I got a DUI – but what do these other charges mean?

Written by Reynolds Defense Firm

On December 17, 2019

Often, a lot of our clients come to us with other criminal charges, in addition to DUII. The most common related charges are Reckless Driving, Failure to Perform Duties of a Driver (Hit and Run), Driving while your License has been Suspended or Revoked (DWS or DWR), Attempting to Elude a Police Officer, Interfering with a Peace Officer, and Criminal Mischief.

Facing criminal charges is scary, and when you don’t know what the allegations mean or the potential consequences associated with each charge, it can be even more terrifying. Below is a brief explanation of the potential DUII related charges listed above, to help you better understand your situation. For a more in depth, legal explanation, you can visit our website.

If you are accused of a DUII and/or one or more of these related crimes, call Reynolds Defense Firm today. We handle Oregon DUII and DUII related defense cases exclusively. Our team has over 60 years of combined experience, putting us in a unique position to help you.

Reckless Driving

You commit the act of Reckless Driving when you “recklessly drive” a vehicle in a way that endangers the safety of people or property. Given the vague explanation, you can see why this is the most common additional criminal charge, associated with DUII.

Failure to Perform Duties of a Driver (Hit and Run)

When you are involved in an accident, you are required to stop your vehicle and perform certain “duties” with respect to the other party involved in the accident. These duties include notifying the other party involved and providing vehicle and insurance information.   If the accident involved bodily injury, the charge could be elevated to a felony, which has more severe consequences.

Driving While Your License is Suspended or Revoked (DWS or DWR)

The meaning behind this charge is probably pretty obvious. The main point to highlight, however, is that a DWS charge can range from a traffic violation to a misdemeanor offense, depending on the reason why your license is suspended in the first place. If you lost driving privileges as the result of any of a wide variety of criminal misdemeanors, continuing to drive can worsen your situation.

Fleeing or Attempting to Elude a Police Officer

When a police officer gives you an indication to pull over, you must pull over and stop in a safe spot. If, instead, you attempt to flee or otherwise attempt to avoid and ignore the officers attempt to stop you, you can be cited for Attempt to Elude. This charge can range from a misdemeanor to a felony, depending on the circumstances and whether you were on foot or in a motor vehicle.

Interfering with a Peace Officer (Police Officer)

In short, if you knew that another person was a police officer and you tried to prevent the officer from performing their duties, such as refusing to abide by a lawful order, this is considered Interfering with a Peace Officer. The maximum penalty can include up to one year in jail and a fine up to over $6,000.

Criminal Mischief

You can be charged with Criminal Mischief if you interfere with or cause damage to someone’s property. This can include damage to a mailbox and even just visual damage to a curb. There are multiple levels of this offense, depending on the extent of the damage, ranging from a misdemeanor to a felony.

Additional Consequences

An officer can add one or multiple charges in addition to your DUII.  It is up to the District Attorney’s office to determine if they want to move forward with all of the charges that you have been arrested for.  If these charges are added, they often increase the severity of what you’re facing due to the additional consequences that are typically added with these charges.  The additional circumstances can result in probation, jail, community service, costly fines, restitution, impoundement of your car, or a suspension of your driver’s license, which can have ramifications on your ability to carry out important life functions, such as keeping your employment.

The Reynolds Defense Firm Can Help

As you can see from above, there are varying consequences associated with these DUII related offenses. That is why it is always in your best interest to consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Similarly, because prosecutors’ and judges’ attitudes towards some of these charges vary, depending on the law and the situation, it is a good idea to consult with a lawyer who is familiar with how these cases are handled in your area. This will give you a better chance of achieving the most favorable outcome under the unique circumstances of your case.

If you have been arrested for a DUII, without question you need an attorney that specializes in DUII law, and the Reynolds Defense Firm is exactly that type of firm. Your initial consultation is free and there is no obligation to work with us. Please call the Reynolds Defense Firm at (503) 223-3422, or use the online form.


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