“The Best DUI Defense is Knowing the Offense” - Sunil K. Raju, Former Prosecutor

What is Oregon DUI "Diversion"?

If you have arrested for your first DUI in Oregon, then you need to consider whether you are eligible for the DUI "Diversion" program.

Very generally, Diversion programs may be offered in a variety of courts, including:

  • DUI court
  • Other criminal court, including for charges involving DV, drugs, and other crimes
  • Traffic court - e.g., for traffic tickets

DUI "Diversion" refers to a program that may be available to a driver arrested for DUI to resolve their case without a conviction. Specifically, a driver arrested for DUI may be eligible for DUI Diversion if:

  • They have no criminal history
  • Nobody was hurt
  • They have not completed court-ordered treatment

There are more specific criteria to determine whether you are eligible for Oregon DUI Diversion, and sometimes the DA may get it wrong, so it is important to carefully review the facts of your case and your record, so that you know whether DUI Diversion should be an option for you.

Generally, you have only 30 days from your arraignment (generally your first court appearance) to decide whether to take advantage of the DUI Diversion program, so time is of the essence. Whether you take advantage of DUI Diversion is a "take-it-or-leave it" proposition - you do not have the ability to hold off on DUI Diversion while you explore the underlying merits of the DUI case (i.e., do the police and DA have a "good" case against you). However, there are still important decisions to consider before you enter DUI Diversion, because once you are in DUI Diversion, you cannot go back and change your mind about going to trial. Additionally, DUI Diversion is a minimum 12-month commitment, which may extend to 18 months.

It is important to develop a clear roadmap to your success, since one false move in DUI Diversion may land you in jail, on probation, with another driver's license suspension, and more problems, since you will be dealing with all of the original penalties that are connected with a criminal DUI conviction.

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