After receiving a DUI charge, you may be wondering what options you have and if you qualify for the DUI Diversion Program in Oregon. DUI Diversion is a government-sponsored behavior modification program administered by the probation department in cooperation with the court and private treatment providers. If this is your first DUI offense, or you meet other conditions, you may qualify for the DUI Diversion Program in Oregon. Completing the program successfully results in the dismissal of the DUI charge.
Pleas for a DUI Charge in Oregon, Including Diversion
When you receive a DUI charge, you have four plea options, which include:
- Not Guilty — The court sets a Case Management Conference (CMC), a settlement conference. If the case does not settle at the CMC, a court date will be set for your trial. At trial, the State/Prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are not guilty and a judge or jury will decide your fate.
- Guilty without Diversion — This results in a conviction. You may give the judge an explanation and any information you think may help the judge decide your sentence. Sentences include the minimum penalties for DUI and your license will be suspended.
- No Contest without Diversion — This results in a conviction if the district attorney gives the judge sufficient facts to prove your guilt. Sentences include minimum penalties for DUI and your license will be suspended.
- Guilty or No Contest with Diversion — You must be eligible to participate and you must file Petitioner’s Diversion Agreement and Defendant’s Declaration of Eligibility and plead guilty or no contest. The court holds the plea during the diversion term. You must complete the program during the time allowed and you must file a motion to dismiss the charge of DUI. If violated, the court may terminate diversion, enter the plea and sentence you without trial.
A DUI attorney can assist you in deciding how to plea and help you determine if diversion is the best course of action for you if you qualify. In order to qualify for DUI Diversion in Oregon, you must meet the following requirements:
- Meet all requirements described in the “Defendant’s Declaration of Eligibility”
- Appear in court on the date scheduled for your first appearance
- Plea guilty or no contest to your DUI charges
- File the diversion petition within 30 days of the first appearance date
Do I Qualify for the DUI Diversion Program in Oregon?
In order to qualify for the DUI Diversion Program in Oregon, you must meet all of the following criteria:
- You have no charge of a DUI or similar charge in any State, other than the charge for the present offense, pending on the date you file the petition for DUII diversion
- You have not been convicted of a DUI charge within the period beginning 15 years before the date of the commission of the present offense
- You are not already participating in a DUI diversion program or in any similar alcohol or drug rehabilitation program
- You did not participate in a DUI or drug diversion or rehabilitation program, other than a program entered into as a result of the charge for the present offense, within the period beginning 15 years before the date of the commission of the present offense
- You have no charge of an offense of vehicular homicide or vehicular assault that resulted from the operation of a motor vehicle pending in this state or in any other jurisdiction on the date you file the petition for a DUII diversion agreement
- You have not been convicted of vehicular homicide or vehicular assault within the period beginning 15 years before the date of the commission of the present offense
- You did not hold commercial driver privileges at the time of the offense
- You were not operating a commercial motor vehicle at the time of the offense
- The present DUI offense did not involve an accident resulting in the death of any person or physical injury to any person other than yourself
- You have not been convicted of a felony DUI in Oregon or anywhere else
See ORS 813.215 for complete eligibility requirements.
DUI Diversion and Your Record
Completing the DUI Diversion Program in Oregon is not the same as a conviction. If you successfully complete the program, the DUI charge is dismissed and no conviction results. Your driving record will still reflect the diversion even after completing the program and the charge is dismissed. Many agencies of the federal government treat diversion like a conviction for a crime, as do some other countries. If you enter diversion, you may not be able to enter other countries, including Canada.
If you enter diversion and don’t abide by the agreement, by drinking alcohol or getting arrested for a second DUI, for example, the court can proceed to sentence you on the guilty or no contest plea that is already entered. If revoked, you could face jail, fines and suspended driving privileges.
What to Expect When Entering Diversion in Oregon
If after talking with an attorney and deciding that DUI Diversion is the best course of action for your DUI charge, you can expect the following:
- Plead guilty or no contest to the DUI charge
- Pay the DUI Diversion fee of $490
- Report to the Community Justice office in your county for an alcohol and drug evaluation
- Pay $150 for the evaluation
- Enroll in a treatment program
- Abstain from alcohol and non-prescription drugs for one year (the diversion period)
- Install an ignition interlock device
If you enter into the DUI Diversion program, it will take place over the course of one year. All requirements must be met in order for the criminal charge to be dismissed. While in diversion, your criminal record will always show the arrest, plea, entry into diversion and finally the dismissal of the case.
Determine the Best Course of Action
Consulting a DUI lawyer helps individuals with DUI charges decide the best course of action. Ricky R. Nelson specializes in DUIs and DUI Diversion law. Contact Nelson Law for a free consultation and I can help you determine where you qualify for the DUI Diversion Program in Oregon and if that is the best strategy for your charges. I’ll assist you in making the decisions that are right for you.