DUIIs, Misdemeanors, and Other Criminal Matters
For most people a DUII charge or other misdemeanor charge (whether driving related or otherwise) is their first exposure to the criminal justice system. At Hunt & Associates, our goal is to assert every client’s constitutional rights while guiding them through a confusing and unfamiliar process. We understand that every case is different and we advise our clients based on the facts surrounding each individual case and each client’s risk tolerance.
Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants
Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in all phases of a DUII case. There are important deadlines in every DUII case which cannot be ignored. DUII’s involve 2 phases: (1) the administrative phase and, (2) the judicial phase.
The administrative phase of a DUII case is extremely time sensitive. If you fail your breath test (either by refusing to take the test or having a blood alcohol level of .08 or above) your license will be suspended unless you request a hearing within 10 days from the date of your arrest for DUII. We assist our clients by immediately requesting the hearing and defending our client at the administrative hearing. If you intend on entering into diversion, the hearing is an effective way to evaluate the merits of the case since we are able to cross examine the arresting officer during the hearing. If you “win” the hearing, then your license will not be suspended by the DMV.
Even if we are successful in the administrative hearing, you still must participate in the judicial phase of a DUII, since the 2 phases are not tied together. The judicial phase begins when you are arraigned on the DUII charge and any other charges that the District Attorney decides to charge you with.
On your first DUII, you may be eligible for diversion. Diversion is a process in which you are able to have the DUII charge dismissed if you complete the diversion program. By entering and successfully completing the diversion program, you avoid the mandatory 1 year license suspension, spending any additional time in jail, and many of the fines that would be imposed if you are convicted of DUII.
If you are not eligible for diversion (you participated in a diversion program in the past, you have a prior DUII conviction, the DUII involved bodily injury, or you have a Commercial Drivers License) then you face punishment of up to 1 year in jail, a $6,250.00 fine, and at least a one year license suspension.
In Multnomah County, many DUII charges are accompanied by a Reckless Driving charge, which is a class A misdemeanor. Even if you enter diversion, you may still have to defend the Reckless Driving charges. If you are convicted of Reckless Driving you face a minimum 90 day license suspension, on top of any administrative suspension on the DUII charge.
Consequently, it’s imperative that you hire, or at least consult, with an experienced DUII attorney immediately after receiving a citation for DUII to ensure that your rights are protected.
Other Criminal Matters
In addition to defending individuals on driving related crimes such as reckless driving, hit and run, and assault charges, we represent clients in many other types of criminal matters. We regularly defend individuals in domestic violence matters, harassment and assault cases, and cases involving allegations of theft or other crimes of dishonesty.
Like all cases, we investigate the claims by interviewing the client and anyone with knowledge of the alleged incident; negotiate with the district attorney to reduce or eliminate the charges; and try cases that we cannot effectively settle or that should not be settled. We also work on entering into civil compromises when possible.