Common Mistakes to Avoid If Youve Been Charged With a DUII

Interviewer: What are some of the big mistakes that you see people make once they’ve been arrested that makes their situation worse? Do they bury their heads in the sand and hope it will go away? What else have you seen people do that makes their situation worse that they should avoid?

Shannon: Many times people wait to the last minute to hire an attorney or they will try to gamble on getting a public defense attorney appointed to them. And pretty much in Oregon if you make over, I think it’s $1200 or $1300 a month, you’re not going to qualify for a public defender. So if you have a job, you need to be thinking about how you are going to procure representation.

And a lot of time people will, like I said, wait until the last minute and they’ll call and try to find an attorney the day before their first appearance.

Don’t Delay in Finding an Attorney to Defend Your DUII Case

By waiting that long you’re not only giving up your rights that are available to you in the administrative realm, meaning the DMV proceedings against your license and your driving privileges. You’re also giving up the opportunity for your attorney to prepare ahead of time, perhaps even negotiate with the district attorney before they file anything. That’s a huge benefit to having counsel right away.

In some criminal cases, you can speak ahead of time to the district attorney or the city’s prosecutor in municipal court. You can provide them with additional witness information, for example, somebody that saw it happen differently than what the police reported in their statements.

Installment Plan for Attorney Fees

So there’s a number of different things an attorney can do from the right from the start. Avoiding it isn’t going to make it go away, of course, as anything in life. The earlier you can secure counsel the better. And my office offers representation on payment plans, which I don’t think a lot of people are aware of because there’s a lot of attorney’s out there that won’t. They want the entire retainer up front or the flat fee amount up front and a lot of people aren’t able to do that, but in my office they are able to pay in monthly installments.

Interviewer: You said that you offer payment plans. How long is the payment plan term? Is it three months or more?

Shannon: On average it’s about four months. You can usually resolve everything pretrial within three to four months and determine which direction the case is going. By then you know if it’s going to be settled pretrial through negotiations or initial investigation or if it’s going to need to go to trial.

And if you decide to go to trial, then it’s an entirely separate agreement and arrangement that you make with your attorney. This is because trial preparation is a completely different ballgame than the pretrial preparation.

Shannon I. Wilson, Esq.

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