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Portland Criminal Law Blog

DUI charges and dealing with negative emotions

Drunk driving charges can lead to many hardships in someone’s life, from losing their ability to drive to problems with friends and family members. Some people may even spend time behind bars and the financial ramifications of these cases can be significant. However, the emotional side of drunk driving cases should not be overlooked, and the various emotional hardships that many people struggle with (such as depression, anxiety and anger) can lead to other issues in life. As a result, it is pivotal to handle DUI cases properly and find healthy ways to address the emotional toll of this difficult situation as well.

Many people feel overwhelmed by stress when they are facing drunk driving charges. They may worry about the many ways in which their life will be turned upside down by the case and the consequences they may face in the months to come. People may have a hard time sleeping at night and these emotions can also adversely affect their performance on the job. By carefully going over legal options and figuring out the best way to handle these charges, some people have been able to lower their stress levels and manage other negative emotions as well.

A court may reverse a decision years after your conviction

If a judge sentenced your loved one to time in prison, you may think that is the worst thing that could happen to them. With their freedom removed from them, and seemingly having their rights restricted, it may seem as though there is no hope. Unfortunately, for some inmates, matters get worse due to the dynamics of those around them during incarceration.

For one man who was already serving an extended prison sentence for robbery, burglary, theft and kidnapping, loved ones likely grew more concerned when a court found him guilty of taking another inmate’s life in 1998. Until recently, a capital punishment ruling loomed over his head.

Identifying prejudice

There are so many elements that go into a criminal trial in Portland that one might easily question how it can be claimed that a fair trial is possible. An old saying exists that posits that justice is blind, implying that it should only be influenced by what is presented in the course of a trial. Yet external elements (or even certain arguments made as part of a trial) can influence that expected impartiality. When searching for the grounds on which to launch an appeal of a criminal conviction, one might be wise to examine their trial to see if such influences might have introduced prejudice into the proceedings. 

The Federal Rules of Evidence defines "unfair prejudice" as "an undue tendency to suggest decision on an improper basis, commonly, though not necessarily, an emotional one." An example of this may be where an attorney asks witnesses (and by extension, jury members) to try and contemplate a position from another's emotional point-of-view, thereby asking them to overlook evidence being presented and make judgments based on feeling. This can potentially taint decisions by causing those making them to view a defendant as a bad person and thus capable of doing what they have been accused of. 

DUI charges over Memorial Day weekend

People are pulled over for drunk driving throughout the year, but there are certain times when these allegations are especially prevalent, such as on holidays. With Memorial Day around the corner, many people plan to celebrate the holiday weekend with loved ones. These celebrations may involve traveling to another part of the country, barbecuing with family members, and there may be some drinking involved as well. Unfortunately, some people get behind the wheel after having a few drinks, which can lead to DUI charges that completely unravel their lives.

It is important to realize that many law enforcement officials are on the lookout for intoxicated drivers during Memorial Day weekend, which can make the likelihood of being charged with drunk driving especially high. If you are pulled over for drunk driving, it is important to be aware of your rights and you should also realize how much may be at stake. From the financial penalties to the loss of driving privileges and even disruptions regarding your career, your life may be turned upside down in all sorts of ways as a result of DUI charges.

Deportation for crimes of moral turpitude

An immigrant’s legal status always depends on an adherence to certain guidelines. Criminal convictions are one of the most common ways that immigrants become subjected to potential deportation. While not all crimes are grounds for deportation, there are certain types that can affect the eligibility of all immigrants, including green card holders.

One type of crime that the legal system classifies as deportable are “crimes of moral turpitude.” However, immigration law does not do a great job of strictly defining these kinds of crimes.

The factors for obtaining post-conviction relief

An Oregon criminal court has convicted you of a serious crime and now you’re serving the sentence. It’s been costly and emotionally draining. If you believe you’ve wrongly convicted, you have several options.

During the course of a trial, a judge may not always accept admissible evidence, attorneys can make mistakes, and courts can wrongly convict defendants. If you have been wrongly convicted, you can challenge the ruling, so you can reclaim your life and restore your name.

Wrongful convictions have led to 20,000 lost years of life

The National Registry of Exonerations recently released a new annual report detailing the number of wrongful convictions in 2018 as well as a startling new number. According to the report, wrongfully or falsely convicted U.S. prisoners have served a combined 20,000 years behind bars. Per person, the report states that this averages out to about nine years in jail per prisoner before receiving an exoneration.

In just 2018, the report tracks that those wrongfully convicted lost more than 1,600 years behind bars. Altogether, 151 people were exonerated in just 2018. The report dives deeper into these startling numbers to determine the factors that led to this record-setting year.

When a drunk driving accident results in an injury

Those who are charged with driving under the influence face a myriad of challenges as they move forward, and we have discussed many of them on this blog. However, there are times when these cases can be especially serious, such as those which result in an injury. If you were injured in a drunk driving crash, you may face numerous challenges in addition to fines and other penalties associated with driving drunk. For example, you may be unable to work and you may have a great deal of pain, which can make your DUI case harder to handle.

If someone else was injured in a drunk driving accident, you may face even greater consequences if you are taken to court for driving under the influence and causing a collision. During such a difficult time, it is pivotal to have a clear understanding of all legal options that are on the table and figure out how to handle this potentially dire situation. Your life may unravel in multiple ways if these charges are not handled appropriately, and there may be a number of strategies to look into if you are interested in securing a more favorable end result.

Field sobriety tests and your health

In Oregon, you may be charged with a driving under the influence of intoxicants charge even if your blood alcohol content was below the 0.08% legal threshold for intoxication. This may happen if a law enforcement officer can identify other evidence that shows you may have been impaired while driving. The results of any field sobriety tests that you take might contribute to this scenario. However, as explained by FieldSobrietyTests.org, none of these tests are fully accurate and your health may be part of what prevents you from passing one or more of them.

If you have anxiety, the experience of being questioned by a police officer and then asked to perform tests with multiple elements at the same time may exacerbate your anxiety and make it all but impossible for you to successfully execute the tasks as requested. 

Drunk driving charges as a college student

If you are attending college, or plan to enroll in college in the near future, you may have many different concerns in front of you. From studying for exams to completing applications and writing essays, there are many different responsibilities for current and prospective college students. Unfortunately, other difficulties can arise during college. For example, someone may be charged with drunk driving after attending a family celebration, or they may get behind the wheel while over the legal limit due to pressure from some of their friends or after attending a frat party.

For college students, as well as those who wish to attend college, DUI charges can be detrimental in many ways. For example, a student may lose their driving privileges, which could make it very difficult for them to get to and from campus and attend classes on time. Or, their drunk driving case may interfere with their ability to study and focus on assignments. Moreover, a prospective college student may worry that these charges will adversely affect their ability to attend college or prompt their parents to decide not to pay for their tuition.

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