Getting convicted of driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII) can create problems in several areas of your life. However, you may think that once you deal with the legal and administrative issues, you can move on. Unfortunately, you may not realize your desire for a fresh start. Your DUI will go on your DMV record, criminal record, and possibly, your employment record. This means it can follow you around for some time. If you live in Oregon, your conviction will always be on your criminal record. If you want to avoid this, you’ll have to work with an experienced Portland, Oregon DUI defense attorney to avoid conviction in the first place.
Oregon is relatively strict regarding criminal records. In most states, people convicted of drunk driving can ask the court to expunge their conviction after a set period. The time usually ranges from five to seven years. In some cases, the courts expunge drivers’ records as long as they don’t commit any subsequent offenses. While expungements are possible in Oregon, they don’t apply to traffic offenses like DUI or driving while suspended. This is set out under Oregon Revised Statute 137.225.
What Happens If I Wasn’t Convicted?
Given the social stigma attached to drunk driving, even a DUII charge can be a stain on your record. If police arrested you but the courts didn’t convict you, you can have that arrest set aside. Sometimes, police arrest drivers on suspicion of a DUII but they later dismiss the charges. Other times, drivers go before the court and the judge acquits them. When this happens, you can file a request for the charges to be set aside. You can do so at any time after the charges were dropped or you were cleared. The process will go a lot more smoothly if you work with a lawyer.
Why You Need to Call an Oregon DUI Defense Attorney After Being Charged with a DUI
One of the most important things you have to do after being charged is to contact a Portland DUI lawyer. The decisions you make in the early stages will affect the outcome of your case. Furthermore, you’ll be stuck with a DUII on your record if you get convicted. Therefore, you need to do everything you can to keep your record clean. You’ll also want to minimize the impact the charge has on your life.
There are many reasons why you need to act quickly. For example, your lawyer will need to gather evidence, and some of it may be time-sensitive. In addition, you’ll want to live a somewhat normal life while you wait for your case to end. This means you’ll want to prevent your license from being suspended. You will have ten days after your arrest to apply for an implied consent hearing to keep your license.
If you don’t hire an attorney, you’ll likely rely on the advice of family and friends. While they may be well-meaning, they don’t have the knowledge and experience to properly advise you. Even if they’ve been charged with a DUI before, they won’t know all the details of your case. An important, life-changing legal matter like this requires the attention of a professional who will look into your specific matter. You need to handle a DUI charge with greater care than a speeding ticket. You shouldn’t even discuss your case with anyone before you’ve consulted an attorney.
Penalties for a DUII in Oregon
The punishment for driving while intoxicated is nothing to scoff at. This is another reason why you need to have an attorney on your side. If the police charge you with a misdemeanor DUI, you can spend up to one year in jail. You can also spend up to five years on probation and you’ll face a fine of up to $6,250. If you’re a repeat offender charged with a felony, the penalties are more severe. You could spend around two years in prison and the DMV could revoke your driver’s license for life.
Additional penalties include:
- Electronic monitoring
- Court costs
- Drug and alcohol treatment
- Drug and alcohol testing
Contact a Portland, Oregon DUI Defense Attorney Today
If you want to get the best possible outcome in your case, you need to work with a Portland DUI defense law firm. Since an impaired driving conviction will stay on your record forever, you need to avoid getting that conviction. If you contact the Trilogy Law Group as soon as possible after your arrest, we can help you. We’ll do everything within the law to help you keep a clean record. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.