Criminal Defense Case Examples

In my years as a Portland criminal defense attorney, I have seen cases covering thousands of crimes.  See below for a list of some case examples that I’ve handled in my past.

“He ran him down on purpose,” argued the prosecutor. My client, the driver of an SUV, said he struck the bicyclist by accident. While there had been some evidence that angry words had been exchanged moments before the collision, that evidence was excluded by the judge on the motion of defense. What was left was evidence that the SUV struck the bicycle while going 25-30 MPH – in reverse. Enough for a showing of recklessness and a conviction for Assault in the Third Degree and a sentence of 90 days, credit for time served, but not enough for a Measure 11 Assault in the First Degree with a mandatory sentence of 90 months as sought by the State of Oregon.

By means of a ruse, an experienced police detective induced my client, a mid-level manager, into leaving a business meeting. After getting him alone, the detective subjected my client to a lengthy and intense interrogation. The detective believed he had obtained admissions from my client that he had abused the young daughter of a family friend, and so testified at the Measure 11 Sex Abuse trial. After several days of trial, where all the facts could be evaluated, the jury disagreed. They returned a verdict of “Not Guilty” on all charges.

A local manufacturer of processed food was accused of theft by deception for failing to accurately list the ingredients in his product. Despite some temporary set-backs, the Court of Appeals agreed that since there was no testimony that anyone relied on the ingredients list, no one was deceived. Conviction reversed and all charges dismissed.

A 17 year old boy, rode with his young cousin to a Christmas tree lot where a dispute from the night before remained unresolved. The reserve deputy sheriff and his family, who ran the lot, brawled with several of the boys. Most of the boys left, but my client and his cousin couldn’t leave because they lost their car keys. Evidence was brought forward that the Christmas tree lot men, fueled by drink, commenced to pummel my client’s cousin. In order to save his cousin, my client took out a baseball bat and applied it to the head of the reserve deputy. After a six week trial, the jury acquitted my client of all charges, including multiple Measure 11 charges, on the grounds of justifiable defense of a third person. “Not Guilty” on all charges.

“It’s a case of Cold Blooded Murder” argued the prosecutor. The defendant, a truck driver, found himself in some rough company during a Portland layover. He defended himself with his pistol when the deceased tried to rob him. What made the case challenging was the witnesses were all friends of the deceased, and they spirited away the deceased’s .380 Ruger before the police arrived. Their testimony was not helpful either, but thanks to some excellent investigation and a little luck, the jury saw the truth: “Not Guilty – Justifiable Self Defense.”

A law enforcement supervisor was accused of shop-lifting when the loss prevention agents followed him to his truck with a shopping cart filled with items that had not been paid for. The agents had understandably jumped to a conclusion, but the conclusion was wrong. The detour to the truck was to check on his dog, not to steal merchandise. Cross-examination showed that the agents shaped and coordinated their testimony. The jury was unconvinced, and after a lengthy deliberation returned a unanimous verdict of “Not Guilty.”

A man bumped into his neighbor while helping her take down some decorations stored in her garage. She claimed he touched her breasts and made an inappropriate comment. He said he bumped into her by accident and excused himself in his native language, Russian. We attempted to put on witnesses who believed my client to be a man of excellent character in respect to sexual propriety, but the judge refused to allow this testimony. We handled the appeal and obtained a reversal and helped establish and improve the law of character evidence. The prosecution declined to re-prosecute. Charges dismissed.

For other appellate cases handled by Mr. Bowman, see, among others:

In Re S.C.G., 77 Or. App. 543
(Juvenile’s statements to police should have been suppressed by trial court. Adjudication reversed)

State v. Dove, 34 Or.App. 1039
(Failure of trial court to produce a proper record of the proceedings required reversal.Conviction reversed)

State v. Martin, 226 Or. App. 199
(Trial court improperly limited cross-examination of State’s child abuse expert. Conviction reversed)

State v. Miller, 127 Or. App. 723, 324 Or 301
(State’s appeal of trial court’s dismissal of charges on statute of limitations grounds dismissed. Trial court affirmed and charges dismissed.)

State v. Enakiev, 175 Or. App. 589
(Trial court erred in excluding character evidence offered by defense. Conviction reversed)



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