By WILLIAM FRANCIS
If you were arrested for DUI, you know how it feels to be handcuffed, searched and transported to a detention facility. It's understandable you are concerned that a judge will sentence you to jail time.
If you enter a diversion program, no jail is ordered, provided you meet the requirements of the diversion program. If you are convicted of DUI, a judge is required by law to sentence you to a minimum of 48 hours in jail, but a typical jail sentence on a first conviction is 10 to 30 days.
The sentence on conviction of a second DUI generally is 45 to 90 days.
A third DUI may be charged as a felony and there is a mandatory 90-day sentence on conviction.
Oregon statutes provide that the maximum jail sentence for a DUI is one year.
However, practically no one goes to jail to serve their sentence.
This is because the court and the community justice office, in cooperation with the sheriff's office, have a program in place that allows persons who have been sentenced to jail to serve their time at home.
When a defendant is sentenced, the court generally sets a date to report to the jail. But the court allows enough time to apply for home detention at the community justice office.
The home detention program lets persons who have been sentenced to jail to continue to go to work.
Applicants for home detention agree to wear an ankle bracelet that's worn continuously during the period of home detention. There's a $30 application fee and the cost of the program is $30 a day.
In some cases, a defendant opts to do jail time rather than home detention. Some elect to go to jail because they expect to be transferred to the Work Center in Talent, where they are housed in better conditions and given the chance to earn an early release in exchange for work.
However, the options get narrower with a third or subsequent DUI. A felony DUI conviction carries a minimum sentence of 90 days.
At this level, judges may be inclined to order a defendant remanded into custody immediately after conviction.
In DUI cases where there has been a prior diversion or a conviction, there is no risk of additional jail time being ordered if a defendant decides to take the case to trial.