New Programs for Avoiding a Reckless Driving Conviction in Washington County
By: Robert Harris
Washington County has a new program that could allow you to avoid a criminal Reckless Driving conviction if it was charged as part of a DUII case.
A lot of times, if someone is arrested for DUII, they may have also been charged with reckless driving. Reckless driving is a criminal charge and carries a mandatory 90 day license suspension. And, you can't have it removed from your record.
This will occur when the driving was so bad, that it endangered people or property. An impaired driver is almost always a danger, and sometimes the circumstances are aggravated. Driving into oncoming traffic. Rear end collision. Blowing though stop signs. These are the types of DUII related driving issues that can cause the District Attorney to add a reckless driving charge to a DUII case.
And that can be a particular problem for a first time DUII defendant. Oregon provides first time DUII offenders the option to enter a diversion program. If the defendant completes alcohol classes, and some other requirements, in one year, the DUII can be dismissed.
But there is no State law for the reckless driving charge that may accompany a diversion eligible DUII case. So, in the past, the Washington County District Attorney office would make the defendant plead guilty to the reckless driving crime, even if the defendant entered into the DUII diversion program.
However, starting September 1, 2013, Washington County courts and District Attorney office is now offering a DUII diversion eligible driver to also "divert" an accompanying reckless driving charge. This is a huge benefit to first time offenders. Harris Velázquez Gibbenss Robert Harris was involved in developing the program requirements, working with Diversion Judge Charles Bailey, and District Attorney Bob Hermann.
Here's how the new Washington County reckless diversion program works:
At the time the defendant enters the DUII program s/he also pleads guilty to the reckless driving, but is not sentenced and no conviction is entered. Then, at the end of a successful completion of the DUII diversion program (All classes are complete, all costs are paid); and if the defendant has not committed any other crimes during the diversion period; and the defendant hasn't driven without a license or insurance, and has paid any compensation due to anyone who may have been injured as a result of the reckless driving,; and all court costs have been paid, then both the DUII and the reckless driving charge will be dismissed.
It pays to hire an attorney who practices in the county where you were arrested. Knowledge of new programs, and alternatives to outright conviction and sentencing are different county to county. Harris Velázquez Gibbens attorney regularly practice in Washington, Multnomah, Clackamas, Yamhill and Columbia counties.