Follow These Steps to Avoid Jail Time
A DUI arrest in Oklahoma can be scary, especially as Oklahoma has some of the strictest DUI laws in the United States. However, just because you were arrested doesn’t mean you don’t have rights. With the right Oklahoma City DUI lawyer, you can fight the DUI charges against you, avoid jail time and prevent further consequences by avoiding the stigma of a DUI conviction or having to serve jail time.
Winning your DUI case and avoiding jail time can be difficult in many DUI cases. You need to understand the important dos and don’ts that affect your case and contribute to the final outcome of your Oklahoma DUI case. Understanding your rights and playing by the rules can effectively lower the barrier against you and improve the chances of walking away without the negative consequences of serving jail time or receiving a DUI conviction.
This article explores the possible penalties of an Oklahoma DUI conviction and how you can avoid jail time after a DUI-related arrest.
Consequences of a DUI Arrest in Oklahoma
The penalties for a DUI arrest in Oklahoma can vary greatly, depending on the circumstances of the case. First, DUI conviction penalties may depend on the defendant’s arrest or conviction history (a repeat DUI offense within ten years of the last sentence is considered a second offense). The penalties may also depend on whether there was a minor onboard, whether there was an accident causing injury or death, the degree of intoxication, etc.
For clarity, DUI offenses in Oklahoma may be punishable by jail time, fines, license revocation, and/or ordered installation of an ignition interlock device (IID). Generally, penalties for DUI offenses in Oklahoma are as follows;
First-time DUI offenders
First-time DUI offenders with no prior history of DUI convictions may face penalties including;
- Jail time of no less than 10 days and up to 1 year
- Up to $1,000 in fines
- Up to 180 days of license revocation
- Up to 18 months of Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installation if the driver refuses to test or tests .15% or above.
Second-time DUI offenders
A second-time DUI offender may face a felony and the resulting potential penalties including;
- Prison time of no less than 1 year and up to 5 years
- Up to $2,500 in fines
- Up to 1 year of license revocation
- Up to 4 years of Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installation
Third-time DUI offenders
A third-time DUI offender will likely be charged with a felony DUI offense, and the following potential penalties:
- Prison time of between 1 and 10 years
- Up to $5,000 in fines
- Up to 3 years of license revocation
- Up to 5 years of ignition interlock device (IID) installation
In Oklahoma, a drunk motorist can be arrested and charged with DUI even without driving the vehicle. The state’s DUI law prohibits drunk or intoxicated persons from operating or being in actual physical control of a vehicle. “Actual Physical Control” or APC in Oklahoma means being in control of the vehicle and does not necessarily require the vehicle to be in operation or even turned on.
How to Avoid Jail Time on DUI Charges
Getting rid of your DUI charges should be your focus, whether you’ve been arrested for being behind the wheel or operating the vehicle while drunk. Below are the most important tips to keep in mind to improve your chances of avoiding a DUI conviction after an arrest.
Exercise your right to remain silent
It is natural to want to explain yourself out of your current situation in hopes of avoiding a DUI arrest. However, it is important to note that your explanations are futile and can do more harm to your case. Explaining yourself to the police officer leaves room for desperation. The arresting officers may also take your explanation, dissect it, and use its content as a testimony against you. It is almost a certainty in today’s technological age that your statements at the scene will be audio recorded and the prosecutor on your DUI case will try to use your own words against you.
An excellent way to improve your chances of beating your possible DUI charges is to exercise your fundamental right to remain silent. By keeping quiet, you protect yourself from offering information that could implicate you or complicate yourself. You also reduce the ammunition the police have against you as they build the DUI case.
After your arrest, request to have your lawyer present and decline further questioning by the law enforcement officers. Your lawyer will be in the best position to assist you on how best to answer questions while keeping your defense case airtight. It is not always in your interest to ever make a statement; however, you should not make that decision without the counsel of an experienced Oklahoma DUI defense attorney.
Remain calm and silent
Stopped at a DUI checkpoint? Cooperate with the law enforcement officers, be nice, and answer only the questions you’re asked. Avoid providing more information than you were asked and comply with directives, even when asked to step out of the car.
Humans are inherently wired for self-preservation. Chances are high that you may want to fight the arrest by struggling to retain your freedom. This can only further aggravate your case and increase the charges against you or increase the chances that you will in fact be charged with a DUI case.
A good way to disarm law enforcement officers is to cooperate with them from when you’re stopped until you’re allowed access to your DUI lawyer after the arrest. You should avoid the urge to explain anything or make the police see reason with you. In many DUI traffic stops and DUI checkpoint cases it is a benefit to your case and may reduce your chances of being charged by remaining silent.
Remember, law enforcement’s decision to arrest you on suspicion of DUI is completely separate from an attorney, likely Assistant District Attorney, deciding whether to file criminal charges for DUI against you or not. Police make difficult decisions in the moment about whether to arrest someone under suspicion of DUI or not; however, prosecutors have the opportunity to look at the events after the fact and decide, if sufficient evidence exists to prosecute. Don’t give them more evidence against you than you have to in your DUI arrest!
It is also important to note that other people in jail aren’t your friends. Avoid explaining your situation to other arrested persons inside the jail you’re held in. Remain calm, request your attorney, and wait until they’ve arrived and advised you on your situation. Additionally, do not talk about your case or your consumption of alcohol on the jail phone. Every call is recorded in the county jails across Oklahoma and prosecutors regularly listen to these phone calls.
Hire an Oklahoma DUI Defense Lawyer
A DUI conviction can mess things up for you now and in the future. It’s always better to fight the charges than appeal the conviction. Ensure that you have an experienced Oklahoma DUI attorney in your corner from the start to the end of the case.
When choosing an attorney, ensure that key areas like experience, track record, and specialty in DUI cases or criminal defense cases are prioritized. An experienced Oklahoma DUI lawyer is recommended over a public defender based on the caseload and attention to detail they offer. Most public defenders have a huge caseload and may not give as much time as required to each case. A private Oklahoma DUI defense attorney, on the other hand, improves your chances of securing a positive outcome, which may be in the form of dropped charges, fines, plea deals, or alternative sentencing.
Speak about your case only to your attorney
It is hard to know who’s on your side during a criminal case, but you can be sure that whatever you discuss with your defense attorney is covered under the attorney-client confidentiality and is privileged information. With this in mind, ensure that you tell everything to your DUI defense attorney and no one else.
Explaining everything you remember from your arrest and jail time to your Oklahoma DUI attorney will help them understand your case better and tell your story. It can be hard for your defense attorney to find out new information in court, it leaves them unprepared to effectively defend you and your DUI case.
Be sure to go over every little detail with your DUI defense attorney or better yet your DUI defense team. It arms them with all the ammunition they need against the element of surprise. It also increases your chances of getting excellent legal representation and a chance to beat your DUI charges.
Commit to improving yourself during the DUI case
An arrest and a threat of criminal conviction can be burdensome. It is important to look at things from the positive side and avoid making mistakes that can further complicate your charges. Your attorney has seen and handled many DUI cases; they know what is good for you and can recommend certain activities to improve your chances of walking away without a conviction and how to avoid jail time on your DUI case.
Some of the recommendations from your Oklahoma DUI defense attorney should include:
- Drug and alcohol assessments
- Alcohol Anonymous (AA) or NA Meetings
- Victim Impact Panel
- Community Service
- Oklahoma Diversion Hub or Diversion Centers
- Inpatient Alcohol and Drug Rehab.
Being proactive in a DUI case can swing the scale in your direction. However, it is important to follow your Oklahoma DUI Defense Lawyer’s lead to ensure a positive outcome.
Gather Character Letters and Letters of Support
Much of your DUI case revolves around how well you and your DUI defense attorney can tell your story and how whether you can convince the jury that you were not driving under the influence of alcohol. You can assist your Oklahoma DUI defense attorney in telling your story by gathering character letters or letters of support from relevant witnesses or your family. Doing this work with your defense attorney makes it easier for your counsel to convince the prosecution to be more reasonable in the outcome of your DUI case.
Gathering a couple of letters that positively endorse you and your character can mean a lot for your DUI case and its outcome. Our DUI Lawyers and the entire criminal defense team, including our investigator will work closely with you to identify those who care about you in the community and guide them with resources on how to draft excellent character letters to support your case for a better future that avoids a conviction or jail time.
We will also combine this with excellent legal help from the start to the end of your case to ensure you enjoy aggressive representation where it matters the most.
Contact – Cannon & Associates: Oklahoma Fierce Advocates for DUI Defendants
Your Fierce Advocates® at Cannon & Associates, have the experience you need to represent you and your loved ones in any Oklahoma DUI offense. We have successfully handled several cases in the past for clients facing every type of DUI offense, from first-offense DUI or APC to vehicular manslaughter DUI or Felony DUI. Contact Cannon & Associates by completing the CONTACT FORM ON THIS PAGE NOW or CALL at 405-883-4427 for a free, confidential case strategy meeting.