If you were arrested for a driving under the influence, then you understand that things are happening that you can't control. Here is what you need to know.
When you have been cited or arrested for a criminal charge, you want to know what is going to happen. While all cases are different, there is a process that is always the same.
Some convictions result in the loss of the right to bear arms. Sometimes these convictions can be set aside or expunged. Other times, like for felony driving while suspended, the conviction cannot be set aside. However, there is another process to restore your firearm rights.
Here are some helpful links you can use to understand your rights and the court processes. These are some of the resources I commonly use.
Then you understand that things are happening that you don't understand. It is critical that you understand what is the process and consequences are.
First, whether you gave a breath sample or not, you should have been given a printout from an Intoxilyzer and a copy of "Implied Consent Combined Report." If you refused the breath test or the printout showed .08 or higher, then your right to drive will be suspended just for the breath test. Importantly, this suspension is not a consequence of getting convicted of a DUII, this is just for failing the breath test. This suspension can be fought, but only if you act quickly. On the back of the form, it explains that to avoid the suspension, you must request a hearing within 10 days.
Winning these hearings is difficult. Most of the time these are won are based either on a default or a technical issue that an experience lawyer can help you with. Most of the time, it is not a good idea for the person arrested to testify at this hearing. Again, an experienced lawyer can help you make a decision about this.
When you were arrested, you should have also been given a citation with a court date. You must either appear on this date or have a lawyer appear for you. If you are eligible for diversion, you will have 30 days from your first appearance to decide if that is what you want to do. A month may seem like a long time, but your lawyer needs to get the police reports from the prosecutor, review those reports and find out if there is other information we need, and get that for you. Once that is done, your lawyer can advise you about the best course of action. If you believe you were not impaired and want a trial, then be aware that DUI trials are among the most technical and difficult trials criminal lawyers do.
The consequences of getting convicted of a DUI are high - the prosecutor will probably want you to serve jail time, and often more importantly, the Court will order your driver's license be suspended for at least a year.
Stopped for a DUII? You need an experienced DUI attorney.
If you have been cited or arrested for a criminal charge, you should have an idea what the Courts are going to want from you.
If you were given a ticket, then the citation has a Court date. If you don't have a lawyer yet, you must appear on that date. If you have a lawyer, talk to the lawyer about whether you have to come to court that day.
If you were arrested and taken to jail, then hopefully you were released with a court date. Be aware that having been released means you already have a release agreement, and this agreement may have conditions. Violating these conditions can mean your bail will be taken and you can be put back in jail.
Your first court date is called an arraignment. At this appearance, you will be given a copy of a charging document. Your lawyer will make sure you understand what you are charged with. The Court will want to be certain that your name is properly spelled and you are properly identified on the charging document. If you have a lawyer, your lawyer will be there with you to guide you through this process. If you can't afford a lawyer, the judge will give you one. Be aware that a lawyer understands the rules of the Court, how to talk to the judge, and how to help you. It is not a good idea to turn down a lawyer if you need one. Next, the court will address your release. If you don't have a release agreement, the Court may order you to sign one. If you have a release agreement, the Court might make changes to it. For example, the judge may order that you cannot talk to certain people or that you can't consume alcohol.
At the end of this hearing, the judge will give you a next court date. Here in Bend, this date is called an "Entry of Plea hearing." By the time you have an entry of plea hearing, your lawyer should have gotten police reports and other information about your case. Your lawyer should have also gotten a plea offer for you. You will need to talk to your lawyer about what is in the reports. By the time of the entry of plea hearing, you want to have a plan about what to do next. You can plead not guilty and request a trial, or you can plead guilty and accept the plea offer.
Competent legal advise can help you decide what to do. A good lawyer can determine if there is evidence you should challenge, get changes to release conditions, and present a strong defense.
Some convictions can prevent you from exercising your right to bear arms. However, that right can often be restored.
If you have been convicted of a felony or some misdemeanors, you may have lost the right to bear arms. However, sometimes that convictions can be set aside. ORS 137.225 lays out the requirements for what convictions can be set aside. That statute is complex and it is often changed, but a lawyer can help you understand if your convictions can be expunged. If so, setting aside the conviction would make it - from a legal perspective - like you had never been convicted of the crime at all.
Even if the crime you were convicted of cannot be expunged, don't give up. You can still file a petition to restore your firearm rights. A lawyer can help you find out if you are eligible, and can assist with the process. This process is actually much faster than setting aside your conviction, but it only gives you back the right to bear arms.
This website is for informational purposes only. Using this site or communicating with Nicolas F. Patterson, Attorney at Law through this site does not form an attorney/client relationship. This site is legal advertising.
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