3 Mistakes to Avoid While in a DUI Diversion Program

Although fewer than 4,000 people are arrested for drunk driving on a daily basis, that doesn’t mean you’re invincible. If you choose to drink and drive, chances are that you will eventually pay the price in one way or another. Those who are arrested for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol for the first time may be eligible for what’s known as a DUII diversion program.

Diversion programs essentially allow a first-time DUI offender to plead guilty or no contest to their crime without having to serve time in jail. Instead, individuals have to successfully complete the DUI diversion program requirements; if they do, the charges against them will be dismissed or even expunged.

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5 Common Obstacles to Recovering from Addiction

Quick Facts

According to the 2017 National Survey of Drug Use and Health, among those with a substance use disorder:

  • 75.2% struggle with alcohol use
  • 36.4% struggle with illicit drug use
  • 11.5% struggle with illicit drugs and alcohol use
  • 3.4% had both a substance use disorder and a mental illness

Despite the above findings, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that “Rates of alcohol use disorder have declined in all age groups relative to 2015.” But why don’t more addicts seek help? What’s holding them back? There are so many barriers that stand in an addicts way, and we can’t help our loved ones if we can’t understand what may be stopping them from seeking help. While you might feel inclined to judge, you must not. Instead, you must emphasize—recovering from addiction is easier said than done. Many addicts face the following five obstacles.

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The Consequences of Receiving a DUII in Oregon

A DUII charge in Oregon leads to several devastating consequences. Depending on the number of related convictions you have had in the past, penalties can range from license suspension to hefty fines and lengthy jail sentences. Find out about the potential consequences you could face if you were to be convicted of a DUII charge.

How Can Someone Get a DUII in Oregon?

In Oregon, it is illegal for motorists with a Class C permit to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or more. For individuals with a commercial driver’s license, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content of .04% or more. A person can be arrested for DUII when they are under the influence of alcohol, cannabis, controlled substances, and/or inhalants. According to the state’s DUII laws, a person who is “under the influence” is someone whose physical and mental abilities are impaired to a point where it is noticeable or perceptible.

Attempted DUII Convictions

In Oregon, it is possible for a motorist to commit an attempted DUII. A person with a BAC that is at or above .08% (or if they are under the influence of a controlled substance) can be convicted of an attempted DUII when they purposely take steps toward driving a vehicle.

It is also possible for a person to receive a DUII while operating a vehicle that is not a car, truck, or motorcycle. Oregon DUII laws define boats, bicycles, mopeds, scooters, and motorized wheelchairs as vehicles. Devices that are exclusively powered by humans—other than bicycles—are not bound by Oregon’s DUII laws.

DUII Penalties in Oregon

An individual who has a DUII charge can expect jailtime and expensive fines. They should also expect to have their license suspended. On top of everything, individuals charged with a DUIII will also have to use an Ignition Interlock Device (IID). These penalties get more and more severe depending on the offender’s prior convictions and how close together the previous charges occurred.

Consequences of a DUII Arrest

The first step in the DUII process is undergoing a lawful arrest. When a person is arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or an illegal substance, they will typically face administrative penalties. These penalties are often regarding their driver’s license. Administrative consequences will stand even if the motorist isn’t convicted in a criminal court.

Consequences of a DUII Conviction

If a motorist is convicted of a DUII, criminal penalties will be added on top of any license-related consequences. These penalties intensify depending on the number of previous DUII offenses the person has.

1st DUII Offense

In addition to administrative penalties, the first-time DUII offender will face between 48 hours to one year in jail. A person may be mandated to complete 80 hours of community service instead. Fines range from $1,000 to $6,250. If the offender’s blood alcohol content is .15% or more, fines may start at $2,000. If the passenger is younger than 18 years of age and is at least 3 years younger than the driver, the offender may face fines as high as $10,000. First-time offenders will have their license suspended for one year and will require an Ignition Interlock Device in their vehicle for one year.

2nd DUII Offense

A person’s second DUII offense will cost them anywhere from $1,500 (or $2,000 if the motorist’s BAC is .15% or more) to $6,250. Fines can climb as high as $10,000 if the passenger is under 18 years of age and is at least 3 years younger than the driver. A second-time offender can face anywhere from 48 hours (or 80 hours of community service) to 1 year in jail. A person with a second DUII offense can expect their license to be suspended for 3 years, and they can also expect to have to use an IID in their vehicle for 2 years.

3rd DUII Offense

On a motorist’s third DUII offense, penalties will increase substantially. A third-time offender could face 90 days (if convicted of DUII at least twice in the past 10 years) to 5 years in jail. Fines begin at $2,000 if the driver is not facing imprisonment, and they can reach as high as $125,000 if the driver is convicted of a class C felony. A third-time offender’s license will be suspended permanently. However, after 10 years, the offender may petition the court to restore their license. IID use will be mandatory for 2 to 5 years—but this depends on the timing of prior convictions.

Penalties for Refusing a Chemical Test in Oregon

When a person is lawfully arrested for a DUII conviction, Oregon’s implied consent laws require all motorists to cooperate with a breath, blood, or urine test. If a driver refuses to take a chemical test, their license will be suspended for the following lengths of time:

  • 1st offense: 1 year
  • 2nd offense: 2 years
  • 3rd offense: 3 years

The penalties for a second or third offense test refusal or failed test apply if within the past 5 years the motorist has:

  • A DUII conviction
  • Participated in a diversion or comparable alcohol/drug program
  • A suspended license due to an implied consent violation

Further Consequences of Receiving a DUII in Oregon

In addition to jail time, expensive fees, mandated Ignition Interlock Devices, and a suspended license, a motorist can face several other penalties if they are convicted of driving under the influence of intoxicants. These penalties include the following:

  • Completing a $150 screening assessment that determines the type of program the individual must complete
  • Successfully completing a substance abuse treatment program
  • Attending a mandated Victim Impact Panel (VIP); fees range from $5 to $50
  • Potentially serving a probation period, which vary in type and length but typically don’t exceed 5 years

If you face a DUII conviction in Clackamas County, Oregon, you may find yourself tangled up in complicated DUII and implied consent laws. You may benefit from the advice of a skilled Clackamas County DUII lawyer who can help you navigate the process.

What’s At Risk When You’re Charged With Prostitution

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, more than 43,000 women were arrested for prostitution-related offenses in 2010. While people on the outside may scoff at their life decisions, the reality is that many of these women are forced into what’s known as “the life” in order to survive (or even against their will). Even worse, the world’s oldest profession comes with an immense number of health and safety risks. Physical abuse and assault, sexually transmitted diseases, and incarceration are just some of the potential consequences of working as a prostitute. And if you are arrested and charged with a prostitution-related crime, you could also face other ramifications. In order to have the best chance of avoiding or minimizing the following consequences, it’s essential that you contact a prostitution defense attorney to protect your rights and to fight on your behalf.

Potential Consequences of Prostitution Arrests Include…

    • Unemployment: If you are arrested for and subsequently convicted of prostitution charges, you will likely find it difficult to secure gainful employment in the future. When applying for a new job, your would-be employer will perform a criminal background check. Sadly, many employers won’t look past a criminal prostitution charge. Being charged with a crime could also cause you to lose any professional licensing you already have; if you are currently employed by other means, you might automatically lose your job as a result.

 

    • Public Scrutiny: When you’re convicted of prostitution, these charges will be notated on your driving record. While first-time offenders may not have to worry as much, since those records can be viewed only by law enforcement. But those who have dealt with multiple charges and/or convictions should know that those records are viewable to the public. If you are swept up in a prostitution ring or another high-profile case, you may need to be worried about your photo and personal information being shared in the media. This could cause important people in your life to judge you or completely turn their backs on you. You may end up being at the center of relentless gossip and rumors, especially in the age of social media. Unfortunately, your prostitution lawyers in Portland may not be able to do anything to keep this information out of the public eye, despite their best efforts.

 

  • Housing Issues: If you end up being convicted of prostitution charges, you could very well be found in violation of your lease or other housing agreement. This could result in your eviction (as well as the eviction of your family, if they live in the same home). In addition, your conviction could make it extremely difficult to secure housing in the future. Just like an employer does, housing managers and owners will typically conduct background checks and will require you to list criminal convictions on your application. Ultimately, you may find it nearly impossible to find a safe place to live, much less pay for it.

Your prostitution lawyers in Portland will caution you that there are other risks, as well. You might lose your ability to drive, assuming your car was allegedly involved in the commitment of the crime. And if your charges are upgraded to a felony and you’re convicted, you may even have your right to vote be taken away (which is a substantial blow in these politically charged times). If you are facing charges like these, the best thing you can do is to contact reputable prostitution lawyers in Portland to develop your defense. While they may not be able to completely remove these risks, they can at least mitigate them by dedicating themselves to your case.

How Do Drunk Drivers Get Caught?

As most people know, alcohol, good judgment, and good driving do not mix well. Even if a drunk driver doesn’t get in an accident, he or she can still end up needing a lawyer for a drunk driving defense.

But how do police catch drunk drivers? Perhaps unsurprisingly, drunk drivers are fairly easy to spot. Before thinking you can get away with driving under the influence, remember that police catch drunk drivers using a variety of methods, including:

DUI Checkpoints

Police officers in some districts set up roadblocks where officers stop drivers and ask them if they have been drinking. Checkpoints and roadblocks are common during holidays. High school graduation season is also a common time for checkpoints, since only 10 percent of licensed drivers are under 21, yet this age group is responsible for 17 percent of all fatal alcohol-related crashes. Checkpoints are legal in most states, though police departments are sometimes required to make the public aware of where and when the stop will be set up.

Routine Stops

Occasionally, police pull vehicles over for common reasons, like speeding or a broken taillight, and aren’t anticipating encountering a drunk driver. Once an officer speaks to a driver through the car window, they begin assessing the situation for signs of other laws being broken. Police officers may also suspect a driver is drunk during a routine stop if the person:

 

    • Slurs their words
    • Fumbles with their hands
    • Has open containers in the vehicle or smells of alcohol
    • Fails to answer questions promptly or accurately
    • Has difficulty getting out of the vehicle
    • Has a flushed face or bloodshot eyes

With so many obvious physical and behavioral signs that can indicate a person is drunk, it is difficult to hide intoxication from a police officer.

Waiting and Watching

Often, police officers can tell a driver is drunk simply by the way they handle a vehicle, so they keep a lookout for drunk drivers while on patrols. Police officers believe that if a driver displays the following behaviors, there is at least a 35% chance that their blood alcohol content is over 0.08%. A person might be pulled over if they exhibit:

 

    • Difficulty staying in the correct lane
    • Improper or choppy acceleration and braking
    • Problems with being aware of their surroundings, such as disobeying traffic signals
    • Poor judgment, such as following unusually close to a vehicle or failing to turn in a turning lane

When to Seek an Attorney for Drunk Driving Defense

If you’ve found yourself facing criminal charges for driving drunk, get a DUI attorney as soon as possible. Finding a good lawyer quickly can help you build a better drunk driving defense. For more information, contact Jared Justice today.

Five Mistakes to Avoid When Facing Criminal Charges

Something has happened, and now you’re facing criminal charges. Though your next course of action largely depends on the charges being held against you, there are still some common mistakes any defendant can make that might be detrimental to your case.

 

Whether you’re facing DUII allegations, a sex crime accusation, or any other criminal matter that requires an attorney, be sure you don’t make any of these five critical mistakes:

 

Mistake #1: Waiting Too Long to Hire a Lawyer

Though you may want to avoid the added expense of hiring a lawyer until you’re sure you need one, in the case of criminal charges, it is better to be safe than sorry. Hiring a lawyer quickly will provide you with the guidance you need to avoid future missteps that can worsen your sentence. Getting an early start will give your lawyer more time to build your case for the best defense possible in court.

Mistake #2: Providing Evidence

Though the average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before the first arrest, the police do not need to know about your previous activities! Do not provide evidence or statements related to this or any other crimes without guidance from a lawyer. Also do not submit samples of bodily fluids, fingerprints, and other evidence. Giving police any of these items voluntarily will make them admissible in court. You have the right to remain silent. Only speak to politely tell officers that you plan to wait to provide evidence once an attorney is present or they have a court-issued warrant.

Mistake #3: Resisting Arrest

No matter how frustrated or frightened you feel, do not resist arrest in any way. Physically resisting police officers will only worsen your case and result in additional criminal charges. Plus, a scuffle could lead to injury. Calmly follow police orders to protect your case.

Mistake #4: Contacting a Witness

Though you may mean no harm, do not contact your friend or anyone else who may have witnessed the crime you’re being accused of. Contacting a witness is illegal and considered witness tampering, which could ultimately hinder your defense to say the least.

Mistake #5: Withholding Information from your Lawyer

Finally, don’t try to lie or hide details of the scenario from your lawyer. Though you may be worried about seeming guilty or ashamed of what happened, your lawyer needs absolutely every detail possible to represent you in court. If your lawyer discovers new details during the trial, your entire case could be jeopardized. Be honest to protect yourself from further criminal charges and a worse sentence.

Criminal charges can be frightening and confusing. Though you may not know what to do after an accusation, be sure not to do any of the above.

For more information, contact Jared Justice today.

Three Myths about DUI Charges, Debunked

Every year, millions of people get behind the wheel without being sober. In 2012 alone, 10.3 million people reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs. Though not everyone who drinks or does drugs before driving gets caught, many end up facing arrest for putting other drivers, and themselves, in danger.

Since 2012, U.S. culture has grown to see drinking and driving as more and more taboo. Though this is good for limiting the number of drunk and drugged-driving accidents, avoiding a loaded topic in conversation can lead to the spread of misinformation.

Before believing hearsay about drunk driving, drugged driving, or DUI law, check this myth-busting guide to be sure you know the facts.

Here are just a few myths surrounding DUII:

  1. You don’t need a specialized lawyer for DUIsFalse. Only a lawyer who is an expert in DUI defense can represent you to the best extent in court. Though technically not a requirement, hiring a DUI lawyer is a good way to ensure you’re getting the best defense possible, and it shows that you take the situation seriously.
  2. You can’t be arrested in your own drivewayFalse. If an officer has been following you and noticed erratic driving, he or she can approach you on your own property. Furthermore, if an officer sees something suspicious, or finds you sleeping in a vehicle, they can approach, and possibly complete an arrest in your own driveway.
  3. You can’t get convicted for just sitting in your car drunkFalse. If the keys are in the ignition, you can legally be charged for operating a vehicle while under the influence. Even if you’re sleeping in the backseat for warmth while sobering up, you can still technically be approached by an officer and asked to take a breathalyzer test. Even if a person who isn’t sober is sitting in a parked car that gets hit, the incident can still be considered alcohol-related.

Don’t make the mistake of getting behind the wheel drunk or under the influence of drugs. Even if you never put your foot on the gas, you could face serious legal consequences.

If you’re already facing a DUI in the Portland area, call Jared Justice. Our criminal defense attorneys in Beaverton can go over the details of your case and find the best legal options for your future. Our expert criminal defense attorneys in Beaverton and elsewhere will provide you with expert advice and fight to defend you in any court.

DUI Disclosure: Do You Have to Include a Drunk Driving Conviction On a Job Application?

It’s safe to say that most motorists want to avoid being pulled over for any reason. That’s especially true if you get behind the wheel while intoxicated. While fewer than 4,000 people are arrested every day for drunk driving, being charged and subsequently convicted of this crime can have huge consequences.

You could face steep fines, license suspension, community service, alcohol treatment, and jail time, for starters. But aside from immediate ramifications, you’ll also have to deal with major challenges in the future. Your personal reputation might suffer, you may face struggles within your family unit, and you could even have trouble maintaining your current job or being hired for a new one. You might assume that if you haven’t been convicted of a felony, you’ll be in the clear. But with all of the resources available to employers now, your criminal defense attorneys in Clackamas County will stress how important it is to know what you legally have to disclose to your potential boss and what that could mean for your career.

Here’s What an Employer Can Ask You:

On a job application or in an interview, there are questions that employers are prohibited from asking due to state and federal laws. But they can ask you about certain aspects of your criminal history. They can ask whether you have been convicted of a felony or of a crime, whether you’ve had recent driving violations, or whether you have been arrested and/or charged with a violation, misdemeanor, or felony. Some of the questions they ask may be more broad than others; if you are asked these questions, it’s essential to answer truthfully (for reasons we’ll explain shortly). Otherwise, you could be seen as untrustworthy or you could lose your job later on simply because you didn’t disclose.

Should You Disclose Your DUI To an Employer?

It’s generally a good idea, and it’s definitely required if the application asks you about your criminal history. Failing to disclose this information when asked directly is certainly a bad idea. As a rule, you shouldn’t lie to a would-be employer. Keep in mind that, depending on the industry and the company culture, your future boss might not even be fazed by your DUI conviction. But they will likely run a background check on you, and if they realize you weren’t honest about your criminal history, the outcome will likely be far worse than if you had just told the truth from the beginning.

Note that you absolutely need to disclose this information if the law requires applicants in this particular type of position to do so. Pilots, commercial truck drivers, medical personnel, and others may have to disclose any prior DUIs as part of the certification/licensing process. If there is a company-employee agreement or any type of sworn statement of honesty that goes along with your application process, you will need to disclose in those cases, as well.

How to Explain Your DUI in an Interview

Your DUI law firm will probably have informed you to expect questions about your criminal history to come up in the application and interview processes. It’s important to prepare how to answer these questions honestly and professionally. You can work with your criminal defense attorneys in Clackamas County to learn how to disclose truthfully while putting a positive spin on the situation. If you went through counseling or treatment as part of your conviction or you’ve simply learned a lot from your mistakes, you’ll want to highlight those takeaways. Accepting responsibility in a mature way and showing that those mistakes are all in the past is the best approach. If you’re unsure as to what you should say and what you should avoid, your criminal defense attorneys in Clackamas County can be an excellent source of information when applying and interviewing for jobs.

Of course, your best chance of avoiding this scenario altogether is to hire reputable criminal defense attorneys in Clackamas County to defend your case from the start. If you’ve been arrested for drunk driving and require legal assistance, contact our firm today.

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.