portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article questions portland metro

government | police / legal

activist who needs legal advice

I speak out about controversial issues and enjoy researching. I need help and advice about a recent arrest for driving under the influence of intoxicants.
I am a independent thinker and researcher who is willing to volunteer my services in exchange for advice. I know that some lawyers will represent political activists for a reduced fee occasionally. I refuse to be bullied by the government. Back in 1991 I was 19 years old and renting my very first apartment. My boyfriend and I fought a lot, I was pretty stupid to put up the abuse and it was a domestic violence situation.
We had a male pot plant in our living room and when the cops came for domestic violence I opened the door and they saw that plant. In the closet my boyfriend had three little tiny pot plants that he was trying to start.
I did not know that he had them there but I would not have cared much big deal a plant>>>>
I had no idea it was a big deal. I was employed and had never been in trouble with the law before. I had no idea what manufacturing meant compared to possession. When I trusted the public defender to represent me I ended up with a felony charge for growing pot.
I am a felon for growing pot and have been since 1991. My charge is not cultivation it is manufacturing and that sounds like a meth lab.
Now 19 years later I have been arrested for duii. I don't know what to do because I don't want another public defender and I would like to hear some advice from other activists who have been targeted because of their political affiliations. I am not going to live in fear of the courts. I realize that I am going to pay a fine and my license is going to be suspended for ninety days, and I could do jail time too. But how much jail time can you get from a fist offense?
What are the pros and cons of the diversion program?

I don't know any pros. I have been told that the charge wont go on your record if you complete diversion and I call bullshit on that. Everything is monitored and recorded these days. When a person is pulled over things that they haven't even been officially charged with can be used against them. I have been paying insurance for years now and i have had my fair share of speeding tickets and I had to file a sr22 years ago. Just within the past year I have gotten three speeding tickets so my driving record is less than stellar. If the only advantage of completing diversion is keeping the charge hidden from my insurance company I am screwed anyhow because of the 3 speeding tickets this year. Why not throw a duii on top. How much more will I pay each month?

I appreciate any feedback and would like to hear from other independent thinkers.

I am not worried about being charged with a misdemeanor for something I actually did. I have a problem being convicted of a felony for something I didn't do. I figure clackamas county has gotten enough of my money and time already. I can't represent myself but I want to. I did five years on probation because I was a pot smoker and had unpaid fines. Originally I was sentenced to two years but it turned into five. I was fined a thousand dollars and i think half of that went to the attorney. I ended up going through the electronic surveillance program/intensive drug program twice during the five years I was on probation. I learned a lot from a wonderful counselor during the experience and I am thankful for knowing the woman. But I am not willing to jump through their hoops again. I was convicted of a crime that I did not commit and paid a lot of money and was forced to do what they told me to do over something that I wasn't guilty of.
Bottom line...
I could benefit from counseling and I need support. I just want to do it with out a court order.
If I don't complete diversion the charge will be reported to my insurance company anyhow. Right??
Writing this has been helpful because I can get my thoughts out.

I consider myself a researcher and I want to do my part for the environment. I wrote several papers in college about the pollution in joHnson creek, I have written con trails and the problems that our jets have with their exhaust systems these days. I want to know why my city is compared with other cities in the United States we are in the top 80-90% of the dirtiest cities for cancer risk from the air and the water. Check out scorecard.org and enter your zip code. The year of the Monica Lewinsky scandal I read that one of the top ten most newsworthy unreported stories that year was that the Dept. of Energy was approved to sell radioactive scrap metal to companies who "Clean" it and then re sell to another one who makes silverware and dental fillings with the metal!!!! WTF! Yes maybe I do need counseling and a twelve step program but I can get that without the court mandating it. I have been humiliated at work because everyone knows about it. It cost me four hundred dollars to get my car out of the tow yard and fifty bucks for a cab ride home.
I guess I am talking myself into rejecting any programs they offer me. I don't want to go to jail but I would much rather do jail time instead of probation. I did five years of probation that was supposed to be two years initially and 19 days in jail during the probation when originally I was sentenced to just five.

Please respond with any tips or advice I need the support of others who care.

Thank you

i'd sure take the diversion! 04.Apr.2010 21:19


Well, I read that, if you take diversion, then you "qualify for dismissal," even though you initally have to plead guilty. Do you think you won't be able to complete diversion? Also, why do you see yourself having to cop to a felony? If you don't have any priors on this charge in the last ten years, then my reading of ORS is that it is only a misdemeanor in any case. I think you're better off not getting something added to your record, though. Never mind the cops looking things up on their computer. Think more about stuff like jobs and rental applications, for example.

Here 04.Apr.2010 22:04


here, this is what you need. call some of these, and look for the one you're comfortable with.




Or try calling these guys:

HelpLine: Make the Call
A confidential 24-hour blended crisis and referral line, responding to individuals and family members seeking crisis intervention treatment referral and general chemical dependency information. Call 1-800-923-HELP (1-800-923-4357).