OREGON DWS GUIDE

OREGON DRIVING WHILE SUSPENDED OR REVOKED LAWS



David N Lesh
Oregon Criminal Defense Attorney
Oregon Super Lawyer 2018 and 2019

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DRIVING WHILE SUSPENDED OR REVOKED

      ORS 811.175 Violation driving while suspended or revoked; penalties. [What is a DWS violation?]

 

         (1) A person commits the offense of violation driving while suspended or revoked if the person does any of the following:

      (a) Drives a motor vehicle upon a highway during a period when the person’s driving privileges or right to apply for driving privileges have been suspended or revoked in this state by a court or by the Department of Transportation.

      (b) Drives a motor vehicle outside the limitations of a probationary permit issued under ORS 807.270 or a hardship driver permit issued under ORS 807.240, including any limitations placed on the permit under ORS 813.510.

      (c) Drives a commercial motor vehicle upon a highway during a period when the person’s driving privileges or commercial driving privileges have been suspended or revoked in this state or any other jurisdiction.

      (2) Affirmative defenses to the offense described in this section are established under ORS 811.180.

      (3) The offense described in this section is applicable upon any premises open to the public.

      (4) The offense described in this section, violation driving while suspended or revoked, is a Class A traffic violation except as otherwise provided in ORS 811.182. [1983 c.338 §598; 1985 c.16 §304; 1987 c.730 §1; 1987 c.801 §9; 1989 c.171 §91; 1989 c.636 §45; 1997 c.249 §228; 1999 c.1051 §90; 2009 c.395 §10]

 

      ORS 811.180 Affirmative defenses. 

 

         The following establishes affirmative defenses in prosecutions for driving while suspended or revoked in violation of ORS 811.175 or 811.182 and describes when the affirmative defenses are not available:

      (1) In addition to other defenses provided by law, including but not limited to ORS 161.200, it is an affirmative defense to the offenses described in ORS 811.175 and 811.182 that:

      (a) An injury or immediate threat of injury to a human being or animal, and the urgency of the circumstances made it necessary for the defendant to drive a motor vehicle at the time and place in question; or

      (b) The defendant had not received notice of the defendant’s suspension or revocation or been informed of the suspension or revocation by a trial judge who ordered a suspension or revocation of the defendant’s driving privileges or right to apply.

      (2) The affirmative defenses described in subsection (1)(b) of this section are not available to a defendant under the circumstances described in this subsection. Any of the evidence specified in this subsection may be offered in the prosecution’s case in chief. This subsection applies if any of the following circumstances exist:

      (a) The defendant refused to sign a receipt for the certified mail containing the notice of suspension or revocation.

      (b) The notice of suspension or revocation could not be delivered to the defendant because the defendant failed to comply with the requirements under ORS 807.560 to notify the Department of Transportation of a change of address or residence.

      (c) At a previous court appearance, the defendant had been informed by a trial judge that the judge was ordering a suspension or revocation of the defendant’s driving privileges or right to apply.

      (d) The defendant had actual knowledge of the suspension or revocation by any means prior to the time the defendant was stopped on the current charge.

      (e) The defendant was provided with notice of intent to suspend under ORS 813.100. [1983 c.338 §599; 1985 c.16 §305; 1985 c.672 §18; 1985 c.744 §1; 1987 c.138 §2; 1987 c.158 §168; 1987 c.730 §20; 1987 c.801 §10; 1997 c.249 §229]

 

      ORS 811.182 Criminal driving while suspended or revoked; penalties. 

 

         (1) A person commits the offense of criminal driving while suspended or revoked if the person violates ORS 811.175 and the suspension or revocation is one described in this section, or if the hardship or probationary permit violated is based upon a suspension or revocation described in subsection (3) or (4) of this section.

      (2) Affirmative defenses to the offense described in this section are established under ORS 811.180.

      (3) The offense described in this section, criminal driving while suspended or revoked, is a Class B felony if the suspension or revocation resulted from any degree of murder, manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide or assault resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle, if the suspension or revocation resulted from aggravated vehicular homicide or aggravated driving while suspended or revoked or if the revocation resulted from a conviction for felony driving while under the influence of intoxicants.

      (4) The offense described in this section, criminal driving while suspended or revoked, is a Class A misdemeanor if the suspension or revocation is any of the following:

      (a) A suspension under ORS 809.411 (2) resulting from commission by the driver of any degree of recklessly endangering another person, menacing or criminal mischief, resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle.

      (b) A revocation under ORS 809.409 (4) resulting from perjury or the making of a false affidavit to the Department of Transportation.

      (c) A suspension under ORS 813.410 resulting from refusal to take a test prescribed in ORS 813.100 or for taking a breath or blood test the result of which discloses a blood alcohol content of:

      (A) 0.08 percent or more by weight if the person was not driving a commercial motor vehicle;

      (B) 0.04 percent or more by weight if the person was driving a commercial motor vehicle; or

      (C) Any amount if the person was under 21 years of age.

      (d) A suspension of commercial driving privileges under ORS 809.510 resulting from failure to perform the duties of a driver under ORS 811.700.

      (e) A suspension of commercial driving privileges under ORS 809.510 (6) where the person’s commercial driving privileges have been suspended or revoked by the other jurisdiction for failure of or refusal to take a chemical test to determine the alcoholic content of the person’s blood under a statute that is substantially similar to ORS 813.100.

      (f) A suspension of commercial driving privileges under ORS 809.520.

      (g) A revocation resulting from habitual offender status under ORS 809.640.

      (h) A suspension resulting 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 subsection (3) of this section.

      (i) A suspension for failure to perform the duties of a driver under ORS 811.705.

      (j) A suspension for reckless driving under ORS 811.140.

      (k) A suspension for fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer under ORS 811.540.

      (L) A suspension or revocation resulting from misdemeanor driving while under the influence of intoxicants under ORS 813.010.

      (m) A suspension for use of a motor vehicle in the commission of a crime punishable as a felony.

      (5) In addition to any other sentence that may be imposed, if a person is convicted of the offense described in this section and the underlying suspension resulted from driving while under the influence of intoxicants, the court shall impose a minimum fine of at least $1,000 if it is the person’s first conviction for criminal driving while suspended or revoked and a minimum fine of at least $2,000 if it is the person’s second or subsequent conviction.

      (6)(a) The Oregon Criminal Justice Commission shall classify a violation of this section that is a felony as crime category 4 of the rules of the commission.

      (b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a) of this subsection, the commission shall classify a violation of this section that is a felony as crime category 6 of the rules of the commission, if the suspension or revocation resulted from:

      (A) Any degree of murder, manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide or an assault that causes serious physical injury, resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle; or

      (B) Aggravated vehicular homicide or aggravated driving while suspended or revoked. [1987 c.730 §§3,3a; 1989 c.636 §46; 1991 c.185 §10; 1991 c.860 §9; 1993 c.305 §2; 1995 c.568 §2; 1997 c.249 §230; 1999 c.1049 §7; 2001 c.436 §1; 2001 c.786 §2; 2003 c.346 §3; 2003 c.402 §37; 2005 c.649 §19; 2007 c.867 §13; 2009 c.783 §14; 2011 c.597 §97; 2013 c.237 §26; 2013 c.649 §3]

 

      ORS 163.196 Aggravated driving while suspended or revoked. 

 

      (1) A person commits the crime of aggravated driving while suspended or revoked if the person operates a motor vehicle that causes serious physical injury to, or the death of, another person while knowingly violating ORS 811.175 or 811.182, if the suspension or revocation resulted from, or if the hardship or probationary permit violated is based upon a suspension or revocation that resulted from, a conviction for a criminal offense involving the use of a motor vehicle.

      (2) Aggravated driving while suspended or revoked is a Class C felony.

      (3) The Oregon Criminal Justice Commission shall classify aggravated driving while suspended or revoked as crime category 7 of the sentencing guidelines grid of the commission. [2009 c.783 §5]

 

 

POSSIBLE SENTENCE FOR CRIMINAL DWS / DWR
Probation Usually
Jail Often
Prison Rarely



What is the fine for DWS as a violation?

The presumptive fine for a Class A violation is $400.  The minimum fine is $255 and the maximum fine is $2000.



"I defend and help people facing DWS / DWR charges in the Portland metro area. 
Call me today at 503.546.2928 for immediate assistance with your DWS case."

Twenty nine years as an Oregon attorney
Former Multnomah County prosecutor
Former deputy city attorney assigned to the Portland Police Bureau

2018 and 2019 Oregon Super Lawyer
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