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What is the difference between a violation and a crime in Oregon?

In Oregon, not every interaction with a police officer will result in criminal charges. If people are cited for some offense in Oregon, not every charge is necessarily equal. There are many different ways that crimes are classified within the state. It is important for individuals to understand these classifications in order to best combat the charges. People also need to know what is at stake when they are facing criminal charges.

According to section 161.505 of the Oregon criminal code, offenses have two subcategories: a crime or a violation. Understanding the difference between a violation and a crime can have a huge effect on the potential sentence that an individual faces.

In order for an offense to be a crime, the sentence for the offense must include imprisonment. In other words, if imprisonment is authorized upon conviction, the offense is a crime. A crime can be further classified into either a felony or a misdemeanor.

On the other hand, a violation is an offense where the punishment does not include imprisonment. In these cases, the punishment includes a fine. An offense can also be considered a violation when it is being created by some subdivision within the state. These can include a city, county or other district. Additionally, there are situations where misdemeanor crimes can be treated like violations under certain circumstances.

Understanding whether person has been charged with a crime or a violation can be important to how to move forward with the criminal defense. To learn more, Oregonians may benefit from speaking with an experienced criminal-defense attorney.

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