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How does a firearm change felony charges in Oregon?

A crime can occur under any set of circumstances, and the circumstances can vary based on a number of important factors. The specific situation in which a crime occurs will become very important during the criminal proceedings. In Oregon, the factors surrounding criminal behavior are often taken into account when a court determines a person's punishment.

The presence of a weapon, for example, is very important to the criminal proceedings. If a person commits a crime using a firearm, that person can face aggravated criminal charges. In other words, the presence of a firearm can increase the potential penalties the person may face.

Under section 161.610 of the Oregon criminal code, a court must take into account a person's use of a firearm during the commission of a felony. If a firearm is present, the court must apply certain minimal penalties. Under this section, a person must be sentenced to at least five years in prison for carrying out a felony if a firearm was used. This only applies for a person's first conviction. Subsequent convictions will result in more severe penalties. A second conviction, for example, can result in a minimum of 10 years in prison.

The type of firearm that is used to carry out a crime will also change the penalties. Under Oregon law, guns equipped with a silencer, short-barreled shotguns, machine guns, or short-barreled rifles can result in more serious minimum penalties. With these weapons, the minimum penalty is increased to 10 years in prison -- even for a first offense.

It is important for Oregon residents to understand how a particular factor can affect the person's case. It will be important to address these issues in the defense strategy. While this blog post can only provide basic information, an attorney can give individuals facing felony charges specific legal advice.

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