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Criminal law is the body of laws that define a person's basic rights in and duties to preserve a peaceful and safe society. Criminal cases require courts to decide whether and how certain criminal laws apply and whether those laws as applied violate the state or federal constitution. In criminal cases, the circuit court:

  • conducts pretrial hearings and trials;
  • sentences convicted persons to corrections system (probation, jail, prison); and
  • imposes the death penalty in certain capital murder cases.
Decisions appealed from circuit court go directly to the Court of Appeals, except for cases where the circuit court sentenced a defendant to death. Dea​th penalty appeals go directly to the Supreme Court. As in other states, courts in Oregon are rooted in common law tradition and governed by a state constitution and statutes that supersede the common law. The legislature can change the common law by enacting a statute, so long as the governor does not veto the new law.

Chief Criminal Judge's Procedure Outlines
Drug Docket Call Procedure (pdf 52 KB)
Felony Cases Procedural Matters (pdf 48 KB)
Misdemeanor Trial Readiness Procedures (pdf 106 KB)
Motion for Substitution or Withdrawal of Attorney (pdf 14 KB)

Domestic Violence
Domestic Violence Court Procedures Manual (pdf 6.19 MB)

Expedited DUII Plea Option - Program Explanation Video

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Alerts and Em. Closures