If a person is accused of an offense, they may be cited into Court at a specific time or, depending on the seriousness of the offense, may be held in custody for a Court Arraignment.
In either case, at the Arraignment, the Court will tell the accused person what offense they are charged with and will explain their rights and responsibilities. If the accused person wants a Court Appointed Attorney, it will be necessary for them to complete an AFFIDAVIT OF INDIGENCY listing their income, assets and other financial information. The Judge will review the Affidavit and determine if they are eligible for a Court Appointed Attorney. If they are eligible, an Attorney will be appointed to help them in their defense. The Court Appointed Attorney is paid by the State of Oregon. Depending on the outcome of their case, if the accused person is found guilty, they may be required to pay all or a portion of the Attorney's fee along with other fines and fees.
If the accused person is found guilty, whether through a trial or a plea of guilty, there will likely be certain fines and fees which they are required to pay to the Court. Additional punishment may also be ordered by the Court (such as jail time, community service, restitution to the victim(s) or other special conditions). The fines and fees are due and payable at the time of sentencing. However, the individual may be given the PRIVILEGE of entering into an installment plan if ordered by the Court. This arrangement is made with the Court, and if payments are not made in a timely manner, the person can be called back into Court to explain why they are delinquent. Other sanctions could include the suspension of their driver’s license, referral of the entire account balance to the Oregon Department of Revenue, referral to a private Collection Agency for collections, or other sanctions deemed appropriate by the Court.
In some situations, the Court may allow a portion of the fine to be converted to community service. If the person is on supervised probation, they must get approval to convert part of the fine to community service from their probation officer. If they are not on supervised probation, they must get permission from the Judge to convert a portion of their fine to community service. To do this, they must write a letter to the Judge requesting the change. The Judge will review the person's payment record and argument to determine if the conversion is appropriate. The Court will notify the person in writing if they will be allowed to convert a portion of their fine to community service. The present conversion rate is $6.90 per hour. The Court MUST receive written notice from the agency to which community service was performed on the agency's letterhead, indicating that the person has fulfilled their community service obligations before the amount will be credited to the fine.