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Pretrial Programs

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Welcome.  The OJD Pretrial Program website provides information about pretrial practices in the state, and resources that are available in Oregon. If you are seeking legal advice please connect with an attorney, if you do not have a lawyer you should check with your local court to find out the appropriate process for obtaining representation.
 
Pretrial is the time between a person being charged with a crime and final disposition of a case. In 2021, the Oregon Legislature passed Senate Bill 48 aimed at promoting safety and fairness. SB 48 directed the Chief Justice to establish guidelines for pretrial release that direct courts to adopt a consistent approach that considers both the type of crime charged and factors related to the individual. 

 What is the purpose of Senate Bill 48? 

  • Promote consistent, fair, and equitable justice practices across Oregon
  • Increase the likelihood that people accused of crimes show up for court
  • Promote community well-being and safety and the rights of victims
  • Protect constitutional rights related to pretrial release
  • Maximize efficiency and best use of resources (attorney, jail, court)

 How do the guidelines deal with people charged with serious or violent crimes?

The Chief Justice’s guidelines provide that persons charged with more serious offenses – including violent felonies, sex crimes, and domestic violence felonies or misdemeanors – as well as offenses that indicate a person may not comply with court imposed conditions of release, be held for arraignment, first appearance, or a release decision by a judge. A risk-based approach, including consideration of offender-based criteria in addition to offense-based guidelines, helps ensure community and victim safety. The guidelines also encourage courts to establish or expand the use of pretrial assessments to inform decision-making.  Each presiding judge of a circuit court is required to enter a standing pretrial release order that complies with the Chief Justice’s guidelines.

Pretrial program efforts in Oregon align with Strategic Initiative 1.6, you can see the OJD Strategic Plan here.