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What is the best way to plea to avoid deeper investigation into an accident?

Saint Helens, OR |

My stepdaughter was in an accident. She got drunk, took a car without permission, with a passenger & wrecked the car into school property. We live in a small town & the officer on scene did not to file a report. He felt she had learned her lesson. Now, 2 years later, the insurance company has demanded a police report so they have charged her with a smaller offense of felony unauthorized use of a vehicle. Trying to avoid the DUI charge. If she pleads not guilty, there will be a trial & investigation and she could be charged with several more things. What happens if she pleads no contest or guilty?

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Attorney answers 4


Much more information is needed, but a local criminal lawyer should be retained to fight any charge.


This is a question for a criminal lawyer not a PI/auto accident lawyer. As PI lawyers we specialize in getting compensation for the victims of auto accidents. A criminal lawyer can better advise you as different ways to plead when you are charged and the consequences. Also a criminal lawyer can be instrumental in helping negotiate a deal. Once you have competent counsel ask them about the possibility of entering into diversion, which is a program where you undertake court mandated coursework and possibly other tasks like community service and you get your offense dismissed if you complete the program. Diversion is available to first time DUII offenders. There is also another route called a civil compromise but I think the charge needs to be reduced to a misdemeanor. Then you pay restitution to the victim and the charges are dropped. I am however concerned that minimizing the consequences to your step daughter's actions might not be the best route if she does have a drinking problem. From a social perspective making sure she gets help if she needs it might be the most important goal to aim for so that there is not another more serious accident that will ruin her life. So you do have to be brutally honest when you try to help someone where any type of substance abuse is involved and not "enable" them to continue abusing by evading consequences.

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Joanne Reisman

Joanne Reisman


I have redone your category to criminal so you should get some responses from criminal attorneys soon.


Retain a local criminal defense lawyer immediately. Good luck.


Your stepdaughter should not do ANYTHING without talking to a criminal defense lawyer. She needs that type of lawyer ASAP. I have helped people with very serious charges up in the St. Helens area. She should feel free to call me for a free consultation.

Portland Defender
1001 Southwest 5th Avenue #1100
Portland, OR 97204
(503) 592-0606

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