“Take my DUII case to trial!” said one of my clients a couple of weeks ago. I agreed, and happily so, because I thought he was making the right call even though it was a tough one.
This DUII case was a tough call on going to trial because my client was eligible for DUII diversion. Diversion is a chance to get out of having a conviction on your record. In Oregon, a person who has not been convicted of a DUII or participated in DUII diversion in the last 15 years is likely eligible for diversion. Participants have to pay some money to the court, go through an outpatient alcohol counseling course, attend a Victim Impact Panel, don’t use alcohol for a year, and drive with an Ignition Interlock Device in your car, among a couple of other things. Do all that right, and at the end of a year the DUII charge is dismissed.
Unfortunately, diversion is a once-in-fifteen-years game. Use it, and you lose it for the future, no matter how strong or weak the case against you might be.
In my client’s case, the evidence against him was pretty weak. My clients get to decide, with my advice, how they are going to have their case handled. In his case, it was diversion or trial. He did a gut check, and chose to take his DUII case to trial. He was taking a big chance – if he lost, he would not only lose diversion eligibility, but he would also lose his license and have a conviction on his record.
Following my client’s wishes, and with my full support, we took the case to a jury trial. I pointed out to the jury all the things that the police officer did wrong, the lost opportunities for him to gather evidence (which counts against the government because they have all the power of investigation), the other reasons why my client behaved the way he did.
In the end, the jury believed that there was not enough evidence to convict. Because my client made the hard choice he still has his diversion eligibility, his driver’s license, and no conviction on his record. We also proved that the system still works.
At Eggert & Associates PC, we listen to our clients’ wishes and help them to achieve the results they hope for. Call us for a consultation today.