Will I Have to Go to Jail for Felony DUI in Oklahoma City?
In Oklahoma City, being arrested and charged with a felony DUI does not necessary mean you will go to jail or prison. However, being charged with a felony DUI offense is far more serious than a misdemeanor DUI. In most instances the basis for a felony DUI charge is the fact the driver has a prior DUI conviction. Whereas a first-time DUI defendant in Oklahoma City may be afforded a higher level of leniency due to having no prior DUI history, the cards are stacked against DUI offenders with a past.
The outcome of any DUI, including a felony DUI, is based on a number of factors in your specific case. What occurred during your felony DUI traffic stop and the evidence, or lack thereof, between the initial traffic stop and eventual arrest plays a major role in what your Oklahoma DUI defense attorney can do for your case. Felony DUI cases supported by conflicting or weak evidence and/or involving a suppression issue due to an illegal traffic stop make it harder for the government to secure a conviction against you.
An experienced DUI defense firm will use tested defense strategies to identify and gather all the evidence available in your case and examine how strong the case is against you. We may use the open records act to obtain police reports, dash cam, and body cam footage directly by law enforcement. We obtain all the discoveries from the prosecution and investigate your side of the story. Every source of information available in your case to defend against a felony DUI conviction or prison time will be used to identify the strongest case that can be presented on your behalf in court.
Once we have a clear picture of all the potential evidence against you, we will meet with you and/or your family to discuss the strengths and weaknesses in the government’s case to prosecute you for a felony DUI. We use our experience and understanding of the evidence necessary to support a conviction for felony DUI to give you a clear picture of your options, prior to you making an important decision in your felony DUI case.
Unfortunately, if the evidence is very strong against you, the good options in your felony DUI may be limited and resolving the case with a plea may be in your best interest. Whether the prosecution’s case is strong or weak against you for a felony DUI, many tools exist to assist you in avoiding jail time in a felony DUI case, including: mitigating circumstances, your conduct after the DUI arrest, diversion options, weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, and more. Prior to discussing the tools for resolution of your DUI by plea, let’s examine all the options in a felony DUI case in Oklahoma City.
Do First Time DUI Offenders go to Jail in Oklahoma?
As will be discussed in far greater detail below, it is possible as a first-time DUI offender to go to jail; however, you have more control than you realize in the outcome of your case. The likelihood of serving jail time on your DUI is higher today than in the past; however, you can develop a compelling story and reasons to avoid jail or even a conviction by working with an experienced DUI defense lawyer.
The more serious your first-time DUI offense the greater likelihood you will have to fight to avoid jail time. When serious property damage is involved, attempted eluding, or someone was injured in a DUI accident, the risk of jail time does increase. However, as discussed in much greater detail below, when you work with experienced DUI defense counsel we can help you to develop mitigation and extenuation in your case that may result in the prosecutor or judge agreeing to your case being resolved with no jail-time.
Many people facing DUI prosecution wrongfully believe they should resolve their case quickly and they must accept whatever is offered by the prosecution or suffer going to jail or prison, which is simply not true. When you work with an experienced Oklahoma City DUI lawyer, you greatly increase the chances of reducing the terms of your probation and saving a substantial amount in probation costs, as well as improving your future beyond your DUI case. A skilled DUI defense lawyer will work with you to identify all available strategies and defenses to increase the chance of a positive outcome in your case.
You may in fact be guilty of your DUI charge; however, that does not mean you must enter a guilty plea. The prosecution must prove more than you committed the offense in order to achieve a conviction. The prosecution must prove you are legally guilty of the offense charged. You are only legally guilty, if you enter a plea accepted by the Court or the prosecution proves your guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Our team of Fierce Advocates™ will work with you to identify any defenses or violations of your rights, which may result in you not being found guilty in your case.
How Much Jail or Prison Time will I receive for a Second DUI or Subsequent DUI in Oklahoma?
As discussed in more detail below, a second or subsequent DUI offense is more difficult to defend and avoid jail or prison time; however, hope is not lost. We have successfully helped many clients avoid prison time or a conviction on subsequent DUI offenses. The same strategy that applies to a first-time DUI offense applies to a second or subsequent defense: we will evaluate all the evidence, identify ways you can mitigate the circumstances, and assist you in putting yourself in a better light before the Court and the prosecution. The penalties for felony DUI can be great, including prison time; however, by reviewing the rest of this article you will learn much of what can be done to avoid jail or prison time by fighting your case or building a better picture of yourself to present in court.
How Can I Resolve a Felony DUI in Oklahoma?
Three primary options exist in a felony DUI in Oklahoma. These options include fighting your case, entering an agreed plea in your case, and letting the court decide the outcome of your felony DUI case. Each option is discussed in great detail below; however, the following is a restatement of your overall options in your felony DUI case:
- Fight Your DUI: you have a constitutional right to maintain your innocence. You can and often should make the government attempt to prove your guilty to a jury.
- Agreed Resolution of Your DUI: many diversion options exist, even in felony DUI cases. These may include a plea agreement with the government or diversion program.
- Blind Plea Resolution of Your DUI: in the case of a blind plea, you give up your right to trial and ask for an outcome by the Court, which is binding.
These options come from multiple sources of law and are explain in great detail below. However, as an introduction it is important to both understand and consider all your options before giving up any rights in your case or resolving your DUI without a fight. Oklahoma criminal statutes governing prosecution for felony DUI provide certain rights to anyone facing a felony DUI charge or any state court criminal charge for that matter. Additionally, certain constitutional rights guarantee the right to a trial and to be free from self-incrimination. This is not the place for a dissertation on Oklahoma state court criminal procedure; therefore, this explanation will be limited to the options available in your felony DUI case, not why those options exist.
Can I Fight My Felony DUI Case in Oklahoma?
The first option in any felony DUI case is to fight your case. The prosecution has the burden of proof in any case and must convince the jury of your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in order to obtain a conviction in your felony DUI. Many steps take place prior to a jury trial in a felony DUI case. However, they can generally be broken down into the following steps:
- Discovery Phase
- Independent Investigation
- Preliminary Hearing
- Motion Practice
Each of the phases listed above contain important steps and rights you and your DUI defense attorney must exercise to protect your rights and seek to increase the chances that your felony DUI case will either be dismissed or you will be found not guilty in your felony DUI jury trial.
Discovery Phase of Felony DUI: During the Discovery Phase of your felony DUI case, you and your Oklahoma DUI defense attorney will seek to obtain all the evidence in law enforcement and the prosecution’s possession to support a conviction in your case. Multiple types of evidence exist in felony DUI cases and it is important to obtain everything, as conflicts in evidence or inconsistencies in the investigation will weaken the government’s case and may result in your charges being dismissed without ever having to go to trial and risk prison time.
The most common source for conflict in information comes from audio and video recordings of the DUI traffic stop, as compared to the police officer’s incident report, which is often drafted hours after your DUI arrest. Our office uses the Oklahoma Open Records Acts to force law enforcement to provide us copies of dash camera and body camera footage of your DUI stop and arrest.
We also obtain 911 calls and dispatch calls, if available, to compare this information to what was reported by the officer after your DUI arrest. General and Specific Discovery requests to the prosecutor assist us in obtaining this and other evidence in your case, in order to get a complete picture of the evidence that could be presented against you at trial. Additionally, we can use the subpoena power to require disclosure of records by law enforcement that are relevant to your case.
Once all the evidence that exists in your felony DUI case is reviewed, we can give you a better picture of the evidence the prosecution could present against you at trial to seek to obtain a conviction in your felony DUI case. We use our experience to evaluate and explain to you the strongest case the prosecution could present in your felony DUI jury trial, as well as initially identify weaknesses or conflicts in the evidence that will assist us in defending your case.
The discovery phase is heaviest early on your felony DUI case; however, additionally information may be released or identified over the course of your case, including shortly before trial. We strive to obtain all evidence is as short of time as possible; however, we ensure you have the same information we do in your case and access to all evidence.
Independent Investigation Phase of Felony DUI: During the investigation phase of your felony DUI case, our investigator and defense team will work with you and any witnesses to identify your defenses, any medical issues that may impact your appearance during the DUI traffic stop, and any problems with the government’s case.
We do not settle with the story told by police reports. We are dedicated to fighting for every client and we will help you to identify the evidence in your case that supports your innocence and anything that supports your defense. Many DUI defense attorneys will stop at the Discovery Phase and advise you based on the evidence in the prosecution’s possession; however, we know that is only half the story and we are dedicated to working with you to identify your side of the story and any evidence or witnesses that support your innocence.
Preliminary Hearing of Felony DUI: you are entitled to a preliminary hearing, conducted by a special judge, in every state court felony in Oklahoma. State court felony prosecution commences by filing an information in Oklahoma. However, you are entitled to an impartial examination of the evidence, similar to the grand jury proceeding in federal court. Therefore, in Oklahoma a judge will conduct a hearing to determine, if probable cause evidence exists to support each element of the felony charges brought against you.
During the preliminary hearing in your felony DUI case, the prosecution will call witnesses, including the arresting officer, to try and support probable cause exists for your DUI traffic stop, as well as sufficient evidence of a DUI and the basis for the case being a felony. This is a very important step in your felony DUI defense and you need an experienced DUI defense attorney to help you at this crucial stage in the process.
Each witness that testifies in your felony DUI preliminary hearing swears an oath to tell the truth and their testimony is recorded word for word by a court reporter. The transcript of the preliminary hearing in your felony DUI and the testimony of any witness can be used as evidence for a hearing in the future or impeachment evidence of that witness at trial. Meaning, the testimony can be used to support a motion to dismiss or a suppression motion. Additionally, if the officer or any witness changes their testimony at trial, you can impeachment by prior inconsistent statement and try to convince the jury to find them not worthy of being believed.
At the conclusion of the preliminary hearing, your Oklahoma felony DUI defense attorney can make a demur to the evidence and argue how the prosecution has failed to present sufficient evidence of one or more elements of your felony DUI, which is necessary in order for your case to be bound over for trial.
When or if the judge handling the preliminary hearing in your felony DUI is convince insufficient evidence exists to bind your case over, the case will be dismissed and your prosecution can be terminated, unless the state seek review by the district court judge over your DUI case and they are overruled.
In conclusion, your preliminary hearing in your felony DUI case is an important right that should not be taken for granted and should not be waived, unless you and your Oklahoma DUI defense attorney have decided to do so for a strategic purpose. The most common consideration for waiving the preliminary hearing in your felony DUI case is that additional felony and/or misdemeanor charged can be added to your case, if the judge decides sufficient evidence exists to support the new allegations. Sometimes, it is better to face one allegation of felony DUI at trial, rather than multiple charges.
Motion Practice Phase of Felony DUI: a continuation of fighting your felony DUI case at preliminary hearing is filing and fighting motions in your case. All motions in felony DUI case will seek to do one or many of the following: protect your rights, argue the law was violated in your case, which warrant a certain outcome, or argue the evidence does not support moving forward in your DUI.
Motions that protect your rights in a felony DUI case vary widely; however, the most common are discovery motions and motions in limine, which prevent the prosecution from doing or saying things in the presence of your jury. When these motions are ruled upon and the prosecution violates the ruling, you case may be dismissed or you may be granted a new trial. Additionally, these motions can request the prosecution or the judge conducts matters in a specific way in your felony DUI trial to maximize your protection from the jury unfairly seeing you in a negative light. The hope for many of these motions is to protect your rights are not necessary, but it is wise to ensure they are in place as protection.
Motion that argue the law was violated in your case are generally intended to keep out evidence obtained after your rights were violated, which are largely categorized as suppression motions. The most common issue in DUI or felony DUI cases is law enforcement violating your right from unreasonable search and seizure without grounds to do so. DUI suppression motions typically attack one of two things:
- the basis for the traffic stop in your DUI case was invalid, meaning reasonable suspicion did not exist that you committed a traffic violation or insufficient evidence existed to warrant the officer seizing you and your car from your travels; or
- after being detained for your DUI traffic stop, the officer lacked reasonable articulable suspicion to warrant further detention, such as an unnecessary and lengthy delay, insufficient grounds to order you to exit your vehicle, or insufficient grounds to require you to perform a field sobriety test.
Suppression Motion: When your experience DUI defense attorney identifies the basis for a suppression motion or other motion to attack a legal flaw in the prosecution’s case, the outcome is greatly important to your future. When we are successful in DUI suppression motions, the evidence obtained subsequent to the unlawful search or seizure will be suppressed. The evidence will be kept out of court, as fruit of the poisonous tree, and not presented to the jury.
Finally, pretrial motions that argue issues with the evidence or the facts in your case may result in a limiting instruction, reduction in charges, or even dismissal of charged by the Court. Your Oklahoma DUI defense attorney may determine a motion for lack of sufficient evidence should be filed in your case. Your DUI case would be dismissed, if the Court ruled that the prosecution in fact lacked sufficient evidence to proceed.
Whether all or none of the motions listed above are relevant to your felony DUI case, it is important to ensure the Oklahoma DUI defense attorney you work with is familiar and experienced with all of these issues and any other pretrial motion issues that may assist your defense.
Trial of Felony DUI: The most important part of any criminal case is a jury trial before your peers, if the case is not resolved by dismissal or other resolution before this point. It is crucial to your success that your DUI defense lawyer has a clear strategy prior to trial and that you work together to identify the witnesses and exhibits you will present to leave the jury with only once option, reasonable doubt.
In cases involving “science” of a DUI, such as a field sobriety test, breathalyzer, or blood alcohol content, you may need your own expert to counter the allegations presented by the prosecution. Whatever the issues are in your DUI trial, it is very important to develop a theme and strategy with your DUI defense attorney to identify a path to reach the goal you are seeking.
No matter how much you and your DUI defense attorney prepare, unexpected things will happen during your jury trial. It is very important to hire a DUI defense lawyer that has tried multiple jury trials and has experience facing a wide variety of issues or problems that arise during trial. The following are a few of the areas you need to ensure your DUI lawyer is skilled in and has experienced prior to hiring them, if you plan on taking your DUI case to trial:
- DUI trial preparation and investigation;
- DUI trial theme development;
- Jury Selection or Voir Dire in a DUI trial;
- Open Statements in a DUI trial;
- Cross-Examination of Police and Experts in a DUI trial;
- Presentation of Witness and Exhibits in a DUI trial; and
- Closing Arguments in a DUI trial
Right to DUI Trial: You have an absolute right to maintain your innocence and fight your DUI case, whether it is a misdemeanor DUI, carrying jail time, or a felony DUI, carrying potentially prison time. In many cases, it is not in your best interest for your DUI case to proceed to trial; however, you need to work with an attorney that has helped many clients evaluate their specific circumstances and advise you on whether or not it is in your best interest to take your DUI case to trial.
Our Fierce Advocates™ have the trial experience and passion to give you an experienced opinion on your likelihood for success, if your DUI goes to trial. The decision to exercise or give up your right to a jury trial in any criminal case should not be taken lightly. When you work with an experienced Oklahoma City defense lawyer, you can be assured you will have sound guidance in making your decision.
Can I Enter an Agreement in My Felony DUI Case in Oklahoma?
The second option in any felony DUI case is to entered a plea agreement with the prosecution. Each prosecutor in Oklahoma state court has more cases than they can litigate. Therefore, the system is designed and requires that more cases than not are resolved by some means other than jury trial. In fact, more than 95% of criminal cases are resolved by an agreement, either dismissal of the case, reduction in charges, or a plea agreement to the original charges.
The fact that the vast majority of criminal cases, including felony DUI cases, are resolved by agreement between the parties only highlights the importance of hiring an experienced and Fierce Advocate for DUI defense. It is highly likely your case will be decided in a way that is beneficial to you or very harmful to you, based in large part on your DUI defense attorney’s ability to negotiate you case and obtain the best outcome possible for you.
Identifying your Story in your Felony DUI: Our years of experience in representing thousands of clients has taught us that finding and telling our client’s story is the most powerful tool in criminal defense. You are most certainly not a bad person, even if you knowingly drove after being intoxicated, rather you made a bad choice. Prosecutors do not have the bandwidth to investigate your life story or the reasons that led to your driving, while intoxicated. Therefore, it is your DUI defense attorney that must come forward to be your Fierce Advocate and tell your story.
Our team of Fierce Advocates™ understand the importance of telling your story and that the why of your driving drunk is more important than the fact you were arrested for DUI. We have worked with dramatists and actors to assist us in story development and we use those skills to identify the scenes and information from your life that tells a compelling story of who you are now and where you came from in your life. Your felony DUI or first-time DUI are only a moment in your life and with our assistance we can help the prosecution understand that fact and find a way to a better outcome in your case.
Specifically, we work with you and your family to identify mitigation and extenuation that may assist in understanding why your DUI offense occurred. Additionally, we may assist you in finding ways to be a more productive member of your family and community, not only for your personal health, but to exhibit to the prosecution that you should be given an opportunity at freedom and redemption, as you are exhibiting your ability to be a productive member of your community, while the case is pending. We will never try to make you something you are not, however, we will work with you to assist you in identifying areas of your life for improvement, which can positively impact the resolution of your DUI case.
Getting Started on Probation in a Felony DUI: It is possible to get started on your probation requirements prior to entering a plea, if you are confident that you do not want to take your DUI case to trial. As stated above, most DUI cases, including felony DUI cases are resolved by some type of agreement. Both by statutory requirements and prosecution office policy, you will be required to complete the following terms of probation, if given the opportunity to serve probation on your DUI case, in lieu of prison or jail time:
- Drug and Alcohol Assessment and Follow-up
- Victim Impact Panel
- Community Service
- Payment of a Fine and Court Costs
- Supervised Probation
Each of the above listed terms of probation are very common in any DUI probation case. Therefore, once we have reviewed discovery with a client and they are certain that they do not want to fight their DUI case, we assist the client in getting a head start on probation.
Drug and Alcohol Assessment and Follow-up: in Oklahoma, any DUI or drug case resolved with probation will require completion of a Drug and Alcohol Assessment (“ADSAC”) and following the recommendation of that assessment. There are hundreds of facilities that offer ADSAC across Oklahoma and our team can help you identify one that is convenient to you and will work with your schedule. By completing the ADSAC as soon as possible in your DUI case, we can identify what steps you need to take to complete the recommendations, which will make probation easier and cheaper in your DUI case.
Victim Impact Panel: any DUI case resolved by probation in Oklahoma requires completion of a Victim Impact Panel (“VIP”). The Victim Impact Panel is just what it sounds like, you attend a one-time class and hear from victims of DUI crashes and parties involved in the justice system related to DUI cases. Our team can assist you in identifying a VIP class that is convenient for your schedule and located near you. Once you complete VIP, you will receive a certificate of completion, which you can send to our office and we will keep track of it for you. Completing the VIP prior to entering a plea in your case will reduce the number of steps you must complete on your DUI probation and may result in a shorter term of probation.
Community Service: most DUI cases resulting in probation will come with the requirement of your performing service in the community. The number of hours of community service on a felony DUI or first-time DUI can range substantially; however, it is a safe estimate that it will be at least 20 to 40 hours of community service. Our team can assist you in ensuring the business or organization you want to volunteer for will count towards your community service hours, including specifically verifying the fact with the prosecutor. Additionally, we can help you in finding a community service project that interests you or serves an area of our community that you care to serve. Either way, completing community service prior to entering a plea in your DUI case will make probation easier for you and likely will result in a shorter term of probation and less on your plate to complete once your DUI probation has started.
Payment of a Fine and Court Costs: going to court costs money, as you likely are aware by now. Court costs are determined by the Court Clerk for the location of your DUI case; however, the fine will be determined by the prosecutor or the judge. When you have paid down your court costs or have reserved funds to make payment in full at the time of your plea, it will likely allow us to reduce the amount you will have to pay overall. Prosecutors and judges like finality and when we can stand by your side and tell the prosecutor and judge that we are prepared to pay all fines and court costs prior to entering your plea, we have had many instances of success in getting DUI clients’ fines and court costs reduced. It is a good idea to create a fund after hiring a DUI defense attorney for the costs that will come with your DUI case. Again, by being proactive in this area, your DUI probation may be reduced and will likely cost you less money.
Supervised Probation: supervised probation in a DUI case means what is sounds like, you may be supervised by a probation officer. The probation officer will likely require a monthly check-in by you to stay in contact and observe your progress towards completion of the terms of your probation. Our Fierce Advocates™ will use our experience to help in crafting the shortest period of supervision possible for you in your DUI case. Not only is supervised probation an additional step to complete during probation, it comes with a cost of roughly $40 a month as well. Again, when you have completed most or all of the terms of probation with our assistance prior to entering your plea, you may be able to outright avoid supervised probation.
Therefore, we will work with you to identify and help you complete as much of your probation as possible prior to your entering a plea, which may result in supervised probation being removed as a requirement or reduced in length until you complete the outstanding terms of probation. When you work with our Fierce Advocates™ you will certainly save money on probation and may be able to reduce the length of supervised probation or avoid it all together.
Conclusion on Terms of Probation: we wish we could tell you this list is exhaustive and no other terms of probation will be required; however, we cannot guarantee that fact. What we can guarantee is that, if you decide you want to resolve you felony DUI or first-time DUI case by a plea agreement it is in your interest to work with us and complete terms of probation prior to entering your plea.
You are not obligated to complete any terms of probation prior to resolving your case; however, when you are proactive and complete some or all of the aspects of your probation requirements, it will positively impact the outcome of your DUI case or any criminal case for that matter. Basically, your probation will likely be reduced in duration, the number of terms of probation to be completed, or both when you work with us to be proactive in your DUI case. When the prosecutor sees, you have completed pre-plea multiple terms of probation, the prosecutor is far more likely to give you a more favorable plea agreement.
We use our years of experienced representing clients in felony DUI and first-time DUI cases to identify the prosecutor’s pain point as soon as possible and assist you in getting started on the path to successfully completing your probation requirements before you enter a plea in your DUI case. Completing terms of probation prior to your plea will make your DUI probation less expensive, less time consuming, and allow you to move beyond your DUI and back to your normal life sooner rather than later. You might as well complete the terms, while your case is pending, as they will be required of you after your plea and it will benefit your case in doing so early.
Diversion Programs in DUI: In additional to the option of entering a plea agreement with the prosecution on your DUI case, you may also enter into available diversion programs, if you are eligible. The most common diversion programs that may apply to felony DUI charges are Drug Court and DUI Court. In both of these programs, if accepted, you will participate in more intensive probation; however, upon successful completion of the program, your case will be dismissed.
Diversion programs are often reserved for DUI defendants and defendants with drug charges that would otherwise go to prison. However, if we determine this is the best option in your case, we will do everything possible to get you qualified for the program and seek an agreement to have you admitted to DUI Court or Drug Court. As will all resolutions of your DUI case, we will work with you to ensure you understand every aspect of probation or diversion and be a resource to you during probation and beyond.
Entering your Plea: When or if we are able to obtain a plea agreement in your felony DUI that you are interested in accepting, we will work with you to schedule a date and time that is convenient for you to appear before the Court and enter your plea. There are three pleas available in a criminal case in Oklahoma to resolve your case: guilty plea, no contest plea, and Alford plea. The first two are the most common pleas in a DUI case in Oklahoma.
A Guilty Plea in a DUI case is what you have heard or seen on television. You admit that you committed the acts constituting a DUI, including jurisdiction and the DUI allegation. Then judge in your DUI case may ask you questions about the case or your statements and will only accept the guilty plea in your DUI case, if satisfied that you take responsibility for the acts in your DUI and if those acts are sufficient to support a DUI conviction.
The No Contest Plea or Nolo Contendre Plea in a DUI is less common; however, can have many benefits, if accepted by the prosecution and the Court. You do not admit guilt, but you are accepting the consequences of your DUI case. However, in a no contest plea, you are admitting the prosecution has sufficient evidence that may constitute the DUI offense charged. When the Court accepts a no contest plea in a DUI case, you will not be asked questions about the offense, rather the prosecution will have to speak to the Court to show that they have sufficient evidence to present on your DUI case, if you went to trial. The Court will enter a guilty plea, if a no contest plea is accepted in your DUI.
When a DUI case resulting in death, injury, or damage to property, it is important to seek a no contest plea in your DUI case, as it protects you from the guilty plea being used in a separate civil case or lawsuit related to your criminal DUI case. The no contest plea may be confusing; however, our team is glad to meet with you and explain the process and its meaning.
The Alford Plea in a DUI case is the least common way to resolve a criminal DUI case. The Alford plea is more akin to a no contest plea in a DUI than a guilty plea in a DUI; however, it has one important difference. In an Alford Plea you are in fact maintaining your innocence of the DUI charge, which is a step further than the no contest plea. The Alford plea is typically reserved for individuals that want to resolve their case without facing the consequences of a worse outcome at trial.
Completing DUI Probation: prior to entering your plea, we will meet with you to ensure you understand everything you will have to do to be successful on your DUI probation. We will cover all terms of your DUI probation, which will likely include at least some of the terms identify above. We will stand with you as you enter your plea, the Court will state all the requirements of your DUI probation, which we will ensure are the same as our agreement with the prosecutor. You will never have to speak to the Court or the prosecutor on your DUI case without us present. We stand beside you at all times and between you and the government when needed.
You will have a specific amount of time to complete the specific terms of probation in your case. Our team can assist you or remind you of exactly what needs to be done by when to be successful on your DUI probation. You will have access to ask us questions beyond the resolution of your case. However, the important thing to remember is that the sooner you complete the terms of your probation the better it is for you.
Sentencing in DUI Cases: Whenever you appear before the Court and enter your plea, you will either be sentenced immediately on your DUI or your DUI sentencing will be set off for a period of time. When sentencing in a DUI is set off for a period of time, that is called a deferred sentence. When you are sentenced immediately, but do not go to jail or prison, that is called a suspended sentence.
Deferred Sentence in a DUI: Many of our clients are given the opportunity of a deferred sentence in their DUI case. So long as you complete the terms of your DUI probation prior to the deferment date, we will be able to seek dismissal of your DUI case outright! Once you have completed the terms of your DUI probation, we can seek to have the Court accelerate your sentencing and dismiss the charges at that time, i.e. earlier than the plea agreement in your DUI case. The DUI case against you will be dismissed at the successful conclusion of your deferred sentence, whether we assist you in accelerating the dismissal of your DUI case or not.
The sentencing date is set off or delayed to an exact date when you receive a deferred sentence. In the case of a two-year deferred sentence on a DUI, you must complete all the terms of your DUI probation and avoid any criminal charges for two years. On the two-year anniversary of your DUI plea or specific date your sentence was deferred until, the case will be dismissed on the “sentencing date.”
Additionally, you can seek a DUI expungement to seal the records of your DUI arrest and DUI court records after waiting the statutory time period. The sooner we can resolve your DUI felony case, the sooner you can seek expungement of your DUI and remove all records of the event.
Suspended Sentence in DUI: in very serious DUI cases or multiple time offenders, a suspended sentence may be the best outcome we can achieve for your DUI case. With a suspended sentence, you will receive a conviction for your misdemeanor or felony DUI; however, you will not have to serve jail or prison time on your DUI. A suspended sentence is just what is sounds like, the imposition of the sentence is suspended or delayed, so long as you complete the requirements of your DUI probation.
DUI suspended sentences are easier to understand with an example. For this discussion, assume you receive a two-year suspended sentence on your felony DUI. You will have terms of probation to complete on your felony DUI and you must avoid criminal charges during your probation. Your probation cannot be taken away or revoked, so long as you are successful on probation for the entire two years. However, if you receive new criminal charges or fail to complete the terms of your probation, the prosecution can seek to revoke the suspended sentence and instead have the Court impose your sentence.
Whatever the potential sentence in your DUI case, it is crucial that you work with an experienced DUI defense attorney. The right DUI lawyer will explain all your options, ensure you understand exactly what is required of you on DUI probation, and be a continued source of information and support, if you ever need help. Our team of Fierce Advocates™ is ready to meet with you and answer all your questions about your case and the road ahead in your DUI.
Can a Judge Decide the Outcome of My Felony DUI Case in Oklahoma?
The third and final option in any felony DUI case is to entered a blind plea, where the judge decides the outcome of your DUI. When you have evaluated all options and you know you do not wish to fight your case and you are not satisfied with the plea recommendation by the prosecutor, that is the time to consider the option of a blind plea. The Court has authority to sentence in every case; however, the Court rarely decides the outcome of the case for the parties. However, if you enter a blind plea or naked plea, the parties are giving up their right to a trial without a resolution.
At blind plea sentencing, both parties can present witnesses, evidence, and any other information for the Court consideration in determining sentencing. We will assist you in crafting the most compelling narrative for your sentencing argument and stand with you as Your Fierce Advocate™ to help you achieve the outcome you desire. Blind pleas are scary to all parties, because no one knows the outcome until the judge rules. However, when the prosecution will not waive seeking a conviction or jail time, we have helped many clients achieve a better result by placing the client’s case in the judge’s hands.
Whether you and your family decide to work with us or not, we want you to have as much information and knowledge about the process ahead as possible. We’re glad to meet with you in a zero-pressure strategy session to answer your questions about the process in your DUI case. We will review all the information available in your defense, identify any issues or errors by police and help you identify the best strategies to avoid jail time and a conviction on your DUI case. There is a cost to working with the right DUI defense attorney; however, it is an investment in your future that may assist you financially for years to come by avoiding the blight of a conviction or going to jail.
Your Fierce Advocates™ for Oklahoma DUI Defense Defense: Cannon & Associates
Being arrested and charged with a Felony DUI threatens many important freedoms and privileges we enjoy. Cannon & Associates can help you understand and face this difficult process. We hope this in-depth explanation of your options in your Oklahoma Felony DUI defense have been helpful to you whether you decide to work with us or not.
Our team of Fierce Advocates™ are ready to hear your story and answer all your questions. Contact Cannon & Associates by completing the CONTACT FORM ON THIS PAGE NOW or CALL at 405-657-2323 for a free confidential case strategy session and to have your questions answered about the process ahead.