Assault, Stalking & Harassment

Assault, Stalking and Harassment Lawyer In Oregon

General Statement

Assault, harassment, and menacing charges are treated seriously because they are “person crimes.” This is particularly true of domestic violence and felony assault charges; and a misdemeanor charge can become a felony charge under certain conditions. Assault charges generally carry a high bail because they are Measure 11 offenses with mandatory minimum sentencing requirements. Even if you are released following your arrest you may be subject to a “no contact” order. If you violate the “no contact” order and have direct or indirect contact with the complaining witness you risk being taken into custody. It is very important to your case that you understand and follow any orders issued by the court.

Oregon Assault Charges (General Summary)

Oregon Revised Statute / Charge Offense Level How Committed
ORS 163.160 / Assault 4 (4th degree) Class A Misdemeanor or Class C Felony*
  • Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes physical injury to another person (ex. Fist fight without weapons); or
  • With criminal negligence causes physical injury to another with a deadly weapon
  • Recklessly causes serious physical injury to another by means of a deadly weapon; or
  • Recklessly causes serious physical injury to with extreme indifference to the value of human life; or
  • Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes, by means other than motor vehicle, physical injury to the operator of a public transit vehicle while the operator is on control of the vehicle; or
  • While being aided by another person who is present, intentionally or knowingly causes physical injury to another (ex. two or more people beat up another person)
ORS 163.165 / Assault 3 (3rd degree) Class C Felony or Class B Felony
  • While committed to a youth correction facility, intentionally or knowingly causes physical injury to another person who is a staff member or acting in the course of official duty; or
  • Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes physical injury to an emergency medical technician or paramedic while he or she is performing official duties; or
  • Being at least 18 years of age, intentionally or knowingly causes physical injury to a child 10 years of age or younger; or
  • Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes, by means other than a motor vehicle, physical injury to the operator of a taxi while the operator is in control of the taxi
  • Intentionally or knowingly causes serious injury to another
ORS 163.175 / Assault 2 (2nd degree) Class B Felony / Measure 11 Offense

Mandatory Minimum Sentence: 5 yrs and 10 months

  • Intentionally or knowingly causes physical injury to another by means of a deadly weapon or dangerous weapon; or
  • Recklessly causes serious physical injury to another by means of a deadly or dangerous weapon with an extreme indifference to the value of human life
ORS 163.185 / Assault 1 (1st degree) Class A Felony / Measure 11 Offense

Mandatory Minimum Sentence: 7 yrs and 6 months

  • Intentionally causes serious physical injury to another by means of a deadly or dangerous weapon; or
  • Intentionally or knowingly causes serious physical injury to a child under six years of age

APSO: Assaulting a Public Safety Officer

  • Intentionally or knowingly causes physical injury to another person, knowing the other person to be a police officer, corrections officer, youth correction officer, parole and probation officer, animal control officer, firefighter, or staff member, and while the public safety officer is acting in the course of official duty (Class C Felony)

Domestic Violence/Assault

  • Domestic violence and domestic assault are treated as a regular assault charge (see table above)

*When an Assault 4 Misdemeanor Becomes a Felony

  • A class A misdemeanor assault charge becomes a class C felony if the defendant:
    • Has previously been convicted of assaulting the same victim;
    • The person has previously been convicted at least three times under this section or under equivalent laws of another jurisdiction and all of the assaults involved domestic violence as defined in ORS 135.230;
    • The assault is committed in the immediate presence of, or is witnessed by, the person’s or the victim’s minor child or step child or a minor child residing within the household of the person or victim; or
    • The person commits the assault knowing the victim is pregnant

Civil Compromise

  • If the court and the complaining witness both agree and the following two conditions are met a court will sign an order dismissing the charge(s):
    • The complaining witness must acknowledge in writing that he or she has received satisfaction for the injury, and
    • The court must be convinced that the dismissal of the charge(s) is appropriate

Expunge / Seal an Assault Charge

  • Some class A misdemeanors and class C felonies can be expunged or sealed depending upon eligibility requirements and circumstances.

Menacing: ORS 163-190

  • A person commits the crime of menacing if by word or conduct the person intentionally attempts to place another person in fear of imminent (impending) serious physical injury
  • Class A misdemeanor

Harassment: ORS 166.065

  • A person commits the crime of harassment if the person intentionally:
    • Harasses or annoys another person by:
      • Subjecting another person to offensive physical contact; or
      • Publically insulting another person by abusive words or gestures in a manner intended to likely provoke a violent response;
    • Subjects another person to alarm by conveying a false report, know to be false, concerning death or serious physical injury to a person, which would reasonably cause alarm; or
    • Subjects another person to alarm by conveying a telephonic or written threat to inflict serious physical injury on that person or to commit a felony involving the person or property of that person or any member of that person’s family, which threat reasonably would be expected to cause alarm
  • Class B misdemeanor
  • Harassment is a class A misdemeanor if a person subjects another person to offensive physical contact and the offensive physical contact consists of touching the sexual or intimate parts of the other person

Internet Harassment

  • Cyberstalking: ORS 163.730 -163.732
    • The use of the Internet, email or other electronic communications to stalk; generally refers to a pattern of threatening or malicious behaviors. Cyberstalking may be considered the most dangerous of the three types of Internet harassment, based on a posing credible threat of harm. Sanctions range from misdemeanors to felonies.??
  • Cyberharassment: ORS 166.065
    • Cyberharassment differs from cyberstalking in that it is generally defined as not involving a credible threat. Cyberharassment usually pertains to threatening or harassing email messages, instant messages, or to blog entries or websites dedicated solely to tormenting an individual.
  • Cyberbullying: ORS 339.351
    • Cyberbullying is used for electronic harassment or bullying among minors within a school context.

ASSAULT, HARASSMENT, AND STALKING CHARGES – WASHINGTON STATE

General Statement

Washington takes assault, harassment, and menacing seriously, especially in the case of domestic violence. The incarceration and fines can be very high depending upon circumstances. Even if you are released following your arrest you may be subject to a “no contact” order. If you violate the ‘no contact” order and have direct or indirect contact with the complaining witness you risk being taken into custody. It is very important to you case that you understand and follow any orders issued by the court.

Washington Assault Charges (General Summary)i

Revised Code of Washington / Charge Offense Level / Potential Penalties How Committed
RCW 9A.36.011 Assault 1 (1st degree) Class A Felony

First time offender with no criminal record may face a prison sentence of 93-123 months and fines up to $50,000.

Intentionally inflicted great bodily harm:

  • With a fire arm, or any deadly weapon, or by any force or means likely to produce great bodily harm or death
  • By poisoning another or transmitting the human immunodeficiency virus as defined in RCW 70.24
  • By assault
RCW 9A.36.021 Assault 2 (2nd degree) Class B Felony

First time offender with no criminal record may face a prison sentence of 3-12 months and fines up to $20,000.

A class B felony with a finding of sexual motivation becomes a class A felony

Under circumstances not amounting to assault in the first degree:

  • Intentionally assaults another and recklessly inflicts bodily harm
  • Intentionally and unlawfully inflicts substantial harm to an unborn child by inflicting injury upon the mother
  • Assaults another with a deadly weapon
  • Poisoning another
  • Assaults another in the commission of a felony
  • Torture
  • Strangulation
RCW 9A.36.031 Assault 3 (3rd degree) Class C Felony

First time offender with no criminal record may face a prison sentence of 1-3 months and fines up to $10,000.

Under circumstances not amounting to assault in the first or second degree:

  • With intent to prevent or resists a court mandate assaults another
  • Assaults a transit operator, driver, supervisor, mechanic or security officer while that person is performing official duties
  • Assaults a school bus driver, supervisor, mechanic, or security officer while that person is performing official duties
  • With criminal negligence, causes bodily harm to another by means of a weapon
  • Assaults a fire fighter or other employee of the fire department, county fire marshal’s office, county fire prevention bureau while that person is performing official duties
  • With criminal negligence, causes bodily harm accompanied by substantial pain that causes considerable suffering
  • Assaults a law enforcement officer or other law enforcement employee while that person is performing official duties
  • Assaults a peace officer with a projectile stun gun
  • Assaults a nurse, physician, or health care provider while that person is performing official duties
RCW 9A.36.041 / Assault 4 (4th degree) Gross Misdemeanor

First time offender may face up to 1 year in jail and up to $5,000 in fines; however this type of offense can often be resolved through probation

Under circumstances not amounting to assault in the first, second, or third degree:

  • Assaults another

Assault: Difference in Degrees

  • The difference between first, second, third, fourth degree is largely dependent upon the extent of violence and the harm caused by the assault

Multiple Convictions

  • The potential sentences in the chart above are the baseline and should be considered applicable to first time offenders. Multiple convictions will likely result in a longer sentence and a heavier fine.

Domestic Violence

RCW 9A. 36.100: Custodial Assault

  • A person is guilty of custodial assault if that person is not guilty of first or second degree assault, but does assault a person operating in an official capacity at a juvenile facility, adult corrections institution, local adult detention facility, or community corrections office.
  • Class C felony

RCW 10.14.020ii Harassmentiii

  • “Unlawful harassment” means a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person which seriously alarms, annoys, harasses, or is detrimental to such person, and which serves no legitimate or lawful purpose. The course of conduct shall be such as would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, and shall actually cause substantial emotional distress to the petitioner, or, when the course of conduct would cause a reasonable parent to fear for the well-being of their child.
  • “Course of conduct” means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, however short, evidencing a continuity of purpose. “Course of conduct” includes, in addition to any other form of communication, contact, or conduct, the sending of an electronic communication. Constitutionally protected activity is not included within the meaning of “course of conduct.”

RCW 9A.36.080: Malicious Harassment

  • Malicious and intentional commission of the following acts based victim’s race, color religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, mental physical or sensory handicap:
    • Physical injury
    • Physical damage/destruction to victim’s property
    • Threats made against a specific person or group, and places that person or group in reasonable fear of harm to person or property
  • Certain acts will be singled out for prosecution of malicious harassment:
    • Burning a cross
    • Defacing property with a swastika

Internet Harassment

  • Cyberstalking, see RCW 9A.46.110; RCW 9.61.260
  • Cyberharassment, see RCW 9A.46.020; RCW 10.14.020
  • Cyberbullying, see RCW 28A.300.285

RCW 9A.46.110: Stalking

  • Intentional, repeated harassment of another person; and
  • The person harassed is placed in fear that the stalker intends to injure the person, another person, or their property. (the feeling of fear must be one that a reasonable person in the same situation would experience under the circumstances)
  • The stalker either:
    • Intends to frighten, intimidate, or harass
    • Knows, or should know, that the person is afraid, intimidated, or harassed
  • Gross Misdemeanor
  • Class C Felony if any of the following applies:
    • Previous conviction for harassment of the same victim or anyone listed in a protective order in an any state
    • The incident of stalking is a violation of a protective order
    • The stalking incident was committed with a deadly weapon
    • The victim is a law enforcement officer, employee, contract staff person or volunteer of a correctional facility, and employee of a child protective, child welfare, or adult protective services division within the department of social and human services; and the stalking incident was to retaliate against the victim for an act that the victim performed while performing official duties; or the victim is a current, former, prospective witness in a adjudicative proceeding, and the incident was to retaliate against a victim as a result of his or her testimony or potential testimony

Expunge, Vacate, Sealiv a Criminal Record

  • Washington law allows people to expunge, vacate, and seal their criminal record in many circumstances. RCW 9.94A; RCW 9.96; RCW 10.97; RCW 13.50

  1. Assault of a Child

    RCW / Charge Offense Level How Committed
    RCW 9A.36.120 / Assault of a child in the 1st degree Class A Felony A person eighteen years of age or older is guilty of the crime of assault of a child in the 1st degree if the child is under the age of thirteen and the person:

    • Commits assault as defined by RCW 9A.36.011 against a child; or
    • Intentionally assaults the child and either recklessly inflicts great bodily harm or causes substantial bodily harm and has previously engaged in such behavior (resulting in bodily harm that is greater than minor transient marks or physical pain, or causing pain or agony equivalent to that produced by torture)
    RCW 9A.36.130 / Assault of a child in the 2nd degree Class B Felony See RCW 9A.36.021. The difference in degrees depends upon the extent of violence and harm
    RCW 9A.36.140 / Assault of a child in the 3rd degree Class C Felony See RCW 9A. 36.031. The difference in degrees depends upon the extent of the violence and harm
  2. Washington State Senate Bill 5579, Effective 07/22/11:
    Sec. 2. RCW 10.14.020 and 2001 c 260 § 2 are each amended to read as follows: Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter.
    (1) “Unlawful harassment” means a knowing and willful course of 19 conduct directed at a specific person which seriously alarms, annoys, 20 harasses, or is detrimental to such person, and which serves no legitimate or lawful purpose. The course of conduct shall be such as would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, and shall actually cause substantial emotional distress to the petitioner, or, when the course of conduct would cause a reasonable parent to fear for the well-being of their child.
    (2) “Course of conduct” means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, however short, evidencing a continuity of purpose. “Course of conduct” includes, in addition to any other form of communication, contact, or conduct, the sending of an electronic communication, but does not include constitutionally protected free speech. Constitutionally protected activity is not included within the meaning of “course of conduct.”NB: There are some jurisdictional amendments to Chapter 10 as well as antiharassment protection orders. See SB 5579-S.SL
  3. Findings — Intent — 2001 c 260: “The legislature finds that unlawful harassment directed at a child by a person under the age of eighteen is not acceptable and can have serious consequences. The legislature further finds that some interactions between minors, such as “schoolyard scuffles,” though not to be condoned, may not rise to the level of unlawful harassment. It is the intent of the legislature that a protection order sought by the parent or guardian of a child as provided for in this chapter be available only when the alleged behavior of the person under the age of eighteen to be restrained rises to the level set forth in chapter 10.14 RCW.”
  4. GR 15 states that a court may order the court files sealed if the sealing of a court record is justified by identified compelling privacy or safety concerns that outweigh the public interest in access to the court record. Sufficient privacy or safety concerns that may be weighed against the public interest include findings that: (A) The sealing or redaction is permitted by statute; (B) The sealing or redaction furthers an order entered under CR 12(f) or a protective order entered under CR 26(c); (C) A conviction has been vacated; (D) The sealing or redaction furthers an order entered pursuant to RCW 4.24.611; (E) The redaction includes only restricted personal identifiers contained in the court record; or (F) Another identified compelling circumstance exists that requires the sealing or redaction.In State v. K.R.W., (2009), the Court of Appeals held that a person trying to seal their criminal records must apply GR 15 and the Ishikawa factors. In the case of Ishikawa the Washington State Supreme Court set forth five factors that must be considered before a court can restrict access to court records. Therefore a person attempting to seal their court records must also show that (1) there is a serious and imminent threat to an important interest; (2) anyone present in court must be given a chance to object to the sealing; (3) there is no less restrictive way to protect the interest threatened; (4) the public’s interest in the file is outweighed by the defendant’s need for sealing; and (5) that the order is no broader in it application and duration than necessary to serve it’s purpose.

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