Law Office of
John E. Gutbezahl, LLC
5 Centerpointe Drive Suite 400
Lake Oswego, Oregon 97035
The inalienable right of every American citizen to own, and indeed to bear, arms is guaranteed under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. The modern trend in the interests of "National Security" has been to find ways to limit and circumvent this right. This legal trend has gained purchase in the form of laws that prevent ownership of certain types of weapons, how they may be used and who may possess them. Oregon gun laws are complicated and highly nuanced. For that reason relying upon the expertise of a qualified Oregon criminal defense attorney will provide your best chances of a favorable outcome in your case.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a firearms violation the first and most important thing you need to know is that prison sentences for gun violations in Oregon are MANDATORY. Judges in Oregon are not authorized under the law to exercise discretion with regard to mitigation of sentencing. Oregon statute, ORS 161.160, which defines the sentencing guidelines, requires mandatory prison sentences for any gun felony, and it matters not if the accused has no prior criminal record. A first-time conviction carries a minimum sentence of FIVE years. This may increase to ten years in prison should the firearm in question prove to be a short-barreled rifle, a sawed-off shotgun, a fully automatic machine gun, or a pistol with a silencing device attached. If the person has a prior gun conviction, then the mandatory sentences double with a ten-year sentence for a standard gun crime, and 20 years for an enhanced gun crime. In view of the severity of these sentences one would be well advised to seek the counsel of a qualified Oregon criminal defense attorney. At the Law Offices of John Gutbezahl we have the experience and expertise to successfully deal with gun-related charges and to assure the best possible outcome in your case.
The majority of gun crimes are charged against the accused by way of what they call "enhancement". In other words the gun charge is additionally attached to a "base" crime such as assault or robbery. This has the effect of modifying the "base" crime to include the language of the firearm statutes so as to "enhance" the scope of possible sentences. Armed (with a firearm) robbery carries a much stiffer sentence than simple strong armed (without a weapon) robbery. Likewise with the enhanced crime of assault with a firearm.
Other Oregon statutes forbid owning or having a gun in your possession. For example, anyone with a prior felony conviction disallowed from possessing any type of firearm. If a person is a convicted felon and is caught with such a weapon – even if the gun was not used in any illegal manner – they will face another felony charge know as "Felon in Possession of a Firearm."
If you retain the services of one of our experienced Oregon criminal defense attorneys, we may be able to have your case moved outside this mandatory sentencing structure. If you have no history of prior convictions that involved violence, if no person suffered injury under the circumstance of your case, and your criminal act was not "aggravated", you may qualify for mitigation under the so-called “escape clause”. What this means is that, providing that the above statutory requirements are fulfilled, the court, at its discretion, may chose to deviate from the mandatorily required prison sentence and impose a lesser sentence as it deems appropriate to the facts of the case. Depending on those facts, this often turns out to be simple probation, enrollment in an anger management program, and little to no jail time. Our experienced Oregon criminal defense attorneys at The Law Offices of John Gutbezahl, LTL argue forcefully and successfully on behalf of our clients to achieve these types of reduction of charges and other types of mitigation.
If you are not eligible to take advantage of the escape clause, and do not like the terms of any plea bargain offered by the prosecution you must then be prepared to face a trial wherein the stakes will be quite high. If this proves to be the case you will especially have to rely upon the expertise of a professional Oregon criminal defense attorney team such as we have at your disposal at the Law Offices of John Gutbezahl, LLC. We have the experience to challenge every aspect of the prosecution's case against you. The discovery of the weapon may have been made incidental to an otherwise illegal search if, for instance the police had no valid reason to have stopped you in the first place. In such case we may have this evidence ruled as inadmissible and have it suppressed. Without such evidence the gun charges against you will have to be dismissed. In another possible scenario you may have had a legally valid reason for possessing a firearm or for having used it in the manner upon which the charges were based. The accuracy of witnesses against you can be brought into question. They may have been mistaken or outright deceitful in their testimony. In some cases we can argue before trial to have felony charges reduced to a misdemeanor thereby avoiding the loss of Second Amendment rights and jail time.
The Law Offices of John Gutbezahl, LLC may be of service to you as well in other areas of gun-related law. If you or a loved one have a felony or misdemeanor on their record that prevents you or them from exercising their Second Amendment right to bear arms, that record may be many years old and may incorrectly reflect your status as a peaceful and productive member of society. With each client we conduct a thorough investigation and review of their criminal history and evaluate their current contributions to society in determining whether or not they pose a threat to themselves or to public safety. Our Oregon criminal defense lawyer team can then help you file a petition with the county prosecutor and court to reinstate your right to bear arms and argue forcefully for you at any subsequent hearing. We can also be of assistance in helping clients acquire concealed carry permits and to have prior records expunged from court and NCIC (National Crime Information Center) records.
Whether you have been charged with a serious gun-related violation or simply would like to have your rights restored after many years of peaceful, law-abiding and productive life, you will confront a legal maze that is as complicated as it is nuanced. Our Oregon criminal defense attorney team at the Law Office of John Gutbezahl, LLC has the necessary expertise to navigate you through those straits painlessly and at an affordable cost. Call us today for your free initial consultation at 503-594-1919 or Skype: 503-594-1919. You have nothing to lose and lifetime of freedom and prosperity to gain.