Advice that could hurt your criminal case

Written by Reynolds Defense Firm

On April 18, 2019

When you get arrested, you’re terrified and left with hundreds of pressing questions. The first thing most people do is turn to their family and friends for advice and support. Although your loved ones mean well, be cautious when considering their advice. Every case is unique with its own set of facts. There is no one-size-fits-all criminal defense strategy. What may have worked for one person won’t automatically work for your situation. If you’ve been arrested for a DUI, make sure you read our tips of things that you should know. Then, consider this advice to avoid, especially until you’ve talked to an attorney who specializes in DUI law.

Just pay the fine listed on the DUI citation like any other traffic ticket, and your case will go away.

A criminal charge is something to take seriously. Even if you were given a citation that looks like any other traffic ticket, we can assure you that a criminal charge is much more involved. The criminal process consists of gathering evidence and appearing for multiple court hearings before you can expect resolution. If you are convicted of a DUI, you could face actual jail time and have your driving privileges suspended, among other repercussions. Further, a DUI conviction stays on your record forever.

Ignore the court date given to you after your release.

After your arrest, you are required to sign paperwork. This could be a copy of the citation from the officer or a more formal document from the court. By signing that piece of paper, you are swearing to the court that you will appear at the hearing written on the paperwork to address the criminal charges against you. If you fail to appear on that date, the court will issue a bench warrant for your arrest. If you fail to appear at your initial hearing, called the arraignment, you could be disqualified from the Diversion program.

You blew under a .08 so your case will get thrown out.

It’s important to know that you can still be arrested and convicted for an alcohol DUI even if you blow under a .08. We regularly represent people who’ve been arrested after driving with a .07, .06, even a .05 blood alcohol content. A police officer’s standard to make an arrest for DUI is whether “a person’s mental or physical faculties are negatively impacted to a noticeable degree by alcohol or another intoxicant”.

You should just plead guilty at the arraignment to get it over with.

A DUII in Oregon can either be a misdemeanor or a felony. A conviction of either of these likely means devastating consequences. These consequences include jail time, probation, license suspension, significant court fines, and other harsh lifestyle changes. Many local judges will not even accept your guilty plea to a DUI charge at your arraignment because they know you haven’t had time to get the police reports for your case and to discuss your case with a lawyer.

You should represent yourself instead of hiring an attorney.

The criminal laws relating to a DUI charge are complex and have many pitfalls. Additionally, the DMV laws related to a DUI concerning your license suspension are a specialized subset of the law. There are some lawyers who regularly practice criminal law and do not handle the administrative process which controls the DMV hearing. The bottom line is you should always seek professional help just as you would if you were sick and needed medical help.

Again, every case is unique. Make sure that you get the advice of an attorney who specializes in Oregon DUI law, and who can help determine what is best for your situation. To set up a free consultation with Reynolds Defense Firm, please call us at 503-223-3422. If you prefer to send a message, feel free to chat or text us with our 24/7 live chat service or submit a quick message on the online form on this website. We have over 50 years of combined experience, and we will be happy to help answer your questions and figure out your next best steps.


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