5 Common Myths About Oregon DUII
If you are facing a DUII charge in Oregon chances are you are overwhelmed with questions. Although these charges are relatively common, most people are confused about what to do when it happens to them. The best thing is always to contact an attorney, but if you haven’t gotten to that stage yet, you have probably already heard a few of the myths. Here are five common myths, and the truths to help counteract them.
The first common myth about DUII arrests is that anyone who is arrested is guilty. This is a myth for multiple reasons. First of all in the United States people are presumed innocent until proven guilty, not the opposite. The courts in our country help enforce this principle. Unfortunately, the popular mindset do not treat DUIIs the same way.
Oregon DUII attorneys know that not all DUII arrest are the same, and that many people accused of DUII are actually innocent. DUII arrests are frequently based on arbitrary observations by police officers, or faulty chemical tests. In order to be convicted of DUII, it must be legally proven that the driver was intoxicated. Many times this is not the case.
Another myth that is unfortunately not true is that a DUII is not a big deal. An Oregon DUII will result in significant fines, license suspension and jail time. Most DUII convictions are misdemeanors, but if there is a pattern of DUII behavior it can easily become a felony.
While it is true that first time offenders can participate in a program called DUII diversion that will remove a DUII conviction from their record, even that is not a minor thing. The program includes classes, fees and even the installation of an ignition interlock device. There is nothing minor about having to give a breath sample every time you want to drive your car.
A related myth is that all first time offenders in Oregon will have their DUII charge dismissed. While it is true that first time offenders are eligible for the DUII diversion program, simply being eligible does not mean the charges will be dismissed. First of all, to be included in the program it has to be requested within a set time. Secondly, the program has to be successfully completed, which, by the way, does not simply mean just staying out of trouble. To successfully complete the program, there are classes, fees, and additional steps to take within a specific time frame.
Another popular myth about DUII law is that any attorney can defend it. While it may be technically true or even convenient to use the family friend, it is not recommended. DUII law can be scientific, and often times unlike any other type of law. It is a type of criminal law, that carries life long consequences for those found guilty. Unlike, for example, assault, a DUI conviction is a potentially lifelong charge that affects driving privileges, insurance and even possibly, future employment.
A very significant myth in Oregon DUII law is that a conviction from driving under the influence of alcohol is not as bad as a conviction from driving under the influence of drugs. This is not true because Oregon does not have a separate charge for the two. In both cases, it will be referred to as driving under the influence of intoxicants. A police officer will be able to test for either using blood, urine or a breath test. If it can be proven that an intoxicant of some form was in the blood, the driver could be found guilty.
While these five myths may seem pretty reasonable, they are myths for a reason. If you are facing a DUII conviction, don’t take your chances with myths.