Roseburg, OR-House lawmaker in the Oregon House passed legislation they hope will curtail racial profiling during traffic stops. The bill, which goes to the state Senate this week, will also change the classification and penalties of some drug crimes.
Oregon Anti-Racial Profiling Bill
House Bill 2355 was introduced by Rep. Tawna Sanchez of Portland and has several provisions to combat racial bias among state law enforcement agencies.
If enacted, the bill would require training to teach newly-hired officers, veteran officers, and supervisors about bias and implicit bias. During law enforcement stops, police will be required to collect demographic and racial information about detainees so the Criminal Justice Commission can analyze the information. The commission will then try to determine officers have singled out individuals based on their skin color or other traits.
House Bill 2355 also changes the classification of possession of Schedule I and Schedule II drugs. Possession of Schedule I or Schedule II drugs will be reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of one year in jail and $6,500 fine. There is no reduction in charges, and penalties remain the same, if a possession charge is a “commercial drug offense” or if a person is in possession of a large quantity.
Additionally, the county will be required to supervise offenders convicted of drug-related misdemeanors.
Another provision of House Bill 2355 would reduce the penalties for a Class A misdemeanor from 365 days to 364 days. Under federal law, a legal immigrant can be deported if they are convicted of a crime punishable by 365 days.
The change in sentencing would keep legal immigrants from being deported.
Some lawmakers oppose the bill because they believe reducing drug possession penalties could lead to an increase in property crimes, the Portland Tribune reports.
Drug Possession Charges in Oregon
Under Oregon’s Revised Statute Chapter 475, the seriousness of your drug charge depends on the type of controlled substance and the amount you possess. Below are the classifications of drug charges in Oregon and the potential penalties:
Class A misdemeanor- 1 year in jail; $2,500 in fines
Class C felony-5 years in prison; $100,000 in fines
Class B felony- 10 years in prison; $100,000 in fines
As you can see, a drug possession charge can result in significant jail time,
Marijuana is legal for recreational use in Oregon, but it can only be sold in licensed dispensaries, and an individual is only allowed to have up to eight ounces in their possession.
Speak to a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Roseburg
You don’t want a drug possession charge on your record, and you certainly don’t want to go to jail. A conviction for a controlled substance charge can impact you in many ways. USAttorneys.com will help you locate a criminal defense lawyer in Roseburg, Oregon to meet with and discuss a defense strategy. Your initial case evaluation is free and confidential.