Would you know what to do if you were arrested for a DUI in Oregon? If you or someone you care about is facing an arrest, you’re probably overwhelmed with what to do next. Do I hire an attorney or represent myself? Do I request a DMV Hearing? What happens next? Who can I talk to for advice about this? First, take a deep breath. Here are the Top 5 things that you need to do (or not do) after your arrest:
1. Read all the paperwork you were given
You probably have a whole bunch of multi-colored papers that the officer or jail gave you. Take the time to read these (yes, even the small print) because someplace within those documents is the time, date, and location of your next court hearing. That hearing could be as early as the day after your arrest, and missing a court appearance will only add another layer of complication to your situation.
2. Understand that you only have 10 days to request your DMV Hearing
In your paperwork should be a yellow, legal-sized piece of paper that says “Implied Consent Combined Report” across the top. The front of that form will tell you the length of the proposed license suspension for failing or refusing a test. You have 10 days from the date of your arrest to request a hearing to challenge that suspension. On the back of the form is information on how to request the hearing. You can do that yourself, but I suggest you first talk it through with an attorney who knows what he or she is doing to make sure you get the most out of your hearing.
3. Do not turn to the police officer or the District Attorney’s office for help
Once you have been arrested, you automatically find yourself in a court system that has two sides. You are on one side and the police and the District Attorney’s office are the ‘other side’. As much as you may like to believe otherwise, the ‘other side’ does not have your best interests in mind – it is simply not their job to look out for you.
4. Do not rely on the internet for legal advice
I think we all fear the unknown, and of course you are going to turn to the internet to look for information about your situation. The problem is that, while some sites have accurate information, others do not. Some sites present unrealistic best or worst case scenarios, some are outdated, and others, unfortunately, are just flat out wrong and misleading. I suggest using the web to get general information about DUI laws and to begin to get a feel for the law firms who specialize in DUI defense.
5. Find the DUI attorney that is right for you.
If I were looking for a DUI attorney for my little sister (she lives in a state where I don’t know any lawyers), there are three criteria I’d start with:
- Specialization – Does the firm specialize in what I need? I’d rule out all firms who don’t specialize exclusively on DUII and criminal defense. There is a reason brain surgeons don’t do heart transplants.
- Experience of attorneys and law firm – I’d personally rule out attorneys with less than 5 years of experience and those without a prosecutor background to give perspective. I’d also look at how long the law firm business itself has been in existence. The last thing I’d want is to hire a lawyer whose business is so chaotic that he or she can’t focus all their attention on their clients.
- Customer Service – The interactions I have with law firm staff and attorneys before becoming a client are pretty telling. Trust your instincts. If I had any concerns about giving my complete trust to this attorney and law firm, I would keep looking.
Reynolds Defense Firm isn’t right for everyone, but we are exactly the right firm to help good people facing DUI charges. If you know someone who needs a DUI lawyer, please call us at 503.223.3422 or chat live with us 24/7 at www.reynoldsdefensefirm.com.