Oregon DUI Defense
Don’t let a DUI charge disrupt your life. We will fight to keep your license and your freedom. Call an Oregon DUI Attorney today.
During normal business hours, please call(503) 352-9360 and ask for Edward Kroll.
For immediate help on weekends or evenings, please call (503) 747-3487.
The initial consultation is free of charge.
I have been charged with a DUI. Can you help me?
Yes. In his time as a prosecutor, Mr. Kroll spent significant time as Portland’s chief “DUII Deputy” – a prosecutor position focused solely on the screening, issuing, and trial of DUII offenses. He understands the system, and more importantly, he knows how the state proceeds in DUII cases. His clients benefit greatly from the experienced help of a Portland DUI Lawyer. He is also a member of the National College of DUI Defense.
One thing to remember – time is of the essence. If it is less than 10 days from your arrest, we may be able to take action and prevent the Oregon DMV from suspending your license. If your Oregon driver’s license is important to you, call us immediately!
What is the difference between DUI, DUII, and DWI?
In Oregon, Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants is known as “DUII.” In other states, this is often referred to as “DUI” or “DWI.” There is no functional difference amongst these terms in Oregon – they all mean the same thing.
First-time Oregon DUII offenses
Most first-time offenders in Oregon are eligible for an attractive option called “Diversion.” This program allows you to quietly and easily take care of your DUII, often resulting in a dismissal at the end. A dismissal means that you will not have a conviction on your record at all.
Diversion is a program of education and counseling. To successfully complete Diversion, you must do things such as attend a victim impact panel, take an alcohol evaluation, comply with recommended treatment, and pay the fees associated with these services. In addition, you must not drive unless you have a valid license and insurance. You must not drive after having ANY alcohol, even a sip. And of course, you must obey all traffic laws.
If you are eligible for Diversion, it almost always makes sense to take it. If you decline Diversion, go to trial, and are convicted, the DUII conviction will show on your record, and you will be subject to all of the classes, treatment, and fees anyway. However, we realize that all cases are different. We will give you our honest evaluation of your case, but in the end, the decision is yours. If you wish to decline Diversion and pursue a trial, having the best possible lawyer on your side is the key.
Oregon DUI Diversion information
The rules for Oregon Diversion eligibility changed on January 1, 2010. You must not have had a DUII in any state in the past 15 years. You must not have had a Diversion in any state in the past 15 years. You must not have been convicted of assault or manslaughter involving operation of a motor vehicle in the past 15 years. You must not have undergone any “substantially similar treatment” (that is, drug and/or alcohol treatment) in exchange for a diversionary sentence in the last 15 years. You must not have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Finally, even if you have never had a DUII or a Diversion, and even if you do not have a CDL, if the state has alleged you caused injury to another person in the course of your DUII, you will not be eligible for Diversion. In other words, if you are charged with any degree of Assault along with your DUII, you will not be eligible for Diversion.
However, the state’s say-so is not the final declaration of your eligibility. An experienced Oregon DUII attorney may still be able to help you get into Diversion. Perhaps your prior DUII conviction was not legally sufficient. Perhaps the alleged assault is unprovable. There are many paths available to you. We would be pleased to assist you.
Reckless Driving, Reckless Endangering & Criminal Mischief – Impacts on Oregon DUI Diversion
If your incident resulted in an accident that caused property damage or personal injury, you may face other charges, such as Reckless Driving, Reckless Endangering, or Criminal Mischief. Unfortunately, these charges are not eligible for Diversion, even if the DUII is.
There are a number of options available to you, depending on the charges and the county where the incident occurred. In some cases, if you enter Diversion, we may be able to fashion you a “set-over” agreement. In that case, your remaining charge(s) would be set over until the completion of your Diversion. If you completed Diversion successfully, the charge(s) would be dismissed, along with your DUII.
Other circumstances may preclude the possibility of a “set-over” agreement. In those cases, we will explore alternative resolutions, such as a civil compromise with the injured party. In simplest terms, a civil compromise is agreeing to pay some money to the person whose property (likely a motor vehicle or a building) was damaged. If the court accepts a civil compromise, that charge will be dismissed immediately.
If necessary, we can go to trial on the remaining charges. You may instead wish to take a plea, depending on the terms. Whatever you decide, we will give you advice and support every step of the way, so that you can be sure you are making the correct decision for your particular circumstances.
I was arrested for DUII, but I took the breath test and blew under a .08! Why am I being prosecuted?
Sadly, Oregon law allows prosecutors to come after you regardless of whether you passed the breath test or not. In Oregon, you can be convicted of DUII if you have a .08+ BAC, or if you are impaired “to a noticeable or perceptible degree.” This nebulous standard permits prosecutors to charge folks with DUII when the person blows a .06, .05, or less. When Mr. Kroll was a prosecutor, one of his colleagues issued a DUII against a woman who blew a .02!
Because this standard is so fuzzy, prosecutors have a lot of tricks up their sleeve to try and convict you. As a former prosecutor, Mr. Kroll understands the how the state will come after you, and is prepared to counter them during your defense. Few other lawyers can say the same. If you blew under a .08 and have been charged with a DUII, don’t wait – get the defense you deserve today.
Taking an Oregon DUII to Trial
If you are not eligible for Diversion, and you do not want to take a plea, then we prepare for trial. If you plan to fight your DUII, you need the best possible defense. Although Mr. Kroll has extensive experience in negotiation and pre-trial settlement, the bulk of his legal strength comes from his trial performance. He is well-versed in analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of a DUII case. We will work with you to formulate a potent and aggressive trial strategy.
At each step along the way, we will give you advice and counsel. We begin our planning in the pre-trial stages. We will carefully examine the state’s evidence. This may include police reports, lab reports, and pictures or diagrams. Based on this, we will formulate our pre-trial strategy. We may be able to get evidence against you suppressed, resulting in a dismissal. We may be able to convince the prosecution that certain charges cannot be proved.
If the case does proceed to trial, we will be there with you. You have the right to have your cases decided either by a jury or by a judge. Depending on your case, we will give you advice on what we believe will give you the best chance. Whether you choose a jury or a bench trial, the prosecution must prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This standard imposes a very high legal burden on the state. Our job at trial is to find the holes in the prosecution’s case and demonstrate to the judge or the jury why these are reasonable doubts.
In the end, trials can be unpredictable. Having an experienced lawyer with extensive DUII trial experience can only increase your chances as you go through the process. Please contact us today and let’s discuss your DUII issues.
Oregon DUII Penalties
For a first-time conviction, the minimum penalties allowed by law are a $1000 fine, usually two years of probation, and mandatory alcohol and/or drug abuse classes. A minimum of 48 hours (2 overnights) in jail, or 80 hours of community service will be imposed. Your driver’s license will also be suspended for one year. If your BAC was .15 or over, your fine will be $1500 minimum.
If this is your 2nd conviction, you will face a minimum $1500 fine ($2000 if your BAC was .15 or more). Depending on the county of the offense, you could be ordered to serve anywhere from 10-30 days in jail, or more. Your license will be suspended for 3 years. And all the same alcohol classes will apply.
If this is your 3rd DUII conviction in 10 years, then this is a felony. You face at least 90 days in jail without reduction, and depending on your circumstances, you could face significant prison time. In addition, your license can be revoked for the rest of your life, and you can expect a minimum fine of $2000.
As you can see, all of these penalties are severe. An experienced lawyer, who knows the DUII and DMV laws can substantially improve your chances of success as you go through the system. Remember – Edward Kroll was Portland’s chief DUII Prosecutor. He understands the law, and he will fight for you every step of the way.
Oregon DMV Hearings
If you refused to take a breath test, or if you took a breath test and failed (you blew a .08 or more), then your license was probably confiscated. You would likely have been issued a Notice of Suspension that included your temporary permit. Keep your temporary permit with you at all times; it allows you to drive for the 30 days between your arrest and the start of your suspension. If you took the test and failed, (and this is your first DUII), then your suspension is likely for 90 days. If you refused the breath test (and this is your first DUII) then your suspension is likely for 1 year. This suspension is ordered by the DMV, and is independent of any suspension arising from the criminal charges of DUII. You can appeal this suspension at an Oregon DMV Hearing.
The next part is the most important: you have only 10 days from the date of your arrest to request a DMV hearing. Thus, time is of the essence. You should contact an attorney as soon as possible. Our firm would be pleased to represent you at a DMV hearing.
You should almost always request a hearing. The worst that can happen is that the suspension you already face is upheld. In the best case scenario, we either win the hearing or the officer does not show up. In those cases, you would not face any suspension.
At the DMV hearing, the state is represented by the police officer(s) involved in your case. There is no prosecutor. The police must justify the basis for your arrest, and they must show that they complied with the Oregon Statutes, Constitution, and Administrative Rules. We will have the opportunity to cross-examine the officer.
These hearings can be hit or miss, because the issue is generally not whether or not you were under the influence. Rather, the hearing focuses on the technical aspects of the processes the police followed. However, these hearings can be very useful tools in preparing your case for trial. We get a “sneak peak” at the police testimony and based on that, we can begin to build our trial strategy.
The DMV hearing applies only to your license suspension. Regardless of the outcome, no decision will be made about your guilt or innocence as to the DUII charge.
For the best possible representation, you should have an experienced Oregon DUII defense lawyer conduct your DMV hearing and help you prepare for trial. For a further in-depth discussion of Oregon’s DUII laws, penalties and procedures, see Mr. Kroll’s comprehensive guide here.