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No resident wants to face a Portland DUI, or a DUI in any town, or city, in Oregon. The fines, embarrassment and shame, and having your license revoked are obvious deterrents from inebriated driving and are strict consequences to face in the event of a DUI. The long-term costs, such as all of the points added onto your insurance, can drain your bank account faster than you could deem imaginable. Beyond all of that, the danger you put yourself and everyone else on the road in is immeasurable. We all can recount at least one incident of a death of an innocent bystander by a drunken driver. Even without reckless abandonment and lack of sympathy for others, DUIs unfortunately still occur. A fun night out with friends; an after work social with colleagues; a summer barbecue: each event requires just one more drink a little too fast and a bad set of circumstances and timing to result in everyday, unassuming people being charged with a DUI.

Fortunately, for first-time offenders being charged with a Portland DUI, the experts at Helzer & Cromar LLP can guide you through the Oregon DUII diversion program to have your charges dismissed. Out of the very few options available, the diversion program is the most attractive if you are facing a first time DUI offense. In short, if you are convicted of a DUI, you enroll in the program to avoid jail time, most fines, and a license suspension you would face. Consider that Oregon uses a mandatory minimum for aforementioned penalties and does not allow plea bargains, the diversion program is in your best interest; however, there are rules for eligibility that your attorney with which your attorney will need to assist.

Firstly, as mentioned several times, the program is only available to first time DUI offenders; you also cannot have another Portland DUI charge pending, or have another charge pending in another state. For example, if you, somehow, received two (2) DUIs within a month of each other and your first had not been charged yet, you would not be able to enter the program to eliminate the charges of both. You would face both convictions.

Secondly, you are ineligible for the program if you have been found guilty of a DUI conviction within the last 15 years to the date of your current charge. Unfortunately, some defendants will just miss the mark of this timeframe; however, as noted above, if it is indeed your first and only DUI charge, this rule will not apply. If you are a new resident to Oregon and have not had a DUI charge within 15 years, but have had one prior to that, contact our offices to discuss your options for eligibility.

Thirdly, you cannot enroll in the DUII diversion program if you are currently enrolled in a similar diversion program. For example, if you are in a current alcohol abuse, or drug, rehabilitation program, you will not be granted entrance to the Oregon DUII diversion program. Additionally, you cannot have been a participant in one of these programs in the last 15 years to the date of your present charge, similar to the second requisite. There are, however, caveats to this rule: 1) you will not be disqualified from entering the DUII diversion program if you had been enrolled in a similar program in the last 15 years for alcohol possession as a minor; 2) you will not be disqualified for enrolling in a marijuana diversion program if you were convicted for having less than one ounce, starting and moving forward from 2014.

Fourth, you do not have a vehicular manslaughter, homicide, or assault charge at the diversion program filing date. Fifth, in line with previous rules, is that you cannot have one of the aforementioned charges within the last 15 years. The next two rules apply to commercial licenses, in that (6) you did not have a commercial driving license at the time of your arrest for DUI, (7) nor were you operating a commercial vehicle at the time of your arrest.

Lastly, if you were in an accident that caused harm, or death, to any other party in relation to your DUI charge, you will not be allowed to enter the program.

If you have been charged with a Portland DUI, or Beaverton DUI,  and meet the criteria above, you will likely be admitted into the diversion program. There may be some resistance from the DA’s office for extraneous circumstances, such as having a child in the car, and you will still face penalties, including losing your license, if you refused a BAC/field sobriety test, as this breaks the implied consent law. However, our expert attorneys will guide you through this application to maximize your chance of entry.

With acceptance to the program, you will be subject to strict requirements including complete sobriety, assessments, and re-education/training courses, as well as paying any fines, or penalties. You will also be required to pay to enter the course and for the aforementioned assessments and courses. However, it is a far better option than others present.

If you fail to finish the diversion program or violate the terms set before you, you will be expelled from the program. You will be granted a hearing to explain why you should not be expelled from the program. However, if you cannot make a strong enough case, you will be charged for your DUI without a trial and be subject to all penalties of a DUI conviction. Do not skip any classes/orientations required of you to continue in the program. Do not consume alcohol or other intoxicants for the duration of the program: one (1) year. You will most likely need an ignition interlock device installed on your car as a part of the program, but this step may be ended early, though there is no guarantee. Your driving record will reflect your completion of the diversion program and that you were not charged with a DUI.

DUIs can be extremely costly and complicate your life for years to come. With jail time, fines, and license suspension on the line, it is best to have an attorney who can navigate the legal course on your side. If you are being charged with a Portland DUI, or know someone who is, contact our lawyers today to start discussing your options and if the Oregon DUII diversion program is a viable option to avoid conviction. Call, or visit, us today to learn more.