THE OREGON DWS GUIDE
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   "Driving while suspended or revoked is one of the most common crimes in the State of Oregon.  If you need an experienced attorney to help you with an Oregon DWS / DWR charge, I would be pleased to assist you. 

 

   "You can learn more about my background as an Oregon criminal defense lawyer by visiting my website or calling 503.546.2928." 

-David Lesh

 

I just got arrested / cited for an Oregon DWS / DWR charge.  What do I need to know?

 

There are three levels of driving while suspended or revoked:  Violation, Misdemeanor, or Felony.  As a general rule, whether you face a violation level DWS (least serious), a misdemeanor DWS, or a felony DWS (most serious) depends on the underlying reason for the suspension or revocation.  Refer to the table below for more information on the different types of DWS / DWR offenses.

 

Violation DWS or DWR
How Committed? Drive a motor vehicle on a public road or premises open to the public after your driving privileges have been suspended or revoked by a court or the DMV for any reason not listed below (in misdemeanor DWS or felony DWS).  See ORS 811.175.
Offense Level Class A traffic violation.
Possible Penalties Substantial fine.  Possible suspension of vehicle registration for up to 120 days.
Possible impoundment / immobilization of vehicle for up to one year.
Example Your license is suspended for failing to appear for a speeding ticket, failing to file an accident report, or failing to pay a fine on a traffic offense and you are caught driving a motor vehicle.
Misdemeanor DWS or DWR
How committed? Drive a motor vehicle on a public road or premises open to the public after your driving privileges have been suspended or revoked from (1) a conviction for recklessly endangering another person, menacing or criminal mischief, resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle; (2) a conviction for perjury or the making of a false affidavit to the DMV; (3) an implied consent suspension for failing or refusing a chemical (breath / blood / urine) test; (4) a revocation from a habitual offender designation; (5) a conviction from any crime punishable as a felony with proof of a material element involving the operation of a motor vehicle (other than a crime described in the felony DWS (see below)); (6) a conviction for failure to perform the duties of a driver (hit and run) under ORS 811.705; (7) a conviction for reckless driving; (8) a conviction for fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer; or (9) a conviction for misdemeanor DUII.  See ORS 811.182(4).
Offense Level Class A misdemeanor
Possible Penalties Probation, fines, community service, jail sentence.  Possible suspension of vehicle registration for up to 120 days.  Possible impoundment / immobilization of vehicle for up to one year.  Minimum $1000 fine if suspension was result of a DUII conviction.  For a second DWS conviction as a result of a DUII conviction, minimum $2000 fine.
Example You fail a breath test following a DUII arrest and you get caught driving during your 90 day suspension.
Felony DWS or DWR
How Committed? Drive a motor vehicle on a public road or premises open to the public after your driving privileges have been suspended or revoked for a conviction for (1) any degree of murder, manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide or assault resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle; (2) aggravated vehicular homicide or aggravated driving while suspended or revoked; or (3) felony DUII.  See ORS 811.182(3).
Offense Level Class B felony
Possible Penalties Anywhere from prison time to probation, fines, community service and jail.  Plus an additional one year revocation.  Crime category 6 under Oregon's sentencing guidelines.
Example Your license is revoked for life following a felony DUII conviction and you are caught driving a motor vehicle.
Aggravated DWS or DWR
How Committed? Operate a motor vehicle that causes serious physical injury to, or the death of, another person while knowingly suspended or revoked from a conviction for a criminal offense involving the use of a motor vehicle.  See ORS 163.196.
Offense Level Class C Felony
Possible Penalties Possible prison time to probation, fines, community service or jail.  Plus an additional 10 year revocation.  Crime category 7 under Oregon's sentencing guidelines.
Example You're suspended for a DUII conviction and you strike and seriously injure a pedestrian while driving on a suspended license.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you face a violation level offense, you should have received a citation directing you to appear in court at some point in the future.  Since a violation is a non-criminal offense, you may mail in a plea of guilty or not-guilty so long as the court receives your plea prior to your scheduled appearance. 

 

If you're charged with a criminal DWS, either a misdemeanor or felony, you generally must appear in court as directed.  Misdemeanor and felony crimes come with the possibility of jail (or prison) time.  Violation DWS offenses will not result in jail time but can result in a substantial fine if you're convicted.

 

Will my license be suspended or revoked if I am convicted of a DWS or DWR charge?

 

While many states do suspend a driver's license for an additional length of time for a DWS / DWR, Oregon does not unless the offense is a felony crime.  Refer to the table below.

 

OFFENSE LEVEL  ADDITIONAL SUSPENSION / REVOCATION
Violation DWS / DWR None
Misdemeanor DWS / DWR None
Felony DWS / DWR One year revocation
Aggravated DWS / DWR  Ten year revocation 
 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep in mind that even if the court does not suspend or revoke your license for a violation or misdemeanor DWS / DWR conviction, you face a five year revocation from the DMV if the conviction makes you a habitual offender under Oregon law.  You can become a habitual offender in one of two ways:

 

First, you get three convictions or a combination that totals three, within a five year period for the following crimes:  DUII; criminal (misdemeanor or felony) DWS / DWR; reckless driving; failure to perform duties of a driver; fleeing or attempting to elude; vehicular homicide; or murder, manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, assault, recklessly endangering another person, menacing or criminal mischief resulting from operation of a motor vehicle.

Second, you also become a habitual offender if you get 20 convictions for various traffic violations or crimes in a five year period.

 

I'm tired of being suspended.  Is there anyway I can get my license back?

 

Call the DMV and find out why you're suspended or revoked and follow the steps they direct to get reinstated.  Some people are eligible for immediate reinstatement if they file an SR-22 for example.  If you're not eligible for immediate reinstatement you must wait until your suspension or revocation period is up.

 

If your license is suspended (as opposed to revoked) you may be eligible for a hardship permit which will allow you to drive for limited purposes.  Sometimes there is a waiting period before you're eligible to receive a hardship permit.  Not everyone is eligible for a hardship permit however.  Refer to OAR 735-064-0020 which sets forth who can apply for a hardship or probationary permit. 

 

Am I required to notify anyone if I am arrested or convicted of a driving while suspended or driving while revoked?

 

Effective January 1, 2010, If you are a health professional that is (1) license by; or (2) certified by; or (3) registered with one of the following Boards?

  • State Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology (speech pathologists) and Audiology;

  • State Board of Chiropractic Examiners (chiropractors);

  • State Board of Clinical Social Workers (LCSW);

  • Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists;

  • Oregon Board of Dentistry (Dentists);

  • Board of Examiners of Licensed Dietitians;

  • State Board of Massage Therapists;

  • Board of Naturopathic Examiners (Naturopathic Physician);

  • Oregon State Board of Nursing (Nurse, RN’s);

  • Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators;

  • Oregon Board of Optometry (Optometrists);

  • State Board of Pharmacy (Pharmacists);

  • Oregon Medical Board (Doctors, Physicians, Surgeons);

  • Occupational Therapy Licensing Board (Occupational Therapists);

  • Physical Therapist Licensing Board;

  • State Board of Psychologist Examiners;

  • Board of Radiologic Technology (Radiology Technicians);

  • State Board of Direct Entry Midwifery (Midwifes);

  • State Board of Denture Technology (Denturists);

  • Respiratory Therapist Licensing Board;

  • Department of Human Services, to the extent that the department certifies emergency medical technicians (EMT’s);

  • Oregon State Veterinary Medical Examining Board (Veterinarians, Vets); or

  • State Mortuary and Cemetery Board.

If so, you must self-report either a misdemeanor or felony DWS / DWR conviction within 10 days of the conviction or if you are arrested for a felony DWS/ DWR or Aggravated DWS / DWR, you must report the arrest within 10 days of the arrest.  You need not report a conviction for a violation level DWS.  Speak to your attorney or refer to HB 2059 (2009) for more information.

Contact attorney David Lesh today if you want an experienced attorney to help you with a DWS charge.  There is no fee for the initial consultation.

503.546.2928

 

Websites, including this one, provide general criminal law information but do not provide legal advice or create a lawyer / client relationship.  Consult qualified Oregon driving while suspended / revoked attorneys for advice about any specific problem that you may have.  Oregon lawyers are governed by the Oregon Code of Professional Responsibility.  This website may be considered an advertisement for services under the Code of Professional Responsibility.  Information contained in this website is believed to be accurate but is not guaranteed.   

 

 

David Lesh provides DWS / DWR defense to the communities of:  Portland Ore., Portland OR, NW Northwest, SW Southwest, SE Southeast, NE Northeast, and N North; Gresham; Beaverton; Hillsboro; Tigard; Lake Oswego; Oregon City; Tualatin; West Linn; Woodburn; Milwaukie; Forest Grove; Wilsonville; Troutdale; Sherwood; Canby; and Multnomah County; Clackamas County; and Washington Counties.  Read our privacy statement.  Mr. Lesh accepts American Express, Discover, Visa and MasterCard credit cards / card.  Copyright 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010.