Portland DUI Attorney – Save Your License, Stay Out Of Jail

Have you been arrested or cited for a Portland DUI? Call us. Hire one of Oregon’s best DUI defense firms. We can help you get through this.

Portland DUI Lawyer Michael G. Romano

  • 24+ years of trial experience
  • 10,000+ hours in the courtroom
  • 200+ criminal jury trials
  • Former Oregon DUI prosecutor, current defense attorney
  • Trained in the administration of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs)
  • In addition, trained in the instruction of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs)
  • Trained in the operation of Oregon’s Intoxilyzer 8000 breath testing device
  • Dedicated to effective DUI and criminal defense in Oregon

Call Us Today for a DUI Strategy Session

A DUI strategy session with our office is at once both affordable and invaluable. Initial consultations can be by video conference, telephone call, or in-person at once of our offices. During your consultation, we will go over:

Many of the decisions that need to be made in DUI cases need to be made quickly.

Don’t delay. Call us today: (503) 208-5529.

When you call, please have available:

  • Your Oregon DMV Implied Consent Combined Report (the long, yellow, fill-in-the-blank form),
  • Your Intoxilyzer 8000 Breath Test Report (if you received one),
  • A copy of your ticket or citation, and
  • A pen and paper.

This DUI strategy session is time-sensitive. Call today.

DUI Attorney Lawyer Portland Oregon

We handle DUI cases throughout the Portland Metro Area:

  • Portland DUI and Gresham DUI cases (Multnomah County Circuit Court)
  • Hillsboro, Tigard, and Tualatin DUI cases (Washington County Circuit Court)
  • Wilsonville, Oregon City, and West Linn DUI (Clackamas County Circuit Court)
  • Troutdale DUI (Troutdale Municipal Court)
  • Beaverton DUI (Beaverton Municipal Court)
  • Lake Oswego DUI (Lake Oswego Municipal Court)
Portland Oregon DUI Attorney

Frequently Asked Questions About Portland DUI Charges

Which Police Agencies Make Portland DUI Arrests?

The Portland metropolitan area has a population of over 2 million people and actually spans three Oregon counties: Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas. There are several law enforcement agencies working DUI patrols and making DUI arrests in Portland. The Portland Police Bureau, the Gresham Police Department, and the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office are the law enforcement agencies most responsible for DUI enforcement in Multnomah County. However, the Oregon State Police also handle DUI investigations and make arrests. On average, there are a total of about 3,000 DUI arrests each year in the Portland area.

Portland Oregon DUI Lawyer

Where Are Portland DUI Cases Heard?

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Oregon is a crime. Some people are mistakenly under the impression that a DUI charge is nothing more than a traffic ticket. The truth is that DUI is a class “A” Misdemeanor, and is punishable by one year in jail, five years probation, a $6,250.00 fine, a minimum driver’s license suspension of one year, community work service, electronic monitoring, and drug and alcohol treatment.

If you’ve been arrested or cited for a DUI, your citation will likely be sent to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office for review. If they charge the case, the case will be heard by the Multnomah County Circuit Court. Most defendants are cited into the Multnomah County Justice Center in downtown Portland, however some east-county and Gresham DUI cases may also be heard at the East County Courthouse (the Rockwood complex).

DUI Arraignments in Portland

Your arraignment will typically be held in Circuit Court before a state judge. Arraignments are important procedurally, but you typically do not need to make any substantive decisions (e.g. you don’t have to plead guilty or request a trial) at your first appearance. However, it is critical that you appear personally for your arraignment or have your attorney do so for you, because the judge can issue a warrant for your arrest if you fail to appear, revoke any security you posted, and possibly exclude you from the diversion program if you are otherwise eligible.

Discovery (police reports, photographs, audio recordings, video recordings, etc.) are typically provided at or soon after the arraignment. You will want to review all the materials in the case with your attorney because you most likely will not understand some of the references in the materials or be able to spot issues that an experienced DUI attorney will.

After your arraignment, a review of the discovery, and a substantive meeting with your attorney, you typically report back to court for an entry of plea hearing. This is the time that you and your attorney officially indicate to the Court what you want to do (e.g. enter a plea, enter into a diversion, set the case for a Motion to Suppress, set the case for trial, etc). Depending on what you do at this hearing, you may have no more appearances before the Court, or you may have several.

What is a DMV Hearing, and Why Do I Need One?

Typically, the most time-sensitive matter with a DUI charge is dealing with the DMV Implied Consent suspension that comes with any breath test failure or breath test refusal. Oregon uses the Intoxilyzer 8000 for all breath tests, and if your test result was a .08 or greater– or if you declined the breath test– there will be an administrative suspension of your driving privileges by the Oregon DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles). This suspension is independent of any consequences or actions taken in the DUI criminal charge. The suspension typically starts 30 days after arrest without further notice to you.

In order to have a fighting chance to avoid this driver’s license suspension, you must request a DMV Implied Consent hearing within 10 days following your arrest or citation for DUI. If you’re going to be working with an attorney, it’s best to have your attorney send in the request along with his/her dates of availability for the hearing. The hearing is typically within 30 days after arrest or citation. DMV Implied Consent hearings for Portland DUI arrests are typically held at the Office of Administrative Hearings in Tualatin, Oregon.

What is Oregon’s DUI Diversion Program?

Many people fear the worst in DUI cases. It’s normal to feel anxious and embarrassed. Maybe even a little angry or depressed. The worst mistake that you can make is to take the attitude of “I just want to get this over with so I’m going to plead guilty.” The best thing you can do is sit down with a Portland DUI attorney and discuss your options. Many drivers will be eligible for Oregon’s DUI Diversion Program, and may be able to have the criminal DUI charge dismissed. However, there are DUI diversion eligibility requirements, and not everyone will want to enter a guilty plea in order to enter the program.

Will I Serve Jail Time for a DUI Charge?

Drivers arrested for DUI in Multnomah County will typically be booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center. If any jail service is required later as part of a sentence, you will serve additional jail at this location or at the Multnomah County Inverness Jail. Drivers eligible for Oregon’s DUI Diversion time will not need to serve additional jail time for their DUI if the charge is dismissed. However, drivers convicted of a DUI will likely serve additional jail.

The Multnomah County Detention Center Jail
The Multnomah County Detention Center Jail is located downtown in the Justice Center.
1120 SW Third Ave
Portland, Oregon 97204
Phone: 503-988-3689

Multnomah County Inverness Jail
The Multnomah County Inverness Jail is the main jail.
11540 NE Inverness Drive
Portland, Oregon 97220
Phone: 503-988-5060

What is a DUI ADES Evaluation, and Who Handles Them in Portland?

Any driver entering into the DUI Diversion Program or convicted of a DUI charge will need an ADES evaluation. For more information on the evaluations in Multnomah County, please see the Multnomah County DUI page.

Who offers Drug and Alcohol Treatment Options for a Portland DUI?

Any driver entering into the DUI Diversion Program or convicted of a DUI charge will need to complete a drug and alcohol education class or treatment. There are many providers in the Portland Metro Area, but you don’t have to complete treatment in Portland. For more information on the DUI treatment programs and providers in Portland and Multnomah County, please see the Multnomah County DUI page.

What is the Victim Impact Panel (VIP), and Where Can I Attend in Portland?

Any driver entering into the DUI Diversion Program or convicted of a DUI charge will need to attend a Victim Impact Panel (VIP) lecture. Portland DUI Victim Impact Panel lectures are on the second Monday, fourth Monday and fourth Tuesday of each month at: Legacy Emanuel Hospital, 2801 N. Gantenbein Avenue, #2013, Portland, Oregon 97227. The cost is $50. Michael Morrison is the Program Coordinator, and can be reached at: 503-413-1777. Call Lisa Davidson at: 503-413-4530 to register, or email her at: [email protected]. For other VIP lecture locations, please see the Oregon DUI Victim Impact Panel list.

Will I Need an Attorney for a Portland DUI?

Not necessarily, but you should at least have a consultation. Most attorneys do not charge for an initial consultation. Therefore, you have nothing to lose– and everything to gain– by understanding more about the process, and your possible defenses. If you ultimately chose to represent yourself (“pro se”), you could be at a real disadvantage.

If you can afford to retain a private attorney, hire one as soon as possible. Ideally, within days of your arrest, and before your arraignment. This is to make sure that the attorney can request a DMV Implied Consent hearing and prepare for the arraignment. Most private defense attorneys keep busy schedules. Therefore, you do not want to start making calls the day before a DMV hearing deadline or a court appearance.

Will I be eligible for a public defender on my DUI?

Possibly. If you cannot afford an attorney, get a public defender at your arraignment. However, the public defender cannot help you with the DMV Implied Consent Hearing. In addition, they likely cannot help you with administrative driver’s license suspension issues. Public defenders in the Portland Metro Area are frequently overworked and may not be able to spend as much time on your case as you’d like. However, a public defender is certainly better than not having an attorney at all.

Oregon Lawyer and Attorney Michael Romano

Oregon DUI Lawyer Michael Romano has over 24 years of combined experience as a former Oregon prosecutor and Deputy District Attorney, and as a current criminal defense attorney representing the accused.

Mr. Romano’s approach to criminal defense is very practical. We provide knowledgeable, experienced, thorough, and efficient representation in DUI cases– with a diligence and aggressiveness appropriate to the legal & practical consequences to the client, and the client’s personal preferences. In other words, a client who has a diversion-eligible DUI and a strong preference to quickly put the matter behind them may require or desire less work (and expense) than a client who is facing a lifetime revocation of their driving privileges, a felony DUI, or possible loss of employment.

Mr. Romano does not recommend that every case proceed to a motion to suppress or trial, but Mr. Romano has received “not guilty” verdicts (aka acquittals) for clients with BACs (blood alcohol content readings) ranging from .08 to .26. Simply put: We have the ability and desire to help all drivers facing a DUI charge in Oregon.

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