Understanding Misdemeanor Crimes in Oregon

When you hear the word “misdemeanor,” you might assume this matter is minor. In reality, such criminal matters can still have very serious consequences. Although being convicted of a felony is undoubtedly more severe, having a misdemeanor crime on your record has the power to affect your life (and the lives of others) in both the present and the future. We’ll discuss the different misdemeanor classifications, as well as common examples of these crimes, in today’s post.

Classifications of Misdemeanor Criminal Charges

Before we delve into examples of misdemeanor crimes, you may find it helpful to learn a bit more about the different misdemeanor classifications. There are numerous crimes that are considered to be misdemeanors, which are further broken down into specific categories. There are four classifications of misdemeanors in Oregon: Class A, Class B, Class C, and Unclassified.

    • Class A: This classification includes the most serious of misdemeanors; penalties include up to one year in jail/prison and up to $6,250 in fines

 

    • Class B: With this category of crime, a convicted individual may spend up to six months in jail/prison and may owe up to $2,500 in fines

 

    • Class C: If you’re convicted of a Class C misdemeanor, you may spend up to 30 days in jail/prison and may have to pay up to $1,250 in fines

 

  • Unclassified: Penalties for these crimes are defined in specific statutes, meaning that the court has the power to impose the maximum penalty as defined by other laws

Common Types of Misdemeanor Criminal Matters

There are all kinds of crimes that are considered to be misdemeanors. They can range from reckless driving and criminal trespassing to harassment, sexual misconduct, and assault. Prostitution and solicitation are considered Class A misdemeanors as well, meaning they’re punishable by the consequences outlined in the section above. DUIs also fall under the misdemeanor category of criminal matters. And then there are the odd outliers, like boating while intoxicated, unlawful sound recording, and tampering with television equipment. Second- and third-degree theft, resisting arrest, obstruction of justice, and serving alcohol to minors are also misdemeanors. While many of these crimes have specific penalties outlined by law, they do all have one thing in common: being convicted of such a crime could make it much harder for you to keep a job, provide for your family, and maintain your reputation as an upstanding citizen.

What To Do If You’re Facing Misdemeanor Criminal Allegations

Don’t assume that just because it’s a misdemeanor that it doesn’t matter. Without legal assistance, these criminal allegations have the potential to derail your plans for the future and your ability to contribute to society. It’s important to take these criminal matters seriously. If you or someone you know has been arrested and charged with a misdemeanor crime, it’s essential to seek out experienced legal representation. For more information or to schedule a consultation, please contact our firm today.

Oregon DUII: Common Questions Answered

Although you may realize that drunk driving is actually quite common, most motorists don’t think they will ever find themselves in legal trouble. Unfortunately, you might find out the hard way that this feeling of invincibility is misplaced. If you are arrested on DUII allegations, you’ll probably have a ton of questions running through your mind. It’s no wonder, since DUII laws can be incredibly difficult to understand. We hope today’s post will clear up some of your confusion surrounding DUII arrests and what you should do if you are charged with such a crime.

Do I have to submit to questioning, searches, and field sobriety tests?

If you are pulled over and questioned by an officer for a possible DUII situation, you do have to provide them with your driver’s license, your registration, and your proof of insurance. But there are other things you do not have to legally provide.

Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to submit to a field sobriety test or a breathalyzer test. That said, refusing to take a breath test will result in an automatic one-year suspension. In Oregon, having a .08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC) will result in a DUII arrest. Although you may only receive a 90-day license suspension if your BAC reading is below .08%, that may not be a chance you want to take in this scenario.

In addition to these tests, you can also refuse to answer an officer’s questions (though you should do so with respect) and refuse to submit to a search of your vehicle. You have a right to remain silent and a right to an attorney. Although your inclination may be to help law enforcement and appear cooperative, you should not do so to the degree that it could hurt your case. Remain calm and be firm about not answering any questions without your attorney being present. This is the best way to protect your rights.

If I’m a first-time offender, will I go to jail?

Not necessarily. Although Oregon does take DUII laws seriously, first-time offenders may not serve jail time even if they are eventually convicted. You may be forced to pay steep fines, serve community service, and be put on lengthy probation periods in lieu of jail. As a first-time offender, you may also be eligible for a DUII diversion program, which is typically the most appealing option for those who can take advantage of it. Successful completion of this program will replace the possibility for conviction, which presents a welcome opportunity for many offenders.

Can I still participate in a DUII diversion program if my BAC levels were very high?

Regardless of your BAC level, this reading will not negate your eligibility for a diversion program. That said, there are other factors that can render you ineligible. For instance, if you’ve been previously convicted for a DUII or your offense caused another person to be injured, you won’t be able to partake in this program. If you have a commercial’s driver’s license, you won’t be eligible either. But your BAC level won’t play a part in whether you can participate.

Are DUII attorneys really necessary for my case?

In a word: yes. As we’ve mentioned, DUII law is extremely complex. Even if you have never been arrested before, you’ll need help from an experienced attorney to navigate this process successfully. You cannot rely on your clean record or your limited knowledge of the law to help you. You’ll want someone knowledgeable to protect and fight for your rights along the way, which is why having a DUII lawyer is a necessity.

To learn more or to schedule a consultation, please contact our firm today.

3 Things Most People Get Wrong About Distracted Driving

Although drunk driving is seen as one of the worst things you can do in a car out on the open road, the fact is that it’s not always the most dangerous. Distracted driving has been found to be just as dangerous, if not more so, than the act of driving while intoxicated. You might not even realize when you’re driving while distracted, which makes it more difficult to avoid. In today’s post, we’ll discuss three surprising truths about distracted driving in the hopes that you’ll do everything you can to avoid these behaviors yourself.

Distracted driving is downplayed — and it’s getting worse.

There are a great many drivers who get behind the wheel while they’re intoxicated. That fact alone is enough to scare you right off the road. But even more startling is the fact that distracted driving is probably more common and is totally underplayed. Most of us know the risk we take if we drive drunk, but the majority of drivers actually believe that they can engage in distracted driving behaviors safely.

A survey conducted in Washington state found that 70% of drivers felt motorists who texted or emailed while driving were a serious threat to their safety, but 75% of drivers surveyed felt it was unlikely that they’d crash their cars due to texting and driving. Something doesn’t quite add up there. New data also shows that the problem is becoming more pronounced: Cambridge Mobile Telematics found that distracted driving occurred in just over 36% of trips taken within a six-month period, which represents an increase of 5% from the previous year.

The takeaways? Distracted driving behaviors are becoming more prevalent, yet drivers are somehow less likely to believe they’re putting anyone’s safety at risk by engaging in these behaviors. In other words, roads are becoming less safe and we aren’t seeing how our actions are making the problem worse.

Distracted drivers aren’t always those you’d blame first.

Inexperienced drivers are certainly the most likely to underestimate road dangers. That includes the dangers presented by distracted driving or even drunk driving. Minors under the age of 21 are more likely to be involved in crashes in general, so it’s not surprising they’re likely to partake in reckless behavior behind the wheel. But teenagers aren’t always the most likely culprits.

A recent study conducted by AT and T found that adults are actually more likely than teens to engage in texting while driving. The study revealed that while 43% of teens admitted to texting while driving, 49% of adults did, too. Even more surprising is the fact that 60% of adults said they didn’t engage in texting while driving three years prior, which suggests that it’s not just teens who are addicted to their phone use. A separate study published by the Society for Risk Analysis found that female drivers are also more likely to drive distracted.

That said, any motorist can engage in distracted driving behaviors. Regardless of age, gender, or experience behind the wheel, you can be forever affected by these choices.

It’s not all about the phone.

Around 660,000 drivers use cell phones or other electronic devices while driving at any given moment. But distracted driving isn’t all about phone use. Eating or drinking non-alcoholic beverages while driving can be just as dangerous as texting or emailing. There may be no law that specifically prohibits you gobbling down your breakfast in morning traffic, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe. Exxon-Mobile actually found that 70% of drivers eatwhile driving and 80% drink non-alcoholic beverages while driving. Even having a conversation or adjusting the radio station counts as distracted driving — and anything that takes you away from operating your vehicle can be a huge hazard.

The dangers of drunk driving cannot be understated, but they aren’t the only problem. While DUII allegations are certainly no laughing matter, every motorist needs to take steps to prevent distracted driving behaviors as well. Otherwise, you may find yourself in a dire situation that requires assistance from reputable attorneys. If you or someone you love is facing charges of distracted driving or drunk driving, please call our law firm today.

DUII Penalties Explained: What To Expect If You’re Convicted in Oregon

Drunk driving is a far too common occurrence on today’s roads. Shockingly, the average drunk driver has operated a vehicle under the influence 80 times before they’re ever arrested. But that doesn’t mean making the decision to drive drunk won’t come with consequences. Police departments are cracking down on this issue all across the country — so whether it’s your first time or your 50th time getting behind the wheel while intoxicated, you’ll have to deal with some massive ramifications if you are arrested.

In Oregon, there are certain penalties you’ll incur if you’re arrested for drunk driving, which may still apply even if you aren’t convicted. And if you doend up with a DUII conviction on your record, the consequences will be even more severe (particularly if you’ve been convicted of DUII charges before). For these reasons alone, hiring a DUII lawyer becomes essential. While even the best DUII attorneys may not be able to have the charges against you dropped completely, having reputable legal representation will increase your chances of a more positive outcome.

What are the penalties for DUII arrests and convictions in Oregon?

    • License Suspension/Revocation: Oregon has what are known as implied consent laws, meaning that refusing to take a breath or blood test upon your arrest will actually have the same outcome as failing these tests — a driver’s license suspension. Your license may be suspended for 90 days or up to three years simply due to your arrest and your failure or refusal to take the test. If you are subsequently convicted for a DUII, your license will be suspended for at least a year; it can even be revoked permanently if this is your third DUII conviction.

 

    • Ignition Interlock Installation: If you apply for a hardship permit (i.e., an exception to your license suspension that could allow you to drive to work and to drug/alcohol treatment) or once your suspension period is up, you’ll be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. The period for this installation will be determined by the severity of your crime; for example, a first-time offender will have to keep an IID in their car for a year following the one-year license suspension period, while a second-time offender will need an IID in their vehicle for two years once their three-year license suspension period is up. This device will require the driver to pass a BAC test each time they drive to ensure compliance.

 

    • Fines, Fees, and/or Restitution: If you’re convicted of a DUII, you’ll have to pay substantial fines. At a minimum, this fine will be $1,000 — but fines may be as high as $10,000. In addition, you’ll have to pay fees to the court system (including the costs associated with IID installation and maintenance). And if you damaged any property or caused any injuries as a result of your drunk driving, the court may force you to pay restitution as part of your sentencing.

 

    • Jail Time, Community Service, or Prison: First-time DUII offenders will typically be sentenced to either 80 days of community service or jail time, which can range from a couple of days to an entire year. Those who are convicted of multiple DUII offenses may face anywhere from 10 to 180 days in jail. In general, probationary periods can last for up to three years, during which other regulations must be met. Those who commit a felony DUII may face 13 to 60 months in prison, which makes hiring a DUII lawyer a must.

 

  • Drug/Alcohol Treatment and Victim Impact Panel: If you are convicted of a DUII, you will be required to participate in (and pay for) a drug and alcohol treatment program. You could potentially be eligible for a DUII diversion program in lieu of a conviction, which also involves a treatment program. You will also have to pay for and partake in a victim impact panel to understand how accidents involving drunk drivers have devastated victims and their families.

With the serious legal and financial penalties that come with DUII arrests and convictions, it’s clear that hiring a DUII lawyer for your case is vital. To find out about hiring a DUII lawyer for yourself or for a loved one, please contact us today.

Exploring the Differences Between First Offense DUIs and Second Offense DUIs in Oregon

An average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before their first arrest, but after getting charged and convicted of a DUI a first time, nobody ever thinks drunk driving is a mistake they’d repeat. But it does happen, and it can come with more severe punishments and penalties. Each state has different laws regarding first offense DUIs and second offense DUIs, and it helps to know what you’re in for to help you deter you from ever again getting behind the wheel when you shouldn’t. With that in mind, here’s a quick rundown explaining the main differences between a first offense DUI and a second offense DUI in Oregon.

First Time DUI Offense in Oregon

The State of Oregon prohibits the operation of a motor vehicle by a driver with a .08 percent or above blood alcohol concentration (BAC). If you get charged and convicted of DUI for the first time, you may be faced with anywhere from two days to one year of jail time. Other potential penalties include 80 hours of community service, fines up to $10,000 if a child is in the car, and license suspension for up to a year. After the suspension, you may be subject to installation of an ignition lock device that disables a vehicle from starting unless the driver can pass a BAC test. Finally, you can typically expect to have to participate in a drug and alcohol program like the Victim’s Impact Panel Program. Of course, a criminal defense attorney in Beaverton can help navigate your case and lower your penalties.

Second Time DUI Offense in Oregon

If you get charged and convicted of DUI in Oregon for the second time, you’ll be faced with up to a year in jail time. The minimum fine is $1,500, and your license may be suspended for up to three years if the offense occurred within five years of the first offense. You can also expect to have to install an ignition lock device for two years after the suspension, and like before, you’ll have to participate in various drug programs.

About 10% of licensed drivers are under 21, yet they are responsible for 17% of fatal alcohol-related crashes. Regardless of your age, however, it’s always best to contact a criminal defense attorney in Beaverton to help navigate your case and get your punishment reduced. For more information about DUI attorneys, contact Jared Justice.

3 Important Questions To Ask Your Prostitution Defense Lawyer

Every year, nearly 80,000 Americans are arrested for soliciting sex. Legal statistics point out that even more individuals are arrested for prostitution than for paying or promising to pay for sex. Unfortunately, these arrests can have drastic consequences for those involved. That’s why it’s essential to contact a sex crime defense attorney if you find yourself in this type of situation. But the process of vetting possible prostitution lawyers can feel intimidating for many people. When you meet with your attorney for an initial consultation, here are three questions you can’t forget to ask.

What is your experience with cases like these?

Every lawyer has their own set of experiences and areas of practice. While that doesn’t mean that a single firm can’t handle a variety of cases, it does mean that most will focus on certain types of law. In the same way that you wouldn’t book an appointment with a cardiologist if you were suffering from a neurological disorder, you shouldn’t hire a real estate attorney to take on your personal injury case. Although you may weed out some of the poorest legal fits in your initial search, it’s still a good idea to find out what kind of experience your attorney has had with sex crimes cases. You can’t afford to trust someone with very little first-hand knowledge of these cases, particularly if your case will end up going to trial in a court of law. Ask for specifics and don’t be afraid to grill your lawyer a bit on exactly how familiar they are with these cases before officially hiring them to represent you.

What are the likely outcomes for my case?

It’s important that your prostitution lawyer is straightforward with you about the likely scenarios that could play out in court. In other words: they shouldn’t tell you what you what you want to hear instead of the truth. Making promises that they can win your case when you’ve got an uphill battle in front of you will do you absolutely no favors. Even if your lawyer is highly revered, they cannot guarantee a result. They can, however, provide you with an educated assessment of how your case may play out and the consequences you could face. Having a lawyer you can trust to protect your interests and to provide you with logical advice is key.

What is your strategy for my case?

Not only do you need to analyze your prostitution lawyer’s experience and their predictions for your case’s outcome, but you also need to determine what their strategy recommendation will be. Your lawyer should explain what they feel are the best ways to handle your case, as well as the potential pros and cons of these strategies. They should also be upfront about whether there might be a way to avoid a trial altogether — though if they feel it’s in your best interests to fight in court, that should also be part of the conversation. Once you have a better idea of how this attorney would approach your case, you’ll be able to compare this assessment to the information you receive from other possible candidates and see which feels right to you.

If you are facing sex crime charges, hiring a prostitution lawyer is vital. But knowing how to choose your attorney can feel daunting. By conducting thorough research and asking the right questions, you may feel much better equipped to take on this responsibility and make a decision that can help protect your rights.

4 Things to Know if You’re Arrested in a Prostitution Sting

Contrary to popular belief, prostitution is not actually a “victimless crime.” The idea that this criminal act is performed only between two consenting adults and that no one is harmed as a result is a pervasive myth. Many of the individuals who engage in prostitution forced to do so against their will, do so as a result of their circumstances or are legally unable to consent. There are also those who are caught up in these situations by mistake or poor judgment and must deal with significant legal consequences and even public shaming as a result. But if you are arrested in culmination with a prostitution sting, the ramifications could be very serious. Here are four things you should know if you are arrested in a prostitution sting.

    1. You could be convicted even if no sexual act took place: You might assume that if you never went through with the act outlined in your agreement, you’ll be in the clear. But the law states that you can still be charged and convicted even if the act doesn’t take place. Keep in mind that during a nationwide sting that resulted in 1,000 arrests, nearly two-fifths of those stemmed from online prostitution ads. However, prosecutors don’t have to actually prove that the sexual acts actually took place in order to convict. They just have to prove that an offer has been made and accepted to exchange money or another item of value for sexual contact. As long as they have evidence that this occurred, you can’t defend yourself with the fact that the act itself never happened.
    2. You might be charged with a felony or be forced to register as a sex offender: As we referenced earlier, the act of prostitution may involve those who are legally unable to consent. And if your case involves such individuals — i.e., minors — you could face even more substantial punishment. If you promote or engage in prostitution and a person under the age of legal consent is involved, you may face a felony charge and may even be required to register as a sex offender. These charges will be even worse if you have other prostitution charges on your record. This type of punishment could mean huge fees, prison time, and difficulties in securing housing and employment for the rest of your life. That’s why it’s essential for those facing any type of prostitution charges to contact a reputable sex crime defense attorney in Clackamas County.
    3. You can invoke your right to stay silent: If you are arrested for sex crimes like these, it’s imperative that you exercise your right to remain silent until your prostitution lawyers are present. You can choose to respectfully refrain from answering any questions; once you verbalize that you will remain silent until your attorney has arrived, the police cannot interrogate you any longer. This is the best way to ensure that your rights are protected and that your sex crime defense attorney in Clackamas County is able to defend you in court.
    4. There may be ways to dismiss or reduce the charges: This may not be true in every case, particularly when evidence is gathered to the letter of the law. However, law enforcement officers involved in prostitution stings don’t always play by the rules every time. Your sex crime defense attorney in Clackamas County may be able to argue that the evidence against you was gathered illegally or that police misconduct makes certain evidence inadmissible in a court of law. There is, of course, no guarantee that your lawyer will be able to get your charges reduced or dropped entirely, particularly if prosecutors have a very strong case against you. However, contacting a lawyer is the best way to make sure someone is fighting for your rights every step of the way.

As we’ve mentioned, contacting a sex crime defense attorney in Clackamas County provides you with the best opportunity for true justice. Because prostitution laws are so complex, it’s vital to have a knowledgeable legal team by your side. For more information, contact our firm today.

Understanding the DUII Diversion Program in Oregon

what is duii diversionIn Oregon, the decision to drink and drive can come with some serious consequences. Intoxicated drivers who choose to operate a vehicle and have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or above are breaking the law and will be arrested if they are caught. But if this is your first time being arrested for driving under the influence, you may be able to have your charges dismissed if you opt to participate in a program known as DUII diversion. What is DUII diversion and what’s involved in the DUII diversion process? We’ll discuss those questions in today’s post.

What Is DUII Diversion?

If you are facing a DUII conviction and have already met with a lawyer, you may have heard this program mentioned and wondered, “what is DUII diversion, anyway?” This is a program open to certain individuals who have been arrested on DUII charges. Upon successful completion of this program, participants are able to have their DUII charges dismissed. This is an attractive option for many people who want to avoid a trial and the potential consequences of a conviction. This program typically lasts for one year and involves drug and alcohol treatment, victim impact panels, fees, and the installation of vehicular ignition interlock devices.

Am I Eligible For a DUII Diversion Program?

In order to avoid a DUII conviction through a DUII diversion program, you will need to meet a rather strict set of criteria. You must never have been charged with or convicted of a DUII (or DUI/DWI) in the past in any jurisdiction within the last 15 years. You will be deemed ineligible for a diversion program if you have already participated in such a program within the last 15 years, as well. You cannot have been charged with assault, criminally negligent homicide, manslaughter, or murder related to this vehicle-related charge or others in your past, nor can you participate in the program if the offense in question involved your operation of a commercial motor vehicle. You can’t even hold commercial driver privileges at the time you committed the offense in question. Your DUII charges cannot involve physical injury or death of anyone else, and you cannot have been convicted of a felony DUII/DUI/DWI anywhere else to be eligible. There may be other requirements and conditions you must meet in order to be eligible for a diversion program, so it’s best to consult with a reputable attorney to find out for sure whether this may be an option for you.

What’s Required During the DUII Diversion Process?

If you’re curious to know what is DUII diversion and what is required of participants within this program, your lawyer will be an excellent resource. When you agree to enter into a diversion program, you will be required to sign an agreement with the court that says your charges will be dismissed if you complete everything that’s required of you within a certain time frame (typically within a year). You’ll need to undergo an evaluation to determine what type of treatment you require and complete the drug or alcohol treatment (usually in a classroom setting). You will also be required to go to a victims’ impact treatment session once during your program. You must make a commitment to abstaining from alcohol and drug consumption for the entirety of the program. You’ll need to install an ignition interlock device on any and all vehicles you drive during the program, even if your license is already suspended. Finally, you will need to pay for assessments, fees, and other costs during this time. Your DUII diversion attorneys will inform you that you have to plead “not guilty” or “no contest” in order to enter this program; be aware that if you do not complete the program and violate this agreement, this will impact the outcome of your case. However, if you do complete the program successfully, you will be able to file a motion with your lawyer to dismiss the DUII charge.

For many people who are facing their first DUII charge, understanding exactly what is DUII diversion and the benefits of this type of program will be essential. To find out more or to explore the options available to you, contact our law firm today.

Promoting Vs. Compelling Prostitution in Oregon: Differences Explained

criminaldefenseattorneySex crimes involving prostitution are typically taken quite seriously in the United States. The stakes are high for anyone involved in this type of crime — not only due to the possible legal consequences but to the social stigma involved, as well. In Oregon, prostitution is illegal, as is the act of solicitation (also known as paying for a prostitute). But these are not the only cases prostitution lawyers handle. Depending on the circumstances, you could find yourself charged with promoting prostitution or compelling prostitution. Let’s take a look at the differences between these charges and examine what you should do if you are facing allegations like these.

Promoting Prostitution

An individual may be charged with promoting prostitution if they knowingly and intentionally own, control, manage, supervise, or maintain a place where prostitution is done or a prostitution enterprise; if they cause or induce another person to engage in prostitution or remain in a place where prostitution is done; if they receive or agree to receive money, property, goods, services, or some other item of value known to be derived from prostitution activities; or if they engage in any conduct that aids, facilitates, or institutes an act or enterprise of prostitution. This crime is informally known as pimping.

The charges of promoting prostitution are more serious than solicitation or prostitution itself. This is a Class C felony. It’s therefore punishable by up to five years in prison and up to $125,000 in fines. Not every individual found guilty of promoting prostitution will go to prison — some will spend time in jail and/or will be put on probation instead — it’s best not to take your chances. It’s essential that you contact a criminal defense attorney with ample experience in these matters to ensure your rights are protected in court.

Compelling Prostitution

The act of compelling prostitution differs from promotion in the sense that it typically involves force and/or fear. A person can be charged with this crime if they knowingly use intimidation or force to compel another individual to attempt or engage in prostitution; if they cause or help a minor under 18 years of age to engage in prostitution; or if they cause their child, stepchild, or spouse to engage in prostitution.

Note that the state is not actually required to prove that the person charged with this crime had knowledge that the minor individual compelled to commit prostitution was under the age of 18 — nor is the lack of that knowledge a valid defense. Compelling prostitution is an even more serious crime that promoting prostitution. It is a Class B felony that is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. If found guilty, serving time in prison is usually a given. However, hiring a criminal defense attorney will provide defendants with the best possible chance of a positive outcome at trial.

One would hope that you or someone you love will never be charged with promoting or compelling prostitution. But if this should occur, it’s critical that the defendant’s rights be protected. Hiring a criminal defense attorney should be one of the first things you do in cases like these. To find out more information, please contact our firm today.

The Necessity of DUII Lawyers: Why You Should Never Represent Yourself

duii defense attorneyAlthough many of us have vowed to never drink and drive, the reality is that we all make mistakes. If you’ve gotten behind the wheel while intoxicated and were later arrested for a DUII, you’ll have a lot of decisions to make in the coming days, weeks, and months. One of the most important of these decisions is how to defend yourself in a court of law. While most people understand that hiring DUII defense attorneys will typically provide the best outcome, others are convinced that they can represent themselves. Here are a few reasons you really do need an attorney’s expertise and guidance.

DUII Law Can Be Extremely Complicated

You might think that your case is straightforward and that the justice system will work in your favor. Unfortunately, you may be in for a rude awakening. DUII law is immensely complex. You might find out the hard way that you need someone with more experience and knowledge of the law to guide you. Being an avid fan of “Law and Order” and other crime shows is no replacement for having an actual lawyer. When you choose to represent yourself, you cannot ask for help when you don’t understand something. You’ll likely end up confused and in a heap of trouble. Which brings us to our next point…

Your Odds Are Better With Legal Representation

Statistics show that you are much more likely to have DUII charges dismissed or reduced if you have help from DUII defense attorneys than if you try to go it alone. And while getting those charges reduced or dismissed may not be an option in all cases, it’s still essential to have legal representation. Because your lawyer is more familiar with the law and with both judges and other attorneys, they’re in a much better position to protect your rights and build a defense. Without a lawyer, the outcome of your case could be very grim. But by hiring an attorney, you will be making an investment in your future. That’s a good segue into our next point…

Hiring DUII Defense Attorneys May Be More Affordable

Approximately 10.3 million people reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs from 2011 to 2012, and driving while intoxicated is even more common. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 111 million self-reported episodes of alcohol-impaired driving among U.S. adults on an annual basis. Some of those who get caught breaking the law and are arrested for these crimes may feel like they have very few financial options available to them. They might be quick to dismiss the idea of hiring DUII defense attorneys due to the costs they assume are involved. However, it’s important to keep the hidden costs of a DUII charge in mind. You might think you’ll be saving a lot by going the DIY route, but you could end up paying far more in fines, lost wages, and insurance hikes. In the end, hiring attorney will probably be much more cost-effective than trying to represent yourself — particularly if you’re facing jail time. Which brings us to our last point…

The Bottom Line: Self-Representation Is Extremely Risky

Whether this is your first DUII charge or your fifth, the stakes are going to be high. Representing yourself in a civil matter, while still not usually recommended, may come with lower risks. But when you’re dealing with criminal charges, choosing to represent yourself will most likely backfire in a very dramatic way. Not only might you have to pay steep fees, but you may also end up with a conviction on your criminal record, a prolonged loss of driving privileges, and even jail time. Thinking you can beat these charges will likely result in some tough lessons, many of which will follow you for the rest of your life. Even after you’ve paid fines, served time, and reinstated your driving privileges, you may find it nearly impossible to secure housing or a job. The decision to represent yourself could derail your entire future.

When you have so much to lose, you can’t afford to take any chances. Don’t take a risk by representing yourself. Contact our DUII defense attorneys to schedule a consultation.