Being arrested and charged for your first DUI is terrifying. Each state is different in handling drunk driving cases, specifically the laws and procedures surrounding implied consent laws, driver’s license suspensions, diversion programs, convictions, fines and penalties.
If you have been recently arrested for driving under the influence in the state of Oregon, you may want to familiarize yourself with the details of the drunk driving laws; more importantly that you speak with an experienced DUI Attorney who can help you navigate the complicated Oregon legal system. If you have been arrested and charged with a first-time DUI call the top-rated Portland DUI law firm of Andy Green Attorney at Law, P.C. at 503-477-5040 for a free case evaluation.
The single biggest mistake drivers make following their first-time DUI arrest in Oregon is the assumption they don’t need to hire a private attorney. DUI penalties are severe and can follow you for the rest of your life. In fact, Oregon law prohibits the expungement of DUI convictions off permanent criminal background checks even if such cases have been dismissed after completing the DUI Diversion Program.
Here are some of the main reasons why it’s imperative you hire a DUI attorney on your first DUI charge.
Saving Your Driver’s License
You only have 10 days from the date of your drunk driving arrest to request a DMV hearing on your license suspension. This hearing is an administrative proceeding handled by the Oregon Office of Administrative Hearings and independent of the criminal case which happens in court. If you fail to request a hearing within the 10-day window, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended for at least 90 days. Timing is of the essence and if you want to have any chance at saving your driver’s license it’s important you have a lawyer. Additionally, a qualified DUI attorney can use this opportunity to uncover issues in the state’s prosecution to build the foundation for a strong defense if the case does go to trial.
Do I still need an Attorney if I plan to participate in the Oregon DUI Diversion Program?
Many first-time DUI offenders are eligible for the Oregon DUI diversion program. This is a 12-month agreement made with the court that ultimately allows for the dismissal of the DUI charge providing that the defendant abides by the conditions in the agreement. If the person violates the terms of the program, then he/she could be revoked from diversion, convicted and sentenced.
Studies have shown that the vast majority of people who fail diversion are the ones that try to do it alone without the accountability and support of a good DUI attorney. Additionally, an attorney can evaluate the complete case details before establishing whether the Diversion program is the correct decision, and subsequently is ready to fight on their behalf inside the courtroom.
As a matter of law, the DUI Diversion applies only to the DUI charge. If there are additional charges, such as reckless driving or hit and run, you will need an experienced attorney to help work out an additional resolution for those charges.
Getting a DUI is Extremely Stressful!
One of the most overlooked advantages of hiring a good private DUI attorney is alleviating the fear and anxiety that accompanies the exhaustive DUI process. The possibility of losing your driver’s license, your housing, and going in front of a judge or even to jail can be overwhelming. It’s not just about getting the plea deal you want. Having a professional attorney advocating on your behalf will make the process smoother and less stressful. Furthermore, having an attorney that has open lines of communication and individual one-on-one time makes people feel more reassured. Especially when they have all their questions answered and concerns addressed.
Spend less time in Court
Another benefit of hiring a private lawyer is minimizing the time you have to spend in court. In some Oregon counties, public defender clients must personally appear for all scheduled court dates. Whereas with private counsel you have someone who can be present on your behalf for routine court appearances. For many people, including busy professionals, not having to miss work to attend court is a significant advantage.
An Experienced DUI Attorney will analyze all the details surrounding the arrest.
Having a specialized DUI defense attorney that understands law enforcement’s DUI investigation procedures is significant. An expert attorney, familiar with DUI law will analyze and conduct an independent investigation into the events surrounding the arrest that may otherwise be neglected such as:
- Whether any Constitutional rights were violated in the process of the arrest.
- The Probable Cause of the Arresting Police Officer
- Evaluating Breathalyzer and Field Sobriety Tests
- A detailed investigation into the evidence submitted by the prosecution
- Whether the charges can be proven without a reasonable doubt
Hiring an attorney most often leads to better results
Oregon’s DUI laws are some of the most complicated in the entire country and details surrounding each case are unique. Hiring an expert DUI attorney familiar with the legal system and the prosecution’s strategies most often will lead to better results—through dismissal or negotiation to a lesser charge. Not to mention, the court is going to strongly suggest that you hire an attorney if it’s your first DUI.
Hiring the right DUI attorney is a must
Now that we have established how important it is to hire a lawyer for a first DUI charge, it’s also critical that you hire “the right” DUI attorney. Not all Oregon DUI lawyers are the same. In fact, the difference between a dismissed case and serving jail time is a simple matter of expertise, devotion, and skill. Look for someone who communicates their strategy well to you and has a history of exceptional case results.
If you’ve been arrested or charged for your first DUI, you should immediately contact Portland DUI attorney Andy Green to schedule a free case evaluation. An experienced and compassionate attorney that will do everything possible to get the very best outcome.