When charged with an Oregon DUI, it is not at all uncommon to also be charged with Reckless Driving or with Criminal Mischief. With a good Oregon DUI Lawyer, these charges can usually be made to disappear.
Reckless Driving is driving in a manner that recklessly endagers people or property. The view of some prosecutors is that anyone who is driving over a certain BAC is per se driving recklessly. It may be the case that the police officer who gave you your DUI ticket did not give you a reckless driving ticket. Even so, the prosecutor is the one who makes the charging decision and you might get it tacked on to your DUI.
Criminal Mischief is the charge that is given out when you crash your car while driving under the influence. It means that you recklessly (or intentionally) damaged the property of another. The degree of Criminal Mischief (1, 2, or 3) depends on how valuable the property was. Most people who crash during a DUI get a Criminal Mischief 2 charge tacked on. This means that you broke stuff worth at least $100.
A good DUI lawyer can help you avoid penalties on these charges if it is your first time in trouble. The way it works is like this: you plea guilty on the DUI and enter diversion. The reckless driving or criminal mischief charges are split off and put on the trial docket. You come back a few weeks later and negotiate to have these charges dropped if you successfully complete diversion. In Multnomah County this is par for the course. In the other counties, maybe so, maybe not.
If you are not eligible for diversion then these charges are open to negotiation for dismissal with the DA. The simplest case is that the DA will agree to drop one charge for every charge that you plea to. So if you are on your second DUI and are not diversion eligible, they will drop the reckless driving if you plea to the DUI.
Another way to resolve a criminal mischief charge is with a “civil compromise.” In essence, a civil compromise is where you pay off the person whose stuff you broke. In exchange, the court will dismiss the charges. All of this is easier said than done, but we know how to do it here and we’ll do it for a fair price. Give us a call if you want an experienced Oregon DUI attorney on your side.