If you are arrested for a DUII in Oregon, you probably expect to spend a lot of time in court in the near future. Most people are surprised to find out that it is actually the first thirty days that may be very overwhelming. Although fairly common, a DUII arrest can be a very complicated process, that no one should face alone. First time offenders can discover that they’ve made the situation worst by not enlisting the help of a legal professional. Here is what you can expect the first thirty days.
When you are questioned by a law enforcement agent under suspicion of DUII, the first decision that has to be made is whether or not to submit to a blood or breath test. It may seem like a simple question, but if you refuse to take the test, the officer can immediately arrest you and suspend your license. It also can negatively impact your future criminal case, by giving the impression of guilt. Additionally, if you choose to take the test and then fail it, the officer can also immediately suspend your license.
When a license is suspended, the arresting officer will issue a temporary permit that is good for exactly thirty days. This permit is issued at no cost, but for the first twelve hours it is not considered valid for operating a vehicle. In other words, the permit won’t let you drive home, but it will let you drive to court in the near future.
If you feel that the suspension was unwarranted, a lawyer could help you contest it. Following license suspension, you have 10 days to request a hearing. During this time, the driver may contest the validity of the suspension with the Department of Transportation. Success in this hearing could restore driving privileges for longer than the 30 days that the temporary permit provided. However, depending on the outcome of the DUII charge, the restoration of driving privileges may be reversed, because a DUII conviction will result in a 1 year license suspension. The hearing, however is separate from the criminal case, and in many situations it is worthwhile to regain driving privileges,even if temporary.
If the suspension is not reversed, the license suspension for refusing or failing a breath test is from 90 days to 1 year. There is a mandatory 90 day suspension for failing the test, and a mandatory 1 year suspension for refusing a blood, breath or urine test.
If this is not the first license suspension related to DUII it becomes classified as enhanced and the suspension period could be 1 to 3 years. Enhanced DUI failures are one years suspensions. Three year suspensions are reserved for refusing a blood, breath or urine test during a period of DUII diversion, or after being previously suspended or convicted of DUII in the past 5 years.
For many drivers, a 90 day to 3 year license suspension poses a hardship of some sort. In those cases drivers can request a hardship permit. A hardship permit can be requested after a thirty day waiting period for suspensions due to test failures. For suspensions due to refusals the waiting period is 90 days.
In the first thirty days of a DUII in Oregon it can indeed be very overwhelming. Actions taken in the first two weeks can help or hinder the success of a DUII criminal case. They can also affect driving privileges for up to a year. Most people are unaware of the important steps that must be taken in the initial month of a DUII arrest. Because of this, it is important to quickly hire a talented DUII lawyer to help you navigate the Oregon DUII law.