By WILLIAM FRANCIS
The Criminal Charge of DUI
You should be aware that if the police took possession of your Oregon driver's license, it's likely there are two cases pending against you, not one.
One case is an administrative matter: The DMV may suspend your license if you failed or refused a breath, blood or urine test.
The other case is a criminal matter. The police issued a citation that will be referred to the District Attorney for prosecution.
Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants is a crime. Although it is typical, If you were arrested or cited for DUI, that you were given a date for your first court appearance and released, the criminal charge of DUI will be brought against you in Circuit Court.
There is a date on the citation you were issued at the time of your arrest. This is your "arraignment date." Unless you take certain steps before your first Court appearance, you will have to appear in person on that date.
If you go to your arraignment without an attorney, you should ask the Judge to enter a plea of NOT GUILTY. You will not lose your right to enter the DUI Diversion Program later if you enter a plea of NOT GUILTY at your arraignment.)
At your arraignment, the Court will set a date for your pretrial conference. Before your pretrial conference, your attorney can obtain discovery from the District Attorney. The State is required to disclose all police reports, audio, video, photographs and all other evidence. Your attorney will review the discovery with you. Based on the evidence, your attorney's advice, and your knowledge of the facts, you will be able to make a decision: Will you accept a plea deal or take your case to trial?
You have an absolute right to a trial by a jury. A typical DUI trial will go on for an entire day, or two, or perhaps longer. The trial will end with a verdict of either guilty or not guilty of DUII.
It is not uncommon for a jury to return a verdict of NOT GUILTY in a DUI case. In many cases the state is unable to carry its burden of proof. Sometimes, a DUI charge that looks unbeatable in the morning will fall apart in the afternoon. Trials take on a life of their own as the jury hears the facts and listens to the testimony.
There are many cases where the jury considered the evidence and returned to tell the judge that the defendant was NOT GUILTY.
DMV Implied Consent Suspension
If you fail or refuse a breath, blood, or urine test, the police will take your license from you, on the spot. They will give you a long, yellow sheet of paper titled, "Implied Consent Combined Report."
This document advises that DMV is suspending your license. This long sheet of paper becomes your temporary driving permit when you sign it. Your temporary permit will remain in effect for 30 days. To challenge the license suspension, you have to request a hearing within 10 days of the date of your citation or arrest. You can call the Francis Law Office for help with your hearing request form.
If you challenge your suspension, you will get a hearing within 30 days of your arrest. At the hearing, if you may be able to show that the proposed suspension should not go into effect.