First-time convicted drug crime offenders in Oregon are given the option to utilize a conditional discharge, which will erase the conviction from their criminal record if and when they complete sentencing requirements. The purpose of a conditional-discharge is to allow people who have been harmed by their own addictions get their lives back on track and put the past behind them. Generally, prosecutions and defense lawyers alike see conditional-discharges as a benefit and positive outcome. Why, then, has a judge ruled that the Jackson County District Attorney's Office does not need to offer a conditional-discharge to Mr. Shane Hagey?
The answer might lie in his background and the circumstances of his arrest. Mr. Hagey is a former Jackson County Community Justice director and an integral member of local law enforcement. After it was discovered that he had been purchasing meth from an informant, he was forced to resign and charged with a number of drug crimes. The District Attorneys (DA) might be acting out against Hagey to penalize someone they once trusted to uphold the law.
Hagey's defense attorney, Carl Caplan, called upon Medford Criminal Defense Attorney Justin Rosas of The Law Office of Justin Rosas to act as an expert witness. Attorney Rosas explained that he has never seen someone who qualified for conditional-discharge be denied the opportunity, despite having multiple years of legal experience. From people who needed to rely on a public defender due to a lack of funds to medical professionals convicted of serious drug crimes, conditional-discharge has always been an option.
Rosas's testimony strengthens the argument that the DA's office might be unfairly punishing Hagey for personal reasons. Attorney Caplan is currently working with his client to determine if a trial would be the next step, or if a plea agreement would be better. It is also possible that Attorney Rosas will continue to be contacted for legal counsel and an outside perspective.
For more information on this interesting and ongoing case, click here to view an article published by the Mail Tribune. For help with a criminal defense case of your own, you can call 541.933.5972 to get into contact with Medford Criminal Defense Attorney Justin Rosas.