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Theft and Property Crimes

Property Crimes

Mr. O’Rourke is an experienced criminal defense and theft crime lawyer who will defend you against misdemeanor or felony theft charges in the Portland, Gresham, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Oregon City metroplex area and throughout the state of Oregon.

Each theft crime is made of certain elements. The state of Oregon has to prove them all in order to get a conviction. Think of elements as ingredients. The state has to prove all of the ingredients of each crime to get a conviction. The basic ingredient of all theft crimes is coming into possession of the property, services or identity of another through fraudulent means.

In addition to the basic ingredients of each theft crime, the State of Oregon must prove the value of the property or other facts which determine the degree or seriousness of each theft crime.

The following table shows the factors the state must prove to establish the degree – seriousness of each theft crime.

In most cases, the factor which determines whether a theft crime is charged as a felony theft crime or a misdemeanor theft crime is the value of the property. The higher the value of the property, the more serious the charge.

The value of property is the market value of the property at the time and place of the crime, or if that can not reasonably be determined, then the cost of replacement of the property within a reasonable time after the crime.

Aggregate value

The value of individual thefts of property may be added together – aggregated if the thefts were committed against multiple victims by similar means within a 30 day period or against the same victim, or two or more persons who are joint owners, within a 180 day period..


If “Joe” steals $99 in cash from his co-worker’s till eleven times over 30 days, a prosecutor can add all eleven thefts together and charge a Class C Felony Theft in the First Degree or charge eleven counts of Class C Misdemeanor Theft in the Third Degree.

Degrees of theft crimes in Oregon:

  • Aggravated 1st degree Theft Class B felony
  • First Degree Theft Class C felony
  • Second Degree Theft Class A misdemeanor
  • Third Degree Theft Class C misdemeanor

Jail or Prison Sentences For Theft Crimes

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    My favorite thing about Mr. O’Rourke was that he wasn’t going to back down to anyone, and he never wavered in his mission to do what was best for me.

    - Former Client
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    Jim really cares about our son’s welfare and well being. He has given hope and encouragement to my husband and myself when we were overwhelmed by everything.
    - A Mother and Father
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    "In Jim, we found not only an excellent attorney – but a leader, a coach, a resource, a navigator and an advocate – not only for our son, but for us as well."
    It is so uplifting to work with an attorney who really cares about his client’s well-being the way Jim does. Once we felt so helpless, now we have hope because we have Jim O’Rourke on our side.
    - S & T
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    "I truly believe that honesty and compassion are what set him apart and make him the best."
    Mr. O’Rourke does not “sugar coat” anything, yet still shows a great amount of compassion and empathy. I truly believe that honesty and compassion are what set him apart and make him the best.
    - Jennifer A.
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Pre Charge Representation

Our criminal defense lawyers and attorneys negotiate with persons to settle civil claims before criminal charges are brought. If done correctly, this can avoid criminal prosecution all together. If not done correctly through a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney, this can lead to further criminal charges. We know how to do this correctly.


Our criminal trial lawyers and attorneys make sure the State can prove its case. The prosecution has the burden of proof – the burden of proving all the elements of each theft crime including value and ownership of the property. There are a number of defenses to theft charges.


Before and after charges are brought we use proven methods to avoid charges or to get filed charges reduced or dismissed. We negotiate with DA’s, Judges and Victims. Many of our cases are dismissed pursuant to Civil Compromise.


We use proven methods to get sentences that avoid jail or prison even for clients facing REPO sentences. We know how to structure sentences which best serve the interests of society and our clients. There are ways of doing jail time without going to jail in some cases.

We at James F. O’Rourke, Jr. and Associates know how to get good results for persons with theft convictions and are good at getting less than presumed sentences under both Oregon Felony Sentencing Guidelines and REPO laws.

We are hired to represent persons at sentencing for theft crimes after they have lost at trial with other criminal lawyers and attorneys.

Immediate Misdemeanor Treatment

Class C felony Theft convictions can be reduced to misdemeanor convictions 
at sentencing or at the end of probation. The decision is within the discretion of the court. If a person has his sentence reduced to a Class A Misdemeanor at the time of sentencing, he will be subject to maximum penalties of up to a year in the county jail and a fine of up to $6,250. He may be placed on bench probation or supervised probation. He will be subject to the same general and special conditions of probation as if he were convicted of felony Identity Theft.


Misdemeanor and Class C felony theft crime convictions can be expunged, sealed or cleared from one’s criminal record. Class B felony aggravated theft convictions can not be expunged.

We at James F. O’Rourke are mindful of the consequences of having a record of a felony conviction and work very hard to avoid such a record and to set the client up to have the client’s record sealed, expungement as soon as possible.

We have recently enjoyed excellent results in courts in Portland, Gresham, Oregon City, Beaverton, Lake Oswego and Hillsboro Oregon.

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How We Work as a Team for You

We at James F. O’Rourke, Jr. and Associates know how to defend theft charges. We are very successful in getting charges dismissed or reduced. Our clients, who carefully follow our instructions, usually avoid jail sentences. Rarely, do any of our clients who follow our instructions receive prison sentences.

In determining our client’s exposure to punishment for theft crimes, first we determine the degree of the crime using the factors set out above. If most cases the level of the crime is determined by the value of the property. The higher the value of the property, the more serious the charge.

Next, for felony theft crimes, we look at the value of the property again to determine the presumed punishment under the Oregon Felony Sentencing Guidelines. The higher the value of the property, the higher the presumed sentence.

Then we look at the nature of the charged crime and client’s criminal history to determine if the client is subject to a prison sentence as a Repeat Property Offender REPO and/or under the Oregon Felony Sentencing guidelines.

Then we look for ways to get the charges reduced, dismissed or ways to get the district attorney or judge not to follow the presumed sentence and order something our client can live with.

  • Compassionate & Effective Representation
    We provide effective and compassionate defense, ensuring clients feel supported while vigorously protecting their rights.
  • Over 40 Years of Experience
    With four decades in the legal field, Attorney O'Rourke brings a deep understanding of the system, assuring clients of a seasoned advocate by their side.
  • Complimentary, Confidential Consultations
    We offer free consultations, allowing you to discuss your case without any financial commitment.
  • We Work as a Team for You
    We use three methods to fight the prosecution and win — attack, negotiation, and mitigation — focusing our time and resources where they are most productive in achieving our goals.
  • Experienced & Personalized Legal Care

    Benefit from personalized legal strategies tailored to your unique needs.

Contact Us Today

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