An arrest and conviction under Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII or DUI) can have life-changing consequences on your personal and professional life. DUI defense starts even before your arrest. In Oregon, a DUI or DUII can take your driver’s license and your job, and raise your car insurance rates. In the days after being charged with a DUI, you have little time to get help with navigating the complex legal system. Eggert & Associates are among the top DUI & DUII lawyers in Salem, Oregon ready to help you.
DMV Driver License Suspension
In Oregon, if you’ve been arrested for a DUII, the officer will take your license away and send it to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) License Suspension Unit. If you consented to a breath test and the result was 0.08% or higher, you be issued a temporary license valid for 30 days. If you refuse the test, you get a notice of immediate suspension. In either case, you have only 10 days after officer notice to request a DMV hearing about the suspension of your license.
The Office of Administrative Hearings holds hearings for DUIs and DUIIs in Oregon where an administrative law judge (ALJ) will preside. At your hearing, the police officer who charged you will testify on their encounter with you while your lawyer for your DUI will cross-examine them. If the officer fails to appear, your license may be reinstated or the hearing may be continued. You will also have the chance to testify about the event if you choose to do so.
The ALJ will decide within a couple of weeks after the hearing whether to uphold your driver license suspension. You will be notified by mail. If you disagree with the ALJ’s decision you may appeal to Circuit Court.
DUII Defense in Court
A DUII arrest can be prosecuted in court separately from the DMV license suspension process. If you have been arrested in Oregon for DUII, you were probably either given a citation to appear in court, or given a release agreement with an order to appear in court. When you go to court, you will be arraigned – that is, told what you are charged with, read your rights in a criminal case, and asked to enter a plea. If you plead guilty, you will be sentenced; if you plead not guilty, then further court dates including a trial will be scheduled.
If this is your first DUII offense in the last 15 years you may be eligible for diversion. Diversion is a chance to avoid having a conviction on your record by completing certain court requirement within a one-year period. These requirements include: drug and alcohol evaluation and treatment, attend a Victim Impact Panel; install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in any vehicle you operate; and abstain from use of alcohol and other intoxicants. If you are going to enter the diversion program, you must petition within 30 days after your first court appearance. If you cannot complete all the requirements within one year, you may qualify for a one-time six month extension. If you fail to complete the diversion requirements (such as by getting another DUII arrest or not completing the treatment program), a conviction will be entered and you will be sentenced. Successful completion of diversion results in a dismissal of the DUII charge.
If you are convicted, whether by guilty plea or after trial, on a first DUII conviction, you will likely be sentenced to:
- Mandatory substance abuse rehabilitation and education counseling
- One year revocation of driving privileges and installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in any vehicle you drive during that year
- One or more of the following:
- 80 hours of community service
- 48 hours or more in jail
- Fines up to $6,250
The penalties get substantially more severe with subsequent DUI convictions.
Let Us Handle Your Oregon DUII Defense
Many DUII cases are able to be successfully defended, whether it is because the facts just do not support an arrest or because technical requirements were not met. Just because an officer has arrested you for DUII does not mean you are guilty. Perhaps the officer’s suspicions were not objectively reasonable, the roadside testing was flawed, or the breath or blood test protocols were not followed. It’s the state’s burden to do everything right in order to convict you and take away your driver’s license.
Christopher Eggert has 20 years of experience with DUII cases. He served as a prosecutor in Polk County, Oregon, for over two and a half years where a major part of his job was to prosecute DUII crimes there. As a defense attorney, he has more than 15 years experience defending DUI cases, including driver’s license suspensions and revocations, criminal cases, and jury trials.
In Oregon, Mr. Eggert handles DUII defense in most communities, including: Salem, Keizer, Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Albany, Stayton, Woodburn, Silverton, and all of Marion County, Polk County, Linn County, and Yamhill County.