If you have been arrested or cited for DUI, here’s what to do next.
If it's been less than 10 days since your arrest or citation, file a request with DMV for an implied consent hearing. Send your request to DMV immediately, by fax, email, or online. There are no exceptions to the 10-day filing deadline.
You should consider asking for an in-person hearing.
You should contact an attorney to confer on your hearing request.
If a police officer gave you paperwork telling you that your license is about to be suspended, you probably will want to challenge DMV's efforts to take your license away from you. This does not commit you to any particular course of action -- but it preserves your options.
Even if you don’t request a DMV hearing, unless you have a lawyer, you will have make your first appearance in court either in person or by phone on the DUI charge. This is a criminal matter, and it’s separate from the DMV case.
Oregon is particularly strict in its DUI laws. Drivers and DUI attorneys from other states frequently comment that Oregon has some of the toughest DUI laws anywhere.
A judge will encourage you to enter a plea of not guilty at your first appearance. This is because the judge will want to ensure your right to talk to an attorney before making any decisions.
You will not need to make any big decisions about your case for at least several weeks. In due course, the police and the district attorney will disclose the evidence.
During this time, you can spare yourself from endless worry by hiring an attorney who will represent you in plea negotiations with the district attorney, and at all stages of your court proceedings. A lawyer can ensure that most of your personal appearances before the court can be avoided and can advise you on the potential outcomes in your case.
If you have heard about the court's diversion program, you may already be concerned about whether you should apply to enter this program. You should consider your options carefully. Take your time.
Diversion may be the best move for some persons. It may be the worst move for others. For example, diversion may not be a good idea for someone with a professional license or a security clearance. It may not be the best option for a person who wants to keep a job, rent a car or travel outside of the United States. Diversion is always the worst choice when you compare it to having a case dismissed, or being acquitted at a trial by jury.
If diversion is offered, your second court appearance generally is set four weeks from your first. This allows time for you to decide on whether or not you want to engage an attorney, review the police evidence, and consider your options.
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