Drinking alcohol is not illegal and nobody will arrest you for having a beer or wine. However, deciding to drive after consuming alcoholic drinks is illegal and dangerous. Not only you’re putting yourself in real danger, but you also put others at risk of your DUI.
Drinking and driving in Oregon will lead to arresting and penalties. If you’re a careful driver who follows traffic rules and has never had any issues with the law, you may wonder what consequences will you face if this is your first-time DUI offense.
Let our Portland DUI attorneys explain what you can expect if this is your first DUI offense.
If you have never been charged with a DUI in the past, then you’d be considered a first-time offender. In this case, you may face both administrative and criminal penalties. Many people believe that by committing the crime for the first time, the law would spare them. That is not true. Here is a list of the potential administrative penalties.
- Ignition interlock device on your vehicle for one year
- Paying for the installation of the ignition interlock device
- Criminal penalties such as one year in jail or 250 hours of community service
- High fines and conviction fees
- Substance abuse treatment programs, (the program fees are paid by the offender)
How Are the Penalties Decided?
The judge is the one who decides how long you will stay in prison and how many hours of community service you’ll work. These penalties would depend on many factors, mainly your past criminal record and of course, your courtroom defense. For first-time offenders, the judge may decide on lighter penalties. If you’re a first time offender you cannot expect lighter penalties if you have caused a harsh accident.
Besides that, you will have to pay thousands of dollars in fees depending on your BAC at the time of the arrest. If you have a skilled and experienced attorney with a well-prepared defense, you may face milder penalties.
Your attorney may argue evidence against the defendant and fight for Oregon’s DUII diversion program, for example. They will decide what is the best legal strategy for your case and circumstance.
You Still Have Rights
Many people forget about their rights when they are arrested for DUII (or any other legal issue).
When an officer pulls you over, you should show your license, registration, and your insurance. Once you do that, keep in mind that you can refuse a breathalyzer test, field sobriety test, refuse to get your car searched and you do not have to answer questions. You have the right to call your lawyer and your lawyer can be present at the scene. Remember, you have the right to remain silent.
Also, keep in mind that refusing a breath test leads to your license suspension of one year. Whatever you decide to do, just make sure you are polite and don’t engage in a fight with the officer. Using your rights does not give you the right to act violently.
The officer may ask you things like “are you hiding something” or “if the test shows .08, your license would be suspended for 90 days only, why refuse it”. Stay calm and true to your choice and meanwhile call your attorney. Don’t try to explain your decisions.
These rights are protecting you. If you ever find yourself in such a situation, make sure you remember these lines.
If you are arrested, the officer will take you to the police station and you’ll be booked. There you can call your attorney (and speak up to 20 minutes). Make sure you don’t use the call to make private calls.
Our team at Trilogy Law Group is here to help you. If you find yourself in a situation where an officer pulled you over and you know that you’re about to make your first DUI offense, don’t hesitate to call us.
Maybe you believe that hiring a lawyer would cost you, but think of the fines you’ll face without a skilled attorney by your side. Keep in mind that court-appointed attorneys are not free of charge as well (you won’t pay them unless they win your case, but that is very debatable).
We’ll go on a DMV hearing on your behalf and do all the needed steps that would help you get out of this situation with fewer fines and penalties.
Call our office today and schedule your first consultation free of charge.