As a Gresham Criminal Defense Lawyer, it is important to understand the structure of the court system in Multnomah County. The Multnomah County Circuit Court has two courthouses dedicated to handling adult criminal cases. The primary courthouse is in Downtown Portland on Fourth Avenue. This building was completed in 1914 and renovated many times over the years. Most of the criminal and DUII cases are resolved in the main courthouse. There are also four courtrooms in the Multnomah County Detention Center that handle arraignments and DUII Diversion matters.
For many years, certain criminal cases have been resolved in a satellite Circuit Court located in Gresham. Last year, the old Gresham courthouse facility was replaced with a new courthouse located on 184th and Stark in Gresham. The East County Circuit Court handles misdemeanor criminal matters that occur east of 122nd Avenue. This Court resolves DUII cases, Diversions, Reckless Driving cases and Domestic Violence cases that happen in the eastern part of Multnomah County. These cases can include prosecutions for misdemeanor violations of the Portland and Gresham City Codes.
The East County Circuit Court has special rules that govern how cases are managed in that system. These differences can influence whether or not a person might want to move their case to the main courthouse and follow the rules for downtown cases. It important to consult with an attorney prior to your first court appearance in order to determine whether the case should be moved. Cases can be moved at the first appearance only. After that, the case remains in the East County Circuit Court.
If you are cited for a DUII or other misdemeanor crime in Gresham, you will likely be ordered to appear in Court about 30 days after your arrest. During this time the police reports will be prepared and reviewed by the District Attorney’s Office. The District Attorney will decide what charges should be filed and will normally file those charges a few days before your arraignment. People should remember that the charges on the citation they received from the arresting officer are just suggestions to the District Attorney as to what the officer thinks should be charged. The District Attorney may bring fewer or different charges. The DA may chose to add charges. For instance, in a DUII case with an accident, a police officer may only cite a person for DUII and Reckless Driving. However, after review the District Attorney could choose to add charges of Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree (for the property damage) and/or an Assault charge if another person was injured.
As a Gresham DUII lawyer with over 35 years of experience, I know the intricacies of the Multnomah County and Gresham court systems. This experience pays off for my clients and I always try to get the best possible disposition that satisfies my client.