Local DUII Attorneys
All of our attorneys live in the Salem area, and have deep experience representing clients in Marion and Polk County. With over 90 years of combined experience, you will not find another law firm with more to offer. We are intimately familiar with the Salem area courts, the judges and the prosecutors. We are in court in one of these locations almost every day representing individuals with various legal matters. Though we handle cases all over Oregon, the majority of our DUI cases come from clients arrested in Marion and Polk County.
We handle alcohol DUI cases (.08% BAC or higher in Oregon) as well as marijuana charges (Marijuana DUI) and other controlled substance DUI cases (Drug DUI). We represent individuals charged with DUI in court, during implied consent hearings, and seeking DUII Diversion agreements. We can also help protect and restore your license if you are suspended (or facing suspension) due to a DUI related arrest. When you are looking for a truly local DUII lawyer, we are simply the best choice. Period.
Salem, Marion County DUI & DUII Cases
The City of Salem sits in two counties (Marion & Polk). West Salem is located in Polk County. After being arrested for DUII, you will be given a citation which directs you to appear in court. The court where your case is sent depends upon whether you were arrested by the Salem Police Department, the Marion County Sheriff, the Polk County Sheriff, or the Oregon State Police. If you were arrested by the Salem Police Department, you will be directed to appear either in the Salem Municipal Court or in the Marion County Circuit Court. If you were arrested by the Sheriff or the Oregon State Police, you will be directed to appear in one of the Circuit Courts (Polk or Marion). If you were arrested for a Felony DUI, then your case will either be at the Marion County Circuit Court or the Polk County Circuit Court, because the Municipal courts in the area do not handle felony charges. Pay careful attention to the court and your court date. Each court handles cases a bit differently.
What to Do if Stopped for DUI in Salem
Many DUI arrest happen at night or in the early morning hours. This means it is dark and police officers are on high alert due to protect their safety (and yours). It is critical that you be polite and that you do what you can to put the investigating officer at ease. If you see an officer’s patrol vehicle lights, you should carefully pull your vehicle to the side of the road as soon as it is safe to do so. Waiting too long can lead to even more serious charges (attempt to elude). Once your vehicle is safely parked at the side of the road, turn on your dome light and then place (and keep) your hands clearly visible on the steering wheel.
When speaking to the officer, be polite. You should answer questions to verify your identity (name, address, etc.) and should provide the officer with your license and proof of insurance. You should, however, decline to answer other questions about where you were coming from, where you were going, or whether you have been drinking. Instead, you can politely decline to answer, by saying something like “On advice of my attorney, I would rather not answer that question.”
If the Officer asks you if you are “willing” to consent to “voluntary” field sobriety tests, you should politely decline. You are not required to perform any of the field sobriety tests. If you decline, the officer will then read to you what is called the Rohr’s admonishment which is designed to get you to consent. We recommend that you continue (politely) to decline to perform SFSTs. The officer will then need to make an arrest decision without the benefit of the field sobriety tests.
If the officer decides there is probable cause to make an arrest, you will be directed to step out of the vehicle, will be handcuffed and placed in a patrol vehicle. You should not physically resist and should remain silent during this process.
You will then be taken to either the Salem Police Department, the Marion County Jail, the Polk County Jail, or the Oregon State Police headquarters for initial processing. Once at one of these facilities, you will be offered the opportunity to provide a breath test. See our DUII / DUI page for more information about the breath test.
More Questions about DUI?
Answers to many questions regarding a Drunk Driving Charge in Oregon can be found here. For information specific to Marion County and Polk County DUI’s, continue reading.
Salem DUI / DUII Court Specific Information
The Salem Municipal Court is located on Liberty Street in downtown Salem near the Salem Public Library. The courtroom is on the second floor of Salem City Hall, one level above the current Salem Police department. Your first appearance will be an arraignment, where you will be provided a copy of the charges filed against you. The court will then schedule a plea hearing. If you are eligible for a DUI Diversion, that plea hearing will be scheduled within 30 days following your arraignment. Diversion entry hearings are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Retaining an attorney before your arraignment will allow us to appear with you, and to ensure that future court dates work for your schedule and ours.
If you are not eligible for a diversion, at the plea hearing the case is either resolved or is scheduled for a settlement conference. All appearances for the Municipal Court are scheduled at the same location, but sometimes appearances occur in the Salem City Council Chambers. It is, therefore, important to check in with the court clerk when you arrive to make sure you are in the correct location for your court appearance.
Contact Information for the Salem Municipal Court
Salem Municipal Court, Clerk
555 Liberty Street SE, Rm. 215
If you were arrested by the Marion County Sheriff or the Oregon State Police, your first appearance will generally be scheduled at the Marion County Circuit Court Annex, located on Aumsville Highway. The court annex is in the same building as the Marion County Jail and in the same parking lot as the Marion County Sheriff’s Administrative Annex. The bail window and jail visiting are on the left side of the building and the courts are on the right side of the building.
After checking in with the court clerk, you will be directed to one of the courtrooms for your arraignment. If this is Your first DUII/DWI, you will generally be eligible for a diversion program. It is important to ensure the next court date be set within 30 days. In most cases, the court will schedule your next appearance, called a “Rule 7” appearance within 30 days. The “Rule 7” appearance is scheduled at 1:30 in the afternoon, any day of the week. If there are no available court dates within 30 days, it is important to have your attorney ask the court to “preserve” your right to enter the diversion program.
After entering a “not guilty” plea, all cases are assigned to a specific judge. After a case is assigned to a judge, all future appearances, including status conferences, settlement conferences, and trials are scheduled at the Marion County Courthouse, in downtown Salem.
Contact Information for Marion County Courts in Salem
Marion County Circuit Court Annex
4000 Aumsville Highway
Marion County Circuit Court
100 High Street NE
If you were arrested in Polk County by the Polk County Sheriff or the Oregon State Police, and were taken to the Polk County Jail, your appearance will generally be at the Polk County Circuit Court, Courtroom #4. The offices for the criminal court clerks are found on the 2nd Floor of the jail building. The courtroom is also on the second floor of the same building, located on Jefferson Street in Dallas, Oregon. Because the City of Salem sits in both Marion and Polk County, you should verify your court appearance location. If you were arrested in West Salem by the Salem Police Department, your case could be pending in the Salem Municipal Court (information above).
After being provided with a copy of the charging instrument, the court will automatically enter a “not guilty” plea and will schedule both a pre-trial and a trial date. The pre-trial will be scheduled at 10:30 within 2 to 3 weeks of your first appearance. If you are eligible for a diversion, it is sometimes possible to enter the diversion at that next appearance or another date will be scheduled. If you are not eligible for a diversion, at the pre-trial the court will want to know if the case needs to be assigned to a trial judge, or if a deal has been reached with the State to resolve the case. The assistance of an attorney is critical to making any decisions in the case, so it is important to have your attorney involved early in the case.
If a trial is necessary to resolve a case, it is assigned to one of the three Polk County Judges. Appearances such as status conferences, motions, settlement conferences, and trials occur in the Polk County Circuit Court. There are two courtrooms on the Second Floor of the Historic Building and one on the Third floor of the “new” building. Pay careful attention to your assigned location. Courtrooms 1 and 2 are in the historic building, Courtroom 3 is in the “new” building.
Polk County Circuit Court
Criminal Court Division
884 SE Jefferson Street
Dallas, Oregon 97338
Polk County Courthouse
850 Main Street
Dallas, Oregon 97338