Police search for and find illegal drugs in many unusual places and situations. In a recent case, the police responded to a call about a burglary at a home in the Parkrose neighborhood in Portland. The case ended with drug charges for the resident of the home.
While misdemeanors typically include less serious crimes like traffic citations and low-level drug charges, simple assault charges are also classified as misdemeanors in Oregon. Misdemeanors can carry serious penalties including up to one year in jail and leave a person with a criminal record.
The criminal justice system in Oregon is designed to punish those people who are found guilty of committing a felony or misdemeanor crime. Often times, these punishments can be severe and have long lasting effects. With the right criminal defense, people can reduce these punishments, but without help many people end up in prison.
If people are arrested after police find drugs on them, criminal proceedings are likely to follow. However, police may also follow up that arrest with additional searches of the people's homes, cars and offices particularly if the people are accused of drug trafficking. If police suspect that a person may have additional contraband, they can get a warrant to carry out the additional searches.
Both the Oregon state and the federal United States governments have criminal courts and criminal charges. In a lot of situations, there is very little overlap between the two courts. For example, something that is punishable in state court may not even be heard in federal court. However, when it comes to drug charges, it is possible for both court systems to get involved in a case.
Recently police in Lincoln County served and executed a search warrant at a home in Newport, Oregon. This residence happened to be one-half block from a local high school. In the search, officers from the Lincoln Interagency Narcotics Team claimed that they found methamphetamine, a firearm, packaging materials and other drug paraphernalia.
Police use a variety of sources to get information about drug deals, dealers and traffickers. This information is then used to catch people suspected of drug crimes. However, police do have rules on how they can gather information and how they can use the information they obtain. These search and seizure rules are defined by the United States Constitution.
Criminal cases can get complex very quickly, especially when someone is unfamiliar with the criminal court system. From the initial investigation to the trial, appeals and beyond, people dealing with a criminal charge need guidance. With the proper criminal defense, people may be able to more successfully navigate the process and better ensure that their constitutional rights are upheld.
In drug crimes cases, it is easy for the media to imply guilt in their reporting. However, people reading those reports should be reminded that people who are arrested and charged with drug crimes remain innocent unless prosecutors can prove otherwise.
The landscape of drug offenses could soon be changing in the Pacific Northwest. On Nov. 6, Washington state voted on Initiative 502, which asked whether Washington should legalize marijuana use. Initiative 502 passed with 55 percent of the vote. Under the Initiative it becomes legal for people 21 years old and older to possess 1 ounce or less of marijuana. Furthermore, marijuana will become regulated by the state of Washington. Previously, possession of marijuana in any amount would lead to drug charges. Oregon voters narrowly defeated a similar proposal, known as Measure 80, which would have legalized and regulated marijuana in Oregon.