Frequently Asked Oregon DUI Questions
I was just arrested for a DUI, what happens now?
Your first court appearance is called an arraignment. At your arraignment, you will be advised of the charges against you. The judge orders conditions of your release and may set additional conditions. If I represent you, you may be able to have me appear at this initial hearing for you. The court will schedule another court date a month or six weeks out to give you time to review your police report with me before making any decisions about your case.
The officer took my license, can I still drive?
Yes. The officer gave you a form called the Implied Consent Combined Report Form. That form becomes your driver’s license and you must sign it and carry it with you just as you would a regular driver’s license. This form provides valid Oregon licensed drivers with temporary driving privileges for 30 days. In order to retain your driver’s license you will need to request a DMV hearing within 10 days of the date of your arrest. If you do not request the hearing within the 10 days your license will automatically be suspended on the 30th day following your arrest.
Will I lose my license?
There are two ways for you to lose your license after an arrest for a DUI. One way is an Implied Consent Suspension and the other is a Conviction Suspension.
An Implied Consent suspension occurs when a person either blows a .08 BAC or above or refuses a breath test. This suspension could also be imposed if a person refuses a blood test while receiving medical care in a health care facility following an accident or if the person refuses a urine test under certain circumstances. The burden is on you to challenge this proposed suspension which can range from a 90-day suspension up to three (3) years depending on your prior record.
A conviction suspension can only be imposed by the court. It happens after a person is convicted of a DUI either by pleading guilty or being found guilty after a trial. If you are diversion eligible and successfully complete that program your arrest will never become a conviction and you can avoid a conviction suspension altogether. A conviction suspension ranges in length from one (1) year all the way up to a lifetime suspension depending of your prior record.
What is important to understand is that these are two different types of suspensions which are completely independent. Your driver’s license can be suspended by one, neither or both.
What is diversion?
Diversion is a program allowing most first time offenders to “divert” their case off the trial docket for one year by entering a Diversion Agreement with the court while they complete certain requirements. If all the requirements are completed to the satisfaction of the court after a year, the DUI case is dismissed and you never get a conviction on your record
How do I know if I am eligible for diversion?
The diversion program is generally available to first time offenders or people who have not had another DUI within 15 years. Unfortunately, some first-time offenders are not diversion eligible. Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) holders are ineligible for diversion. The other exclusion involves the situation where someone other than yourself was injured in an accident arising from the DUI arrest.
Will I go to jail if I am convicted?
For a first conviction for a DUI, by law you are facing 48 hours in jail or 80 hours of community service. Each county and municipal court in Oregon handles this differently. Some allow you to complete the community service in lieu of the jail time, while others require you to serve the 48 hours. I can advise you on the policies in the different courthouses in Oregon.
If you are looking at a second conviction or above for DUI, it is likely you will serve some time in jail if you are convicted. Call me to assess your legal issues for trial or minimize any potential jail time you are facing if trial is not a good option.
I am also charged with Reckless Driving, what will happen with that?
It is not uncommon for people who receive DUI citations to also receive citations for crimes like Reckless Driving, Failure to Perform the Duties of a Driver/Hit and Run, Assault, Reckless Endangering, Attempt to Elude or Criminal Mischief. In almost every DUI arrest involving an accident, there will be a charge for Reckless Driving. Diversion is available for the DUI only. The other charges will need to be resolved separately. Often a civil compromise with the complainant can be negotiated, resulting in a dismissal of the charge compromised. There are various legal procedures in Oregon county and municipal courts to deal with these additional charges. I have experience throughout Oregon and I am familiar with the procedures to resolve these charges too.