June 4

Portland Criminal Defense Attorney

Crime RateJuvenile Crime Rates-A True Change or a Game of Statistics?

Many people look to crime rates as an indicator of general social health. When the economy is good, unemployment is low, and education rates are high, there is usually less crime. Crime statistics are often viewed as a barometer for social welfare. However, statistics are only as strong as the methods used to create them, and sometimes the easy explanation for a statistical change is not the correct explanation.

Working as a Portland criminal defense lawyer, I see trends in the criminal justice system at the micro level. As a Portland felony lawyer, I will see the frequency of my felony cases rise and fall. But just because one Portland felony attorney sees an uptick in the felony cases he or she has been defending does not mean that this is anything more than a localized trend. Furthermore, even if it is a general trend it is impossible for one criminal defense lawyer to determine the underlying reasons for this trend. This is why we should turn to statistics to understand changes in criminal behavior in our city, state, and country.

One interesting crime statistic is that across the country juvenile crime rates have been falling. This fact is interesting to me because juvenile cases often come across my desk in my capacity as a Portland drug lawyer, Portland misdemeanor attorney, or in any criminal defense case. Why are juvenile crime rates falling? An easy answer might be that the police are doing a better job of preventing crime, or that, with a slowly improving economy, the American family unit is getting stronger and providing youth with a more stable and prosperous upbringing. But I have found a few articles that hypothesize more interesting reasons for this drop in crime rates.

A recent article on the website Juvenile Justice Information Exchange links a rise and subsequent drop in juvenile crime rates with the rising and falling popularity of lead based paints. Read about it here. The theory expressed by the author is that young people who are exposed to lead at an early age are more likely to develop developmental disabilities and that these children are more likely to commit crimes. I’m not sure if I agree with the author’s premise, but it is an interesting use of statistical analysis to show a possible link between a single environmental factor and crime rates. As a Portland personal injury attorney, I wonder if anyone was able to successfully link lead exposure to behavior as part of a civil case for damages. Or, if any criminal defense attorney in Portland, Lake Oswego, or around Oregon or Washington, was able to use these environmental factors as a defense to a crime.

Another interesting recent article in the Willamette Week suggests that juvenile crime rates are not actually falling at all. This article quotes some experts who suggest that the apparent drop in juvenile crime is actually attributable to the change in the way juveniles are processed through the system. Juveniles charged with violent crimes are now more likely to be charged as adults than they were in the past, pushing some crimes out of the juvenile category and into the adult category. And, with a new focus in juvenile justice on rehabilitation and keeping youth out of the corrections system, less juveniles are arrested and less juveniles are charged with crimes than ever before. So, perhaps juvenile criminal behavior has not changed at all. Maybe the real change is in what behavior we label as juvenile crime to begin with. In my work as a juvenile criminal defense attorney in Portland, I saw many juveniles charged as adults even for relatively minor offenses.

What do you think?

May 22

Criminal Defense Attorney Portland

Trial Lawyers-The Good, The Bad, and the Absurd!

I started my legal career as a public defender and I still work as a criminal defense lDanger High Voltageawyer in the Portland metropolitan area. I have represented clients charged with drug crimes, felonies, and various misdemeanors. Whatever the crime my client is charged with may be, my job as a defense lawyer stays the same. I have always felt that making a compelling argument in court and defending my clients to the best of my abilities is the most important part of being a Portland defense attorney. As a Portland criminal defense attorney it is my job to tenaciously represent my clients inside and outside of the courtroom. However, I have never gone so far as to electrically shock an opposing party’s expert witness.

Directing a cross-examination witness to electrically shock him or herself is not a winning court-room strategy. Although this sounds like a no-brainer, a lawyer from Los Angeles, California did just that. There is a saying that fact is stranger than fiction and this story certainly proves the veracity of that phrase. You can read about this shocking lawyer’s conduct here. The attorney in question gave an expert witness a shock pen and instructed him to press it, hoping that the witness would be forced to admit that the electrical charge from a AAA battery can be quite significant. The judge ruled that this constituted witness battery and the lawyer was fined for his conduct.

May 19

Portland Accident Attorney

What Should I do after I am involved in an Accident?

Advice Help Support And Tips Signpost Showing Information And Guidance

As a Portland accident attorney I deal with people every year who have suffered injuries at the hands of negligent parties. Accidents can happen anywhere. Automobile, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents happen on the roads. People slip, trip, and fall, injuring themselves at movie theaters, grocery stores, and various other venues. People get bitten by dogs whose owners aren’t taking proper care to control their canines. As a Portland injury attorney I represent victims who have been injured in all sorts of accidents. I used to work on the other side, defending insurance companies, so I know how these organizations work. I have seen many accident victims make valid claims that fail because they do not take the proper steps to record and preserve evidence of their accident. Below are three things that everyone who has been involved in an accident should do. Following these steps will help strengthen your insurance claim and will make your Portland accident lawyer’s job easier if you end up deciding to hire an attorney.

  1. Record Names: It is vital that you write down the name or names of the other people involved in the accident as well as any relevant insurance information. You should also write down the names and phone numbers of any people who saw the accident. You never know who you may have to call in as a witness if the issue goes to court.
  2. Take Pictures: You should take pictures of any property damage, injuries to yourself, and of the scene of the accident.
  3. Seek Medical Treatment: Some people have a tough mentality and think that they can handle injuries on their own. But if your condition gets worse and you have not been to a doctor there is no way to estimate your medical damages related to the accident. Seek medical treatment after your accident and save any documentation you get from the doctor’s office including receipts for medical services.
March 18

Portland Accident Attorney

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I happened upon this news story today about a snowplow driving on the wrong side of the road in a Northern Virgina suburb of Washington, DC.

While the story itself is somewhat amusing because no one was injured, a gentleman who narrowly escaped a head-on collision was smart enough to get the driver on film and report him to the proper authorities. In fact, you can see on the video that a car going the right way down the street has to stop and figure out what to do to avoid the snowplow. That may be easy in many cases but not on a snowy rural street! If someone had been injured, they would certainly need the services of a qualified and experienced accident attorney. And, any smart accident attorney would quickly contact this filmmaker to get the details.

You can see the story here if you’re interested. This brings up an interesting point about being an accident attorney in Portland and its surrounding metropolitan area and neighborhoods. If you have been injured, your attorney should investigate the case as much as possible early in the representation – a good Portland accident attorney knows how to obtain all kinds of helpful information to properly investigate the collision that caused your injuries to set-up your case to succeed early on.

If you do find the need to hire a Portland accident attorney, make sure they have experience in the field. You do not want an attorney learning on the job with your claim. Sometimes, for many accident cases, there will be plenty of experienced Portland accident attorneys who can help – say, for a standard motor vehicle collision case. But, some cases are more difficult and require particular expertise. If your case does, please do your homework in and around Portland to find a qualified, experienced, and well-respected attorney to take your case.