One of the biggest misunderstandings people have when they first contact me is the difference between a first DUI and a first DUI conviction. Now a first DUI could result in a first conviction, but most of the time it doesn’t.
In Oregon, if you are arrested for a DUI for the first time and you meet certain qualifications, you will be eligible for a Diversion. A Diversion is an agreement with the Court that allows you to avoid a conviction. If you successfully complete the Diversion, the DUI is dismissed after 12 months and a conviction is avoided. A person is only eligible for 1 DUI Diversion every 15 years..
Now if you have already successfully completed a DUI Diversion in the past 15 years and you are arrested for another DUI, then you will be looking at a first DUI conviction.
A first DUI conviction in Oregon will result in a minimum 48 hours in jail or 80 hours of community service. Additionally there will be a minimum $1000 fine and a 1 year license suspension. A conviction will also require the treatment conditions that were present in the diversion as well. Depending on what county your conviction occurs in there will be 12-36 months of either supervised or bench probation.
So given that Oregon allows most people to avoid a conviction on their first DUI arrest, it’s very possible to have been arrested for DUI twice, but only have one DUI conviction.
It’s also important to point out that a person who does DUI Diversion will not have the jail, community service, fines and license suspensions that are associated with a first time conviction.