing. Some charges may be eligible for relief from diversion programs or other relief programs that help people seek alternative sentencing.

Furthermore, understanding the nature of the crimes will help people decide how to move forward with the case. In most instances, speaking with an attorney and creating a solid criminal defense plan will be necessary when facing criminal charges.

Source: Lane County Circuit Court, "Misdemeanor and Criminal Violation Cases," accessed Nov. 9, 2014

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