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Category Archives: DUII & Drunk Driving

New Oregon State Laws Crack Down on DUII Repeat Offenders

New laws make hiring an expert Oregon DUI attorney more crucial than ever. Passed by a popular vote of the Oregon electorate in November of 2010, Measure 73 alters state criminal code for those found guilty of driving under the influence of intoxicants, or DUII. Under the new state laws, third-offense sentences carry a minimum ninety-day prison sentence regardless of local or county guidelines. Praised by its supporters as an effective strengthening of Oregon DUII law, its critics nevertheless feel the mandatory sentencing will lead to further prison overcrowding at the state government’s expense.

Because many judges follow established guidelines provided by legal commissions, third-offense DUII sentences typically include as much as thirteen months in jail. Opponents of the bill argue that such strict guidelines unnecessarily curb judicial discretion in assessing appropriate sentences.

Additionally, Measure 73 provides that third-offense DUII charges within a ten year period are automatically considered a felony. If convicted under the new guidelines, defendants will be considered felons and subject to restrictions; these include prohibition from owning firearms, holding certain jobs, and obtaining residence in some areas.

For more information regarding Oregon DUII law including finding the right DUII attorney to handle your case, visit the law firm of Gilroy and Napoli.

Third Offense DUII in Oregon

Under Oregon state law, third offense charges for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII) are considered a felony. DUII regulations stipulate that third-offense charges stem from any third arrest upon suspicion of driving while intoxicated or impaired within a ten year period. Revisions to the state law that went into effect late last year specify the ten-year guideline.

Third offense DUII convictions carry a mandatory jail sentence of at least 90 days, followed by three to five years of probation, though judges may sentence those convicted to even longer prison sentences (up to five years) depending on the circumstances surrounding the DUII event in question. In addition, the sentence carries a mandatory lifetime driver’s license revocation, meaning those convicted lose their state licensing eligibility forever. Those convicted of third offense DUII charges are further not eligible for hardship licenses that allow them to travel to work and other necessary destinations.

In addition, those convicted are still subject to many of the same fines and levies placed against those found guilty of first- and second-offense DUII charges. These can include a minimum $2000 fine (with a maximum  penalty of $125,000) as well as hundreds of dollars in additional fees, including court costs. Finally, those convicted must also attend substance abuse classes and victim’s impact seminars at their own expense.

What Is A Felony DUII in Oregon?

Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (commonly abbreviated DUII) is considered a felony under Oregon State law when the accused person has been previously convicted of two prior DUII charges within a ten-year period before the date of arrest. Recent changes to the Oregon State DUII statute expand felony status to the third arrest/ten-year criteria.

As the name implies, felony arrests include harsher sentencing guidelines than first- and second-offense charges. These can include, pursuant to a judge’s discretion, jail sentences of a minimum 90 days ranging up to five years, followed by a three- to five-year period of probation. In addition, felony DUII convictions impose a mandatory, permanent revocation of Oregon state-issued driver’s license privileges. Those convicted of felony DUII in Oregon also may not receive a hardship license.

Besides jail time and license revocation, felony DUII offenders must pay a monetary fine of no less than $2,000 dollars with a maximum fine of $125,000, though the actual dollar amount may range as high as $125,000. Judges base their assignment of jail time and fines upon the circumstances surrounding the arrest. Those convicted of a felony DUII must also register for and attend substance abuse and victims’ impact seminars.

What are the facts about Second Offense DUII in Portland?

Though first-offense DUII penalties and fines can range under Oregon law, the fines and punishments for a second offense are even tougher. Defendants facing a second-offense DUII conviction find themselves in need of an attorney to help them navigate the severe state criminal regulations. Third offenses now may be classified as a felony under certain circumstances.  Oregon has some of the toughest DUII laws in the nation, so a qualified and expert DUII attorney is absolutely essential.

Under Oregon state law, second offense penalties can include a cash fine of not less than $1,500 and up to $6250, as well as court costs. Second Offenders may not qualify for diversion programs, but often will face jail-time. Offenders may also be required to attend treatment and a Victims Impact seminar at their own expense.

Second Offenders additionally face mandatory suspensions of their Oregon state driver’s license. Convicted offenders might be allowed to apply for a hardship license following an initial mandatory suspension period that will allow them to drive to and from work and other necessary destinations.

If you’ve been charged with a second DUII, you need a qualified Oregon attorney to fight for you. Contact Gilroy Napoli today to find out the many ways we can help with a second offense DUII.

How Much Does a DUII in Portland cost?

No matter what your circumstances, an arrest for DUII can end up costing you thousands of dollars in painful expenses including court costs, treatment and sentencing fees, and more. In fact, civil action groups and other concerned private citizens have lobbied their lawmakers for decades to increase DUII penalties and fines for convicted offenders, and Oregon has some of the strongest legislation in the nation. You need a competent, qualified DUII attorney familiar with Oregon state DUII arrest law to prevent these numerous and damaging expenses.

Even for a first-offense arrest, Oregon DUII law requires a minimum $1,000 fine iif the arrested person is found guilty; the actual DUII penalties may range up to $6250. In addition, the DUII defendant will be required to pay additional costs and expenses to the court. The court may also require the DUII defendant to undergo alcohol evaluation tests and participate in a treatment program, either of which can end up costing thousands of dollars.

Oregon also carries a special provision in its DUII statutes that makes plea-bargaining to a lesser charge impossible, as can be done in many other states. Knowledgeable, experienced DUII attorney representation is crucial for those wishing to avoid the expenses of a DUII conviction. Contact Gilroy & Napoli today for the best representation available.

How Long Does a DUII Diversion Stay on Your Record?

While a DUII diversion can help you avoid penalties and even jail time, it will stay on your driver’s record in Oregon for life.

Oregon’s House Bill 2318 (effective January 1, 2010) allows DUII arrests to be expunged if the charge is dismissed or if a prosecutor declines to prosecute, but current Oregon state laws do not allow individuals to seal or expunge DUII diversions or convictions .

In Oregon, a DUII, which stands for “driving under the influence of intoxicants,” is usually a Class A misdemeanor that carries the potential of probation, jail time, license suspension, and heavy fines. If a driver has three DUII convictions in 10 years, a DUII charge becomes a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

When a driver is charged with a DUII, he or she can plead “guilty” or “no contest,” pursue an acquittal at trial, or, if eligible, enroll in a diversion program. Only an acquittal will remove the DUII from a driver’s record. While successfully completing the DUII diversion program helps drivers avoid the penalties of a conviction, a DUII diversion agreement will appear on his Oregon DMV driving record for life.

If you’ve been charged with a DUII, contact the law office of Gilroy & Napoli to help you decide which option is best for you.

Oregon Police increase DUII Enforcement for the Holiday Season

Oregon DUII

Increased DUI Saturation Patrols Scheduled Over Thanksgiving Weekend and Throughout the Holiday Season

Drunk driving is one of America’s deadliest crimes. In 2008, 11,773 people died in highway crashes involving a driver or motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. The picture for women is particularly disturbing: nationwide, 21% of the 5,473 female drivers killed in crashes in 2008 had BAC levels of .08 or higher.

These frightening statistics are the very reason why police departments all over Oregon, and across the nation, are joining forces, from Thanksgiving weekend to New Years’ Day, to conduct DUII saturation patrols. The goal is not only to arrest impaired drivers, and protect everyone else on the road, but also to create general deterrence through high-visibility law enforcement; when the perceived risk of getting caught by law enforcement increases, the likelihood of choosing to drive while impaired actually decreases.

Gilroy & Napoli, DUII attorneys, would like to encourage each and every one of you to plan ahead and take extra care this holiday season. Please designate a sober driver or arrange for a sober ride home before beginning your evening of celebration.  Safe celebrating, and happy holidays, from Gilroy & Napoli.

DUII Criminal Defense

Last week, the state  sent a clear message to Oregon DUII offenders when it sentenced repeated drunk-driver John Cole Cargren, 47, to 43 years in prison. Cargen killed four people as a result of driving under the influence on I-84 last October. The DUII conviction is his fifth since 1984.

Cargren was charged with four counts of manslaughter along with the criminal DUII charge. Read Portland’s KATU news coverage of the incident here.

From a DUII law perspective, this tragedy offers an opportunity to point out interesting aspects of DUII law here in Oregon and its relationship with Oregon criminal law. An Oregon DUII is usually a misdemeanor charge. The penalties for a class A misdemeanor conviction vary widely and are determined by several factors relating to the case. A DUI conviction can carry a fine up to $6,500, a lifetime revocation of driving privileges, up to a year in jail, and mandatory attendance in DUII awareness programs. Completion of these programs shows a commitment to altering criminal behavior and can help reduce penalties; Cargen failed to complete any mandated DUII programs until 1999.

After a driver’s third DUII charge, an extremely rare instance but not unheard of as evidenced by Mr. Cargren, the punishments stiffen harshly. At this point the driver can be charged with a Felony DUII according to Oregon criminal law.

Many drivers never get to this point because Oregon DUII law affords several opportunities for DUII offenders to get back on track after a drunk driving conviction. If the offender has a quality DUII attorney, they will be counseled to complete all mandated DUII programs and change their habits to avoid another DUII conviction. A second or third DUII charge is much harder to defend than a first.

Interestingly, under Oregon criminal law DUII offenders cannot enter into a plea agreement, they must plea to their charge. This means that most people who face a DUII charge plead guilty and enter in to the state’s Diversion Program, where after a year, the DUII charge is removed from their record. This structure highlights the state’s commitment to reduce repeat DUII offenders, while simultaneously offering relief to people who commit an unfortunate lapse in judgment.

Drivers in Oregon should be grateful for this opportunity to remove their DUII charge from their record and get on with their lives. But, according to a 2005 study commissioned by Multnomah County, about 1/3 of participants fail to complete the Diversion Program. These drivers are more likely to be arrested for a DUII and face the harsh penalties that await repeat offenders. The state of Oregon hopes to entice DUII violators into this program to lower recidivism.

If you are convicted of a DUII in Oregon, the state affords several opportunities to get your life back. The drivers, who never learn from their mistakes, do not attend programs, ignore their DUII lawyers, and repeat their crimes, risk forfeiture of their freedom. If you are convicted of a DUII, please, follow the sound advice of your DUII lawyer and complete the generous programs offered by the state, I’m sure Mr. Cargen wishes he did.

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