Getting charged with driving under the influence of intoxicants can be scary. Many people who face charges of impaired driving have never been in trouble with the law before. However, they know there are several legal and administrative consequences associated with DUIs. Jail time is a possibility, heavy fines are common, and professional licenses can be in jeopardy. Given how serious DUII charges are in Portland, you need to avoid certain mistakes after the police charge you. If you don’t take the right steps, you could face harsher penalties. Getting back on track would be a lot more difficult. Let’s look at some of the things you’ll want to avoid.
Assuming You Can’t Fight the Charge
It’s easy to feel like your world is crashing around you when the police arrest you. However, you shouldn’t automatically assume the worse. There are a number of strategies an experienced lawyer can use, and they may even be able to get the charges dropped. Even if you confess or you’re found guilty, experienced attorneys know how to get the minimum penalty. Alternatively, you may be eligible for the state’s DUI diversion program. If you complete the program, you won’t have a conviction on your record.
Diversion is ideally suited for people who have a clean driving and criminal records. To complete the program, you have to:
- Pay $490 court in fees
- Participate in a mandatory substance use evaluation
- Attend alcohol or drug treatment sessions if required
- Abstain from alcohol for a year
- Install an ignition interlock device on your car for one year
- Attend a victim impact panel
Your Portland DUI attorney will evaluate your situation and let you know if you’re eligible for diversion.
Not Hiring an Experienced DUI Lawyer
If you really want to fight your DUII charge, you need to work with a skilled attorney. Don’t try to represent yourself or hire the first lawyer you find. Your attorney plays a major role in the outcome of your case, so you need to get the best one possible. An experienced attorney will look at every aspect of the case and identify all possible defenses.
Deciding to Drive Under the Influence Again
If you get charged with one DUI, you should do everything in your power to avoid letting it happen again. Driving while impaired is obviously dangerous to yourself and others. However, you also need to know that the penalties for a second or subsequent DUI are harsher. Diversion isn’t an option if you have had a DUI charge within the past 15 years. Furthermore, the fines increase with each conviction and you could spend up to a year in jail. If you don’t learn your lesson, your third DUII conviction will result in a permanent revocation of your driving privileges.
Failing to Attend Court
When you receive your court date, you need to make sure you show up. Avoiding the court won’t absolve you of the consequences of a DUI charge. You’ll actually make the situation worse since you will likely face charges for failing to appear. An arrest warrant could even be issued in your name. To avoid such problems, you need to contact an attorney and follow their advice. They will prepare you for your hearing and help you to stay calm.
Not Doing What the Court Orders
If you enter a diversion program or get sentenced to community service, you need to adhere to the requirements. If you don’t, you could lose your license or get into even more legal problems. If it’s your first conviction, you probably won’t get the maximum penalties. However, if you don’t do what is required, things could get worse. Jail time, increased fines, and higher legal fees could also result. The fastest way to move on with your life is to simply comply with the court.
Driving with a Suspended License
Drivers sometimes take the risk of getting behind the wheel while their license is suspended. Some assume that since they’re only going a short distance, they won’t get in trouble. Having to walk or take public transport is inconvenient but the penalties for driving with a suspended license are even worse. You could face fines, jail time, or extended probation. It is also worth keeping in mind that your auto insurance is invalid if your license is suspended. If you cause an accident, you would be personally responsible for the damages.
Contact the Trilogy Law Group Today!
DUII charges should be taken seriously. If you want to avoid these mistakes, reach out to our DUI lawyers in Portland to get the help you need. Call us today to schedule a consultation and learn what we can do for you.