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|YOU HAVE A BIG PROBLEM. If you have been arrested or charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI), you have a big problem. You need to contact the Law Offices of Paul F. Sherman immediately 888-824-82151 – the failure to do so could result in the loss of your driving privileges and a criminal conviction with mandatory jail time. We offer a FREE DUI consultation.
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE CHARGES Driving under the Influence is probably one of the most serious charges the average individual will ever face in the Court system. Let’s face it honest, hard working people are regularly charged with driving under the influence. It is a mistake that can occur on virtually any weekend or cause for celebration.The laws which govern driving under the influence charges are different in Oregon and Washington. For purposes of this article, we will use the terms “driving under the influence”, “DUII” and “DUI” interchangeably.
A person convicted of Driving Under the Influence faces very harsh penalties including mandatory jail time and loss of driving privileges. The consequences of a conviction can last a lifetime. Our firm can minimize the impact significantly, in even the most difficult cases. A person can be charged with Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants based on two alternative grounds: (1) driving with a .08 or greater BAC; or (2) driving while “under the influence” of alcohol and/or drugs.
These are alternative grounds for committing the offense, and persons with blood alcohol (BAC) levels below .08 are often charged and convicted of DUI. As long as the driver appears “impaired” or “under the influence” of alcohol or drugs, that person may be prosecuted for driving under the influence regardless of the BAC level. A person can also be charged for driving under the influence while taking prescription medication.
Driving under the influence is not the only criminal charge available to prosecutors in cases involving drinking and driving. Other offenses such a Reckless Driving or Criminal Mischief are often charged by over zealous prosecutors. Accidents involving alcohol can lead to felony charges and mandatory prison time. Other charges can arise from merely being in the driver’s seat of a vehicle under the influence or driving after consuming any amount of drugs or alcohol. Our firm can assist you in defending all of the possible consequences of driving under the influence.
Both Oregon and Washington have a “zero tolerance” policy for drivers under the age of 21, and under the influence charges can arise from virtually any detectible ingestion of alcohol in a minor.
DRIVERS LICENSE SUSPENSION
Any licensed driver who is arrested for DUI and has a breath test above .079, or refuses to take a breath or blood test, faces the possibility of losing his or her driving privileges. Suspensions range from 90 days to a year depending the circumstances. A hearing request is essential to save your driving privileges and must be made as early as 10 days from the arrest.
You will then be faced with two legal problems, the criminal charge, and the civil administrative license suspension. You should consult our firm immediately to address this problem. The failure to timely request a hearing will result in an automatic driver’s license suspension and the inability to contest it.
These issues are complicated and should be discussed with your attorney as soon as possible to protect your license from suspension.
Keep in mind that even if a person prevails at the Administrative hearing, the driver’s license may still be suspended or revoked pursuant to the separate criminal prosecution, or a conviction for driving under the influence.
HIGH RISK (SR22) INSURANCE
Anyone who loses his or her license due to a DUI arrest or conviction faces being required to maintain “high risk” (SR22) insurance for as long as three years. This insurance is more expensive than standard insurance. Proper legal representation is essential to avoiding this problem.
MY BREATH/BLOOD ALCOHOL READING WAS BELOW THE LEGAL LIMIT. DO I HAVE ANYTHING TO WORRY ABOUT?
Even if your breath test results (BAC) are below the legal limit, or if there are no test results, the State will still charge you with a DUI if there is sufficient evidence to show that your ability to drive was impaired. Remember, there are two ways to commit a DUI (1) driving with .08 or above, or (2) simply driving “while under the influence” of alcohol or drugs. So it is important to request an attorney immediately and not provide the arresting officer with evidence to convict you. Remember, you have the right to remain silent, and the right to an attorney. Use these rights wisely.
MY BREATH TEST WAS WAY OVER THE LEGAL LIMIT. AM I DOOMED?
No. You need the advise of a competent DUI attorney as soon as possible. A high breath test can subject you to more severe consequences. Our law firm can lessen the impact of even the most difficult case.
I REFUSED THE BREATH TEST – HOW WILL THIS AFFECT MY CASE?
A person who refuses a breath test dramatically increases the consequences of driving under the influence. This can result in increased jail time and fines as well as the length of your license suspension. The administrative loss of your license is one year, and a criminal conviction can be longer. See your attorney as soon as possible.
IF I HIRE AN ATTORNEY, DOES THAT MEAN MY CASE WILL AUTOMATICALLY GO TO TRIAL?
Probably not. We can actually lower the chances of your case going to trial and help you obtain the best possible result for your case. The vast majority of DUI cases do not go to trial, and are resolved by an acceptable plea bargain. Whether or not your case goes to trial depends on a number of variables. Clearly the best way to avoid a trial is to prepare for it. The best way to do that is to hire an attorney respected by the prosecuting attorneys and skilled at defending DUI cases.
IF MY LICENSE GETS SUSPENDED, CAN I GET A PERMIT THAT WILL ALLOW ME TO GO TO AND FROM WORK?
There are many factors which determine your eligibility for a “work permit” or “occupational” license during your suspension period. These factors include the final disposition of the administrative suspension and criminal charges, your driving and criminal history, whether you submitted to the breath test or refused, whether you had a valid license on the date of arrest, and whether you have an alcohol or drug problem. There are many conditions and limitations on temporary restricted/occupational licenses or work permits and you should seek the advise of the DUII attorneys for your particular case.
WHAT CAN AN ATTORNEY DO FOR ME?
DUI law is extremely complicated and the penalties are very harsh. Given the impact this charge can have on your life, you should hire the best DUI attorney you can afford, period. We can can do a great deal to soften the blow of DUI arrest and get the best possible outcome for your case.
HOW MUCH WILL YOU CHARGE TO REPRESENT ME?
The legal system is no different than life in general, you get what you pay for. There is a great deal of misinformation surrounding DUI’s and the consequences of not understanding your rights are severe. The system has become too complicated to adequately represent yourself and mistakes can last a lifetime.
We know the system and laws which govern your case inside and out. This is essential in understanding what you are facing and the probable outcome of your case.
We do not charge our clients for initial telephone consultations. Once we have a clear understanding of the personal circumstance surrounding your case, we will tell you in advance and in writing exactly what we will charge to take your case. While we may not be the least expensive law firm in the area, we are certainly among the most competent. We help people obtain the best possible result for their case every day. Let us help you.
Call now (503) 223-8441 for a FREE CONSULTATION or visit us at theduiiattorneys.com or at paulfsherman.com.