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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 26448
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Hi Thoreau- I was charged with Criminal Trespass I in Oregon

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Hi Thoreau-

I was charged with Criminal Trespass I in Oregon when I went through an unlocked window of a friend's house to look for Dramamine for my spouse who was having a medical emergency. I left a note at the time, a phone call when I got home. Talked about it that week and everything was OK. Seven months later (our relationship cooled off) a deputy visits me investigating a burglary (nothing was taken), and three months later I am charged.

Talking to a policeman friend it seems there were exigent circumstances -- the medical emergency of my spouse -- that explained my presence in the friend's house non-criminally.

I am 59, have never had any problems with the law. What are my options? Do I need to hire an attorney? The arraignment is in three weeks.

Many thanks.
Hi Jacustomer,

You have a good defense to these charges, but you should have a lawyer regardless. This is going to be a he said/she said type of case, and the facts will have to be litigated to see just what you intended. In other words, just because you had a good excuse for being there doesn't make it a full legal defense, especially if there are discrepancies between what you say went on in your friend's house and what your friend believes.

You'll have a very good chance of an acquittal on facts like these if you want to go to trial on this case, and the fact that your former friend waited so long to bring the charges is another point in your favor. But because the penalty on a Tresspass 1 in Oregon carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail and can give you a criminal record besides, leave the defense to a pro.

If you can afford an attorney have one with you at your arraignment. Otherwise, if you are indigent, plead not guilty and ask the judge for a public defender.

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