There are many DUI offenses that are filed as felony charges. These include any DUI case that involves injury or death, as well as cases in which the driver involved has prior DUI convictions. A third DUI charge will be filed as a Class C Felony, if the priors were within the past 10 years. The penalties imposed can be extremely severe in these cases, the maximum being up to 5 years imprisonment with a mandatory minimum of 90 days, with no possible reduction in time. The fines can be as high including the possibility of up to $10,000 if there was a child in the vehicle. Your driver's license will be permanently revoked.
If you are defendant in a case in which it is alleged you were driving drunk, and an injury or fatality took place due to DUI, it is imperative that you engage the services of defense counsel immediately. The penalties imposed are so extreme that your life will be forever changed if you are not able to successfully fight the charges. You may or may not have been over the legal limit, and you may not have even been the cause of the injury or fatal accident. If you have two prior DUI convictions, the situation is extremely dangerous legally. Oregon has some of the heaviest penalties of any state for DUI offenses, and without an aggressive and qualified defense lawyer, you could face a long term behind bars, completely altering your future.
A felony conviction is not minor. The ramifications of a conviction extend far beyond jail or prison time and fines, and the loss of your legal right to drive. You could be restricted from holding many professional licenses, and have trouble getting a loan, a job, or even a place to live. There are often requirements to disclose a felony conviction when filling out applications. In addition, such felony convictions can never be expunged, or removed from your criminal record. These are very serious issues, and if you are accused of any felony DUI offense, whether due to prior convictions, or an injury or fatal accident, get a trial lawyer on your side immediately.
Neal Weingart is a trial lawyer and a well-respected and prominent DUI defense lawyer located in Portland, OR.