Stopped for a DUI in Oregon? Know What your Rights Are

Over 700 people every day are injured as a result of a drunk driving crash. It’s no wonder that driving under the influence of alcohol (or any other substance) carries serious consequences. Of course, it goes without saying that you should never operate a vehicle while drunk.

First, be aware that the police will be looking for you in Oregon. Marijuana was legalized for recreational use in 2016, and in July 2018, police in the city of Portland started to institute higher fines for driving while distracted with electronic devices. It is incredibly important to drive only when you are sober and able to focus on driving.

However, if you should find that you have been stopped and you believe that the officer suspects you to be driving under the influence, it is important to cooperate fully
by placing your hands on the steering wheel, not resisting the officer, and not showing aggressive behavior.

With that said, you are entitled to certain inalienable rights. You have a constitutional right to remain silent and to ask for a criminal defense attorney if you are arrested. You also do not have to consent to a search of your car or physical person. A defense lawyer will often recommend taking down the information of witnesses, if possible, and writing down everything you remember about the incident as soon as you are able.

If you are charged with a crime, it is best to consult with an attorney who is an expert in DUI law. Criminal defense attorneys are divided on whether or not individuals should consent to a breathalyzer or urine test, so it is always best to consult with a trusted criminal defense attorney. However, you should be aware that if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test, you will immediately be arrested.

Under the Sixth Amendment, you have the right to legal representation if you are charged with a crime. If you cannot afford your own criminal defense attorney, one will be issued to you. Keep in mind that you do not have to say anything to the police or sign any documents without first talking to a criminal defense attorney.

The consequences of a DUI can be severe–totaling $20,000 in fines alone, as well as court-appointed community service, a suspended license, and potential jail time. That’s not including the safety risks associated with driving while intoxicated. While Oregon continues to change its expungement laws for DUI charges, and while there is legal support to help you when you most need it, the best option is always to avoid driving while intoxicated.

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