The DA or District Attorney has three years to file charges on a DUI in Oklahoma. The concept that limits the amount of time prosecutors can file criminal charges in Oklahoma state court following an alleged crime is called the statute of limitations. Different criminal offenses in Oklahoma carry different statutes of limitations. 

Free Resources from OKC DUI Lawyers and Your Fierce Advocates®: 

Our team of Your Fierce Advocates® at Cannon & Associates is led by our founder and Army veteran, John Cannon. We are privileged to defend clients facing OKC DUI charges, Edmond DUI charges, and DUI charges across Oklahoma. We also fight for client’s driving privileges following arrest for DUI across Oklahoma. Find FREE RESOURCES on our YouTube page and our website, until we meet to answer your specific questions about your DUI case, including the statute of limitations for your DUI case. You may also CALL NOW at (405) 972-8604, 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week for a free case planning session! 

Why does DUI have a Statute of Limitations?

Statutes of limitations, including DUI statute of limitations, protect the public from there being no end to the possibility of being prosecuted for an alleged crime. It is inherently unfair for an individual to be arrested and released for a DUI allegation and not be charged with the offense for five or even ten years.

When there is a significant delay between an arrest for DUI and criminal DUI charges, it makes it difficult for a DUI defendant to fight their case. You will likely not remember important details from the event leading to your DUI arrest. Additionally, evidence, such as the dash camera footage of your DUI stop may have been destroyed or recorded over in the arresting officer’s patrol vehicle. The lab results of your blood test, following a DUI blood draw may have been destroyed, which prohibits you or your OKC DUI lawyer from testing your blood by an independent lab. Further, the breathalyzer machine used for your blood alcohol test, if you performed a breathalyzer may no longer be in use and/or it may not be possible to obtain the calibration records or other information on your DUI case. 

The prosecutor on your DUI case relies on evidence provided by police following your DUI arrest to making a charging decision and prosecute your Oklahoma DUI case. Conversely, our Fierce Advocates® at Cannon & Associates conduct our own investigation, including potentially independent tests and review of the government’s evidence to defend your DUI case in Oklahoma. 

What is the burden of proof in my DUI case?

The burden is on the prosecution in your DUI case. In order for you to be convicted, the prosecution must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to a unanimous jury. Your Fierce Advocates® and OKC DUI lawyers will hold the government to its burden and also present your own case for your innocence, if you want to fight your Oklahoma DUI case. 

In addition to the highest burden in our legal system, beyond a reasonable doubt, being applied in your DUI case, the government must also give you a fair opportunity to present your own defense, your own case against your DUI charges. Therefore, it is only fair that the prosecution be limited in time as to when they can prosecute you, so that you can build your Oklahoma DUI defense case. 

The experienced OKC DUI lawyers at Cannon & Associates, along with our investigator, use years of experience and our detailed process to evaluate the best course of action for your Oklahoma DUI defense and fight your case, if do not want to enter a plea in your DUI case.

What happens after the Statute of Limitations runs in my Oklahoma DUI Case?

You can no longer be prosecuted for your Oklahoma DUI allegation once three years has passed since your DUI arrest or the event that led law enforcement to suspect you of a DUI or APC offense in Oklahoma. The state of limitations for DUI in Oklahoma prohibits prosecutors from filing charges against anyone in Oklahoma for a DUI or APC charge, if three years have passed since the alleged DUI or APC offense.

Despite this very clear law, prosecutors sometimes make mistakes and file criminal charges for DUI in Oklahoma beyond three years after the alleged DUI offense. The court will typically not dismiss your Oklahoma DUI case on its own, even if the statute of limitations has run. Therefore, it is important to work with an experienced OKC DUI lawyer to fight for dismissal of your DUI case, if the statute of limitations has run. 

How can my DUI attorney know, if the statute of limitations has expired?

Whenever our OKC DUI attorneys begin working on any criminal case, including an APC or DUI, they will obtain all the discovery, including dash camera footage and police reports. Our investigator will obtain the police reports and records directly from law enforcement through the Open Records Act and/or a subpoena. Additionally, we will obtain discovery from the prosecution office handling your DUI case. 

Your Fierce Advocates® at Cannon & Associates will review all the available evidence and determine what evidence exists to support when the event leading to your DUI case took place, i.e. date and time stamps on police reports or dash camera footage. Our OKC DUI attorneys will seek the prosecution’s agreement to dismiss your DUI case, if it is in violation of the statute of limitations. Our OKC DUI attorneys will file a motion to dismiss your case and fight for dismissal at a hearing in court, if the prosecution refuses to dismiss your case. 

What happens if my DUI case was filed right after the event, but prosecution did not happen until years later?

When the prosecution is successful in filing your Oklahoma DUI case in court within the statute of limitations for a DUI in Oklahoma the case will initially continue. However, your OKC DUI lawyer may be able to have your old DUI case dismissed, if the prosecution fails to bring you to court or prosecute your DUI case for years. You have speedy trial rights and the prosecution has a duty to prosecute your DUI case in a timely manner. The DA’s “failure to prosecute” your DUI case may be the basis for dismissal of your DUI case; however, this circumstance is a closer call for the judge over your Oklahoma DUI case than a statute of limitations issue. 

Basically, the prosecution has the only burden in any criminal case in Oklahoma, including a DUI. Part of the prosecution’s burden is to resolve or actively prosecute each case. When the prosecutor fails to have your case resolved or bring you to court for your DUI, it may result in dismissal of your DUI for failure to prosecute by the District Attorney. However, if the prosecution can prove to the judge over your DUI case that you willfully failed to come before the Court, i.e. avoided prosecution, then you will not be able to have your DUI case dismissed for failure to prosecute. 

This is a complex issue, both factually and legally, it is vital that you work with an experienced OKC DUI attorney, if you realize you have an old DUI case pending. Otherwise, the prosecution may seek an even harsher punishment, including jail time and/or a conviction for an old DUI case. Our DUI defense team will do everything in our power to obtain the best outcome for you in your DUI case, including dismissal of all charges if possible.


The Fierce Advocates® at Cannon & Associates, have the experience you need to represent you or your loved ones in any Oklahoma DUI offense. We have successfully handled hundreds of cases in the past for clients facing every type of DUI offense and the risk of losing your job or professional license following a DUI arrest in Oklahoma. 

Contact Cannon & Associates by completing the CONTACT FORM ON THIS PAGE NOW or CALL 405-883-4427 for a free confidential case strategy meeting and to have your questions answered about your Oklahoma DUI and how the Oklahoma DUI statute of limitations impacts your case.