Understanding Prostitution And Solicitation Laws in Oregon: Part 1

While it may sometimes be referred to as “the oldest profession,” prostitution and related sex crimes are illegal in almost all states. In Oregon, it’s unlawful to solicit, promote, or engage in prostitution. Because these crimes often come with substantial punishments—not to mention intense social and professional consequences—getting help from a prostitution defense attorney is essential. In this first post of our two-part series, we’ll define what constitutes these crimes, explain the different types of charges, and outline potential punishments. In part two, we’ll answer some of the most common questions pertaining to these types of crimes.

What is prostitution?

Prostitution is typically defined as any act that involves the exchange, trade, or barter of sexual acts with the expectation of economic gain. State laws may also apply to the men and women who allegedly provide these services as well as recipients and/or middlemen involved. Typically, the sex workers who render these services are charged more often than “the johns” involved. Department of Justice records from 2010 found that more than 43,000 women were arrested for prostitution-related offenses compared to approximately 19,000 men (which includes pimps, male sex workers, and johns).

What are some common prostitution-related crimes?

Any prostitution defense attorney will know that the most obvious crimes in this category are prostitution and commercial sex solicitation. These crimes would apply to those who offer to perform a sexual act in exchange for money. Even being charged with this crime can have serious consequences in terms of both legal punishment and social stigma. The main four crimes in this area of the law include:

Prostitution: A person commits the crime of prostitution if the person engages in, or offers or agrees to engage in, sexual conduct or sexual contact in return for a fee.

Commercial Sex Solicitation: A person commits the crime of commercial sexual solicitation if the person pays, or offers or agrees to pay, a fee to engage in sexual conduct or sexual contact.

Promoting Prostitution: A person commits the crime of promoting prostitution if, with intent to promote prostitution, the person knowingly: (a) Owns, controls, manages, supervises or otherwise maintains a place of prostitution or a prostitution enterprise; or (b) Induces or causes a person to engage in prostitution or to remain in a place of prostitution; or (c) Receives or agrees to receive money or other property, other than as a prostitute being compensated for personally rendered prostitution services, pursuant to an agreement or understanding that the money or other property is derived from a prostitution activity; or (d) Engages in any conduct that institutes, aids or facilitates an act or enterprise of prostitution.

Compelling Prostitution: A person commits the crime of compelling prostitution if the person knowingly: (a) Uses force or intimidation to compel another to engage in prostitution or attempted prostitution; (b) Induces or causes a person under 18 years of age to engage in prostitution; (c) Aids or facilitates the commission of prostitution or attempted prostitution by a person under 18 years of age; or (d) Induces or causes the spouse, child or stepchild of the person to engage in prostitution.

What are the punishments associated with these kinds of crimes?

The punishments for prostitution crimes vary greatly depending on the circumstances of the case. Common solicitation charges are treated as misdemeanors, but no matter the charges, working with a prostitution defense attorney will ensure your rights are protected and that you have an experienced professional on your side every step of the way.

Here are the ways some common sex crimes are classified in Oregon:

Prostitution and Solicitation are both Class A misdemeanors. They are punishable by up to 364 days in jail and up to $6,250 in fines.

Promoting prostitution is a Class C felony. If convicted, the defendant would face up to five years in prison and up to $125,000 in fines. They would also be required to register as a sex offender.

Compelling prostitution is a Class B felony (the most serious crime on the list). As such, it’s punishable by up to 10 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines. Again, any such crimes involving individuals under 18 are treated more severely. Further, compelling prostitution has a mandatory minimum sentence of 70 months. Anyone who is convicted of compelling prostitution is required to register as a sex offender in Oregon.

Although this information may seem like a harsh dose of reality, it’s knowledge that you may need to better understand your own case. By hiring an Oregon prostitution defense attorney, you’ll be in a much better position. To learn more about these crimes, you’ll want to keep an eye out for our upcoming post on some of the more frequently asked questions about prostitution crimes and consequences in Oregon. And of course, if you require a reputable prostitution attorney in Portland, contact Jared Justice today.

How It Works: Understanding the Early Parts of the Sex Crime Investigation Process

If you or someone you care about has been charged with a sex crime, then you may be feeling frightened. You should be, many crimes in Oregon (especially sex crimes) carry mandatory minimum sentences. These crimes are taken extremely seriously by prosecutors, and a sex crime conviction can ruin a person’s life for years, even decades, to come.

That’s why it is so important to understand as much as you can about the sex crime investigation process. While sexual assault has been a topic of national conversation in recent months, it is only one type of sex crime. There are different types of sex crimes, each with varying severity.

In the most common scenario, once a sex crime is reported to the police, an investigation begins. This can be a long or short process depending on the amount of evidence, the cooperation of the victim, the suspect, and any potential witnesses. The length of time between when the incident happened and when the incident was reported is also a very important factor.

On many occasions we have met with clients and started our own investigation prior to charges being filed. This can be very tricky, but also extremely helpful.

Below are the first three large steps in the investigation process:

  1. The initial complaint: When law enforcement is contacted they generally look into (investigate) sex crimes more diligently than many other types of crimes. Many times a person accused of a sex crime will have no idea that a complaint was even made.
  1. Investigation: Law enforcement begins to interview witnesses and take statements. This is generally the time that an accused person would find out about the allegations. Other evidence (physical or otherwise) is usually gathered at this time as well. Most officers will try and get the suspect’s side of the story, which is a perfect time to exercise your right to remain silent.
  1. Once law enforcement believes enough evidence has been gathered, they will forward their report to the local district attorneys office for consideration of prosecution. If the prosecution decides to press charges, they will take the case through the legal process to obtain an arrest warrant.

While sex crime laws vary greatly from state to state, one thing does not: the accused is always innocent until proven guilty. Unfortunately, the court of public opinion is rarely so forgiving. That is why it is important for anyone accused of a sex crime, whether they are misdemeanors or felonies, to use all of the legal resources available to them. Criminal defense lawyers can ensure the alleged suspect’s rights are respected by the police, the media, and the court system.

Some sex crime investigations happen differently. The most common examples are prostitution and commercial sex solicitation. These investigations are largely initiated by police during sting operations. These are happening more and more frequently in the Portland and Wilsonville areas.

If you have been charged with commercial sex solicitation or any other types of crime, then do not hesitate to contact a criminal defense attorney for legal assistance.

Solicitation & Prostitution: Part 2

Solicitation of sex for money is a serious crime. If you get caught, a crime like this can have a serious financial impact on your life, cause problems at home or work, and can result in jail time.

This criminal defense firm has helped create this two part guide to help you better understand the laws surrounding solicitation and how a prostitution defense attorney can help you overcome these charges.

This second part will focus on ways your attorney can help you after you are initially charged. For what to do immediately after being caught, read the first post in this series.

Criminal Defense

There are many ways to fight a commercial sex solicitation charge. An attorney must first analyze the evidence against you, starting with the first interaction with police. This commonly starts with a phone call or text message to or from police (depending on who they are trying to bust).  After the initial contact, there may be issues of misunderstanding, issues with the initial encounter, or many other issues with the evidence.  No two cases are exactly the same, so it is important to be as specific as possible with your attorney.

But Wait, Aren’t Stings Illegal?

From a legal standpoint, there is a significant difference between entrapment and a sting. At its most basic, in order for a sting to be considered entrapment, you need to be able to show that you were pressured into an action in which you normally would not partake. Using this a defense is incredibly rare and unlikely.

In the case where you solicit an undercover agent, you are not considered the victim of entrapment. That is true whether or not the sting occurred in person or online. In fact, in a recent nationwide sting, two-fifths of the 1,000 arrests were the result of online ads. The reason this isn’t considered entrapment is that there was no coercion. Instead, they were caught engaging in prostitution of their own free will.

This concludes our two part examination of solicitation and other prostitution related charges. If you are facing a solicitation or prostitution charge, it is important that you seek help from an experienced prostitution defense attorney immediately.

Solicitation & Prostitution: Part 1

Commercial Sex Solicitation and other prostitution-related charges can carry a great deal of social stigma. They have the ability to ruin your marriage, your job, and your future. If you are charged with a prostitution-related sex crime, it is important that you seek out an attorney who is familiar with these types of criminal allegations.

In this two-part guide, we will explain the steps that you should take in order to assure your prostitution attorney has the best chance of success (part one), and explain some of the tools your lawyer can use to help ensure your future quality of life (part two).

Steps You Can Take After Being Arrested

Being arrested for solicitation can be overwhelming. Because of the embarrassment and pressure from the police, it is easy to make a mistake that could hurt your case. If you find yourself under arrest (or under investigation), here are some tips to help you avoid incriminating yourself any further.

  1. Do not agree to any searches

Being arrested for a crime does not necessarily mean that you will be convicted, or that you have to willingly provide incriminating evidence. This is why you should not consent to any search before speaking to a lawyer (especially a search of your cell phone).

  1. Do not make any statements

Again, it is important that you exercise your right to silence. Until you talk to a lawyer, it is hard to know what might be used against you. Additionally, any statement you make could limit the number of options for your defense. It might be tempting to claim it was your first time to attempt to garner sympathy, but don’t, making a statement like that will only hurt your case. Very few people get caught their first time committing a crime. For example, a person will likely drive drunk 80 times before their first arrest. A similar truth exists for those arrested for prostitution related offenses.

  1. CALL A PROSTITUTION ATTORNEY IMMEDIATELY

If you are charged with soliciting sex or prostitution, you should immediately get in contact with a prostitution attorney.

Hopefully, part one of two of this blog has helped you understand your rights and how to exercise them should you be arrested for prostitution or commercial sex solicitation. In the second part of this blog, we will examine ways a lawyer can help your defense.

 

3 Big Myths About Drunk Driving That Can Land You in Big Trouble

DUII is a serious issue that affects the lives of millions: accidents, jail time, even death occur on a regular basis as the result of drunk driving.

There are thousands of cases each day that go completely unnoticed; in fact, of the 300,000 drunk driving incidents that occur daily, only 4,000 are caught. On average, most people who engage in drunk driving do so 80 times before being arrested.

But why do so many people drive drunk? And why do they do it so often? One of the biggest problems is that, despite countless campaigns to educate the public on drunk driving, many myths and misconceptions persist amongst drivers.

In this guide, we will bust some of the more common myths:

  • MYTH: A Bite to Eat Will Sober You Up: Many people think that all they have to do to sober up is grab a bite to eat. While food does slow the absorption rate of alcohol, it does nothing about the alcohol already in your system. The only real way to sober up is with time, as the alcohol dissipates from your system.
  • MYTH: It is a Good Idea to Sleep If Off In Your Car: This one is tricky, even for DUII attorneys. That is because there is technically a charge for attempted DUII, but it is not often employed. In order to protect yourself, you should be aware that if you are planning to sleep in your car, you should avoid any indication of your intent to drive.
  • MYTH: You Can Avoid a DUII By Avoiding Liquor: While liquor is significantly more potent than beer or wine, you must keep in mind the volume of what is being served. One 12 oz beer, a normal glass of wine, and 1.25 ounces of liquor all have roughly the same amount of alcohol.

Driving is a privilege, and any who want to retain that privilege should do their best to stay informed about possible pitfalls and dangers. While driving drunk is surrounded by a number of misconceptions, hopefully, you will go forward with a little better understanding.

Jared Justice has built one of Oregon’s preeminent DUII Law Firms. If you or a loved one is in need of assistance, contact us today.

DUII and Ignition Interlock

If you are convicted of driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII) you can certainly expect to have your driving privileges suspended.  In Oregon, the mandatory suspension of your license for a first offense is one year (at least), in addition to 48 hours of jail time, a minimum $1,000 fine, and many other penalties.

The effect a suspended license can have on your life is significantly more immediate than other repercussions you may face down the line.  Fortunately, you may be eligible for a hardship permit if you get an SR-22 insurance certificate, letter from your employer (or that you are seeking employment), a judicial signature, and you must install an ignition interlock device into your car.

But what exactly is an ignition interlock device, and how is it used?  To help you better understand these requirements, West Linn Criminal Defense attorney Jared Justice put together a guide.

What Is an Ignition Interlock Device?

In the most basic terms, an Ignition Interlock Device is a breathalyzer housed inside your car.  It requires that you pass a breath test in order to even start your car, and periodically do a test as your driving.  These results are then gathered and can be used in court, for example, if you are in violation of probation or in the DUII diversion program.

How Do I Get One?

There are many vendors that install and maintain Ignition Interlock Devices in the West Linn area.  It is generally a good idea to consult with a DUII defense attorney prior to having this installed.  An attorney will be able to help guide you through the hardship permit paperwork, the requirements of a hardship permit, and help you understand the suspension timeline in your particular matter.

Who Pays for It?

You do.  Initial installation can cost between $70 and $150, although there is also a monthly fee ($60 to $80) for the device monitoring and calibration.. All totaled, upkeep can cost roughly $1000 for a one-year period.

West Linn criminal defense attorney Jared Justice specializes in DUII Defense and Diversion Eligibility Issues. If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUII, contact us today.

 

Benefits of a Criminal Defense Attorney

The amount of people charged with crimes each year in America cost the U.S. economy roughly $239 billion dollars (without considering the costs of incarceration).  Between the costs of criminal defense lawyers, prosecutors, court staff, and judges, this has become quite expensive.  While it can be intimidating to be charged with a crime, and it can be hard to figure out the judicial system by yourself, a criminal defense attorney can be an excellent resource to turn to.

You will want to have the best possible criminal defense attorney to defend you.  Whether you are facing heavy fines or substantial jail time, these legal professionals are here to help.  Here are some examples of how a criminal defense lawyer can help you during your time of need:

  1. They will be able to negotiate with the prosecution to get you the best offer possible. Further, they can explain the likely sentence you would receive if you lose at trial—and they will be able to explain every scenario in between.
  1. They can help you deal with the emotions that often come with criminal allegations. Most criminal lawyers are understanding of how difficult this can be for you, and can usually point you in the right direction for seeking help from therapists and other mental health professionals.
  1. A criminal defense lawyer will be able to research the law surrounding your case, and help you explore certain avenues that you may not have known about if you defended yourself.
  1. They can help advocate for the most lenient sentence available. For example, your attorney can convey to the judge and prosecutor the importance of rehab or anger management counseling, and help persuade the judge impose such a sentence.  For example, the judge may have originally required you to spend time in jail, but with the help of a criminal defense lawyer you could spend substantially less time in jail or no time at all.
  1. A lawyer can help gather evidence and other information from witnesses that could be critical to your defense. Using witnesses can be especially powerful to show reasonable doubt, and an attorney will be able to ask specific questions to hopefully make that happen with ease.

If you are in need of a criminal defense attorney, please do not hesitate to contact Jared Justice today.

Important Questions to Ask Before Hiring a DUII Attorney

Hiring an attorney to represent you in court is a smart move when facing any legal issue, but it’s very important when you’ve been charged with a DUII. You might not have expert knowledge of Oregon’s DUII laws, which makes the right lawyer an absolute necessity. However, that doesn’t mean you should hire the first lawyer you find in the phonebook or online.

Here are some essential questions you need to be asking during your initial consultation to ensure you’re hiring the right Oregon DUII attorney for your case.

How many years have you been in practice?

If you’re facing DUII charges, you’ll definitely want to work with an attorney who has a fair amount of experience in the field. There’s nothing worse than hiring a lawyer and finding out this is their first major legal experience. If you’re hiring a lawyer in Oregon, they should know a lot more than simply that an individual with a BAC of .08% or higher is breaking the law by driving. You should be leaving your attorney’s office with the confidence that they have significant experience dealing with DUII laws and that they’ll be able to successfully represent you in court.

Who in the office will be in charge of my case?

Going to a larger law firm may have its perks, but it also means some of the lawyers may not have time to dedicate 100% of their efforts toward your case. In the event that this happens, the majority of the work will be handed off to another lawyer or paralegal working with your lawyer. Before you hire any lawyer, make sure you know exactly who at the law firm will be in charge of your case, what their qualifications are, and whether or not they will be your point of contact.

Hiring an Oregon DUII attorney to handle your case is important, but even more so is making sure you’re asking the right questions to find the best attorney available.

 

Taxi Driver’s Dangerous Drive Through Eugene Leads to DUII Arrest

Each day people drive intoxicated roughly 300,000 times, but fewer than 4,000 are actually caught.  Taxi drivers are expected not be a part of those impaired drivers, and to abide by the rules of the road by driving as safely as possible.  An Oregon taxi driver, however, had a different idea.

According to The Register-Guard, a Eugene taxi driver drove extremely dangerously through the city, subsequently leading to a driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII) arrest.

In early April, drivers and pedestrians lit up the Eugene 911 dispatch center as a taxi driver drove recklessly across the city.  Fred Brittan Zeiger, 33, of Eugene was reportedly swerving in and out of traffic, struck a median, and hit a parked vehicle before eventually being pulled over by the Eugene Police Department.

Zeiger was booked in the Lane County Jail on charges of DUII, reckless driving, and hit-and-run. Zeiger’s blood-alcohol (BAC) level was .29, more than three times the legal limit of .08.  No passengers were in the taxi at the time of the arrest.

For the majority of first time DUII offenders, they have the option of the DUII diversion program.  If they are not diversion eligible (for whatever reason), the minimum fine is $1,000 with a $255 conviction fee.  If the offender’s BAC was .15% or more, which it was in Zeiger’s case, the initial fine will be no less than $2,000.  In addition to the various fines associated with a DUII, all convicted drivers in the state of Oregon must also be sentenced to a minimum of 48 hours in jail or 80 hours of community service.  Further, they must undergo a substance abuse evaluation and treatment.  A DUII attorney can provide legal assistance in the event of an arrest.

KVAL reports that Zeiger’s taxi certificate has been suspended with the intent to be fully revoked.

“Never had an instance of a driver driving under the influence,” said Jay Mayernik, general manager of Oregon Taxi.  “He had a clean background check and a clean driving record.  I don’t know if we could have seen this one coming in particular.”

Eugene Police added that Zeiger was recklessly driving for more than ten minutes.

“It’s sort of ironic,” added Mayernik.  “One of the reasons this company is out here is to cut down on drunk driving and help give people an option to have a safe ride home.”

A Few of the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Oregon DUII Laws

Did you know that the average drunk driver has gotten behind the wheel almost 80 times before their first arrest? It’s pretty scary to think about, but if you’re not aware of current Oregon DUII laws, it can be even scarier.

It’s one thing to break the law, but it’s another not to understand the law, especially when it comes to driving under the influence of intoxicants.  So, to make sure you understand the basics of a DUII conviction in Oregon, here are some of the most frequently asked questions, answered for you.

What’s the difference between a DWI, DUI, and DUII?

To put it simply, there is no difference.  All of those abbreviations are variations of the same offense, which is driving under the influence of intoxicants. People frequently refer to it simply as DUI, DWI, or Drunk Driving, but the proper terminology is DUII.

What are the penalties for a DUII charge?

Penalties for this charge vary depending on what county and court you’re in.  If it’s a misdemeanor DUII, your maximum sentence would be up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $6,250.  The minimum fine starts at $1,000 and can be up to $6,250.  Jail, court-ordered drug and alcohol treatment, and other fines will also likely be penalties.

What should I do if I’m charged with DUII?

The first thing you need to do is find a DUII lawyer.  The more familiar your attorney is with this type of charge, the better.  The last thing you want is an attorney who doesn’t understand the charges against their client.  But above all else, do not waste any time after being charged.  These cases move quickly, and you need to do the same if you want to avoid as many penalties as possible.