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Felony DUI Charges in Oregon | “Three Strikes”

July 31st, 2013 by Daniel Woram

The consequences and punishments for Oregon felony DUI charges are very serious. Contact a DUI criminal-defense attorney as soon as possible, preferably within 10 days of arrest, if you or a friend or family member has been arrested for a third or fourth DUI.


You can be charged with a felony DUI if you have been convicted (pled guilty or found guilty at trial) of two or more DUIs in the last ten years. This includes most DUI-type convictions as juvenile and out-of-state convictions. The law changed in 2010, lowering the number of previous DUIs necessary for a felony charge under the so-called Oregon Crimefighting Act. But note that a successfully completed DUI diversion would not count as a “conviction”.


Penalties and Incarceration – The penalties for felony DUIs in Oregon are severe. At minimum, you will serve 90 days in jail and have a Class-C felony on your record. The maximum sentence is five years in prison. The presumptive (or “average”) sentence is 13 months in prison, but this can vary (for better or worse) based on the individual client’s background, history, and circumstances.


Importantly, the 90-day jail sentence is in addition to the prison sentence that can be imposed. The bottom line is that you will serve time; the question is how much. This is a time when an experienced Portland, Oregon DUI attorney can make a difference to your or a loved one’s case and perform critically needed damage control.


License Suspension – Note also that the third DUI conviction can result in a mandatory lifetime suspension of your driver’s license. The only relief possible is after 10 years, you can petition the court to reinstate your license. Note that the 10 years runs from the time you either: were released on parole, sentenced to probation, or probation was revoked, or you were sentenced. The DA may oppose the motion, however, and the judge will hold a hearing. The burden of proof of the defendant-petitioner is very high: he or she must demonstrate that there is a high probability that he or she is rehabilitated.


DISP – Lastly, if you were charged in Multnomah County, you are probably eligible, if you volunteer, for the county’s DUI Intensive Supervision Program (DISP). This usually results in minimal jail time (beyond the mandatory 90-day sentence, which must be served). But this program is intense and should only be used by those who are extremely serious about not using alcohol or drugs. To get a better idea of these stringent, rigorous requirements of the DISP program, you can review the Multnomah County DISP manual here.


Daniel Woram has represented hundreds of clients faced with DUI charges over the past 25 years as an Oregon criminal defense lawyer in Oregon and Washington in the Portland, Vancouver, and Oregon City areas, including Clark, Clackamas, Washington, and Multnomah Counties. Mr. Woram also serves as a pro tem judge and is a member of numerous state and local bar associations.


Contact Woram Law today for a completely confidential consultation.