If you’ve been charged with driving while under the influence of intoxicants, you’ll want to avoid conviction. The penalties for DUII are harsh and the conviction will stay on your record forever. If it’s your first impaired driving charge, your attorney will likely discuss the Oregon DUII Diversion Program with you. Oregon law allows certain drivers to avoid conviction if they complete this program. This article will outline some of the key aspects of the program. For advice on your specific case, consult an experienced Portland DUI lawyer.
Who is Eligible for Diversion in Oregon
Within 30 days of your first court appearance, you can file a petition for diversion. If you get accepted, you can have your DUI dismissed provided that you do what is required. To be eligible for the DUII diversion program, you must:
- Have never been convicted of a felony
- Have no DUI charges pending against you
- Not be currently taking part in a DUI Diversion Program
- Have no pending charges for murder, manslaughter, aggravated vehicular manslaughter, assault with a motor vehicle or criminally negligent homicide
- Have not been convicted of a DUI in the past ten years.
- Have not had a DUI that led to the serious injury or death of another person
- Have not had a commercial driver’s license when you committed the offense
- Have not been operating a commercial vehicle when you committed the offense
When you enter the program, you will be required to:
- Pay the required program fee
- Pay for and complete a drug and alcohol abuse assessment
- Pay for and complete the required treatment program
What Happens During the DUII Diversion Program
You’re probably wondering what you can expect from the DUII diversion program. It is typically twelve months of drug and alcohol classes and sobriety. You will need to attend an evaluation, Victim Impact Panel class, and drug or alcohol treatment programs. You are not allowed to consume any alcohol for the 12-month period. Your alcohol treatment program may last from four to 12 weeks but you will need to be sober for much longer.
In most cases, if a driver fails their breath test or refuses to take one, they receive a license suspension. However, if your driving privileges haven’t been suspended or revoked, you can continue to drive. Notably, you will need to have an ignition interlock device on any vehicle you use. This small device will be hard-wired into your vehicle for the duration of the program. You will need to blow into it to start the car and use it at random times while driving. You will have to foot the bill for the rental, installation, calibration, and uninstallation of the device. This will typically cost around $70 per month.
If you complete everything that’s required, the case will be dismissed. However, there are some downsides to participating in diversion although it is generally better than a conviction. Your DUI lawyer in Portland will advise you on the pros and cons of entering a diversion program. You will have to plead guilty or no contest to the DUI charge. This is serious so you shouldn’t make his decision without sound legal advice. You won’t be able to challenge any aspect of your case.
In addition, it’s important to note that your arrest will remain on your criminal record. Also, your breath test failure or refusal will remain on your Department of Motor Vehicles record. If you fail to complete the program, you will be convicted of a Class A misdemeanor and sentenced. You will face the possibility of a one-year driver’s license suspension, jail time, fines, and probation.
Contact the Trilogy Law Group if You’ve Been Charged with a DUII
Driving under the influence of intoxicants is a serious charge. If you get convicted, your life could change considerably. You could lose your job, your professional license, and your freedom. The accompanying fines may also be hefty. With this much at stake, you need to consider whether you want to enter a diversion program if you’re eligible. While your arrest will remain on your record if you go into diversion, you may prefer this to a conviction. To determine which option is best for you, you should work closely with a DUI defense law firm in Oregon. At Trilogy Law Group, we will look at your criminal history and the facts of your case. We’ll help you to make an informed decision. The sooner we get to work on your case, the better it will be for you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.