Can I Get Out of a DUI in Oklahoma?
Driving under the influence is a dangerous criminal offense in Oklahoma. If convicted, you can face serious consequences, including jail time, license suspension, fines, and a criminal record. Because DUI arrests happen when a person is caught driving under the influence or driving while impaired, many people believe they cannot escape a DUI conviction.
However, with the backing of an experienced DUI attorney in Oklahoma, it may be possible to get out of a DUI, even if you were arrested while driving over the legal limit. At Cannon & Associates, we have a deep understanding of DUI laws in Oklahoma, and we can help build a powerful defense to help get your DUI case dismissed. Our team of Fierce Advocates will do everything in their power to ensure that your best interests are protected and that you receive a positive outcome in your case.
Our criminal defense law firm boasts a diverse team of lawyers, including Judge Advocates, former prosecutors, and highly experienced criminal defense lawyers who will investigate your case, advise you on your rights, and work to get your DUI charges dismissed. The attorneys at our law firm have won multiple awards and recognitions for their hard work defending Oklahoman citizens. When you hire us as your legal representatives, you know you are dealing with the best.
Call us today to schedule a free consultation at 405-591-3935.
Oklahoma DUI Laws
Under Oklahoma law, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is strictly prohibited, and can result in a Driving Under the Influence (DUI), Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), or Actual Physical Control (APC) charge. The law provides that drivers cannot operate a motor vehicle under any of the following conditions:
- With a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher.
- With any trace of a controlled substance or illegal drug in their system, including prescription drugs.
- With an amount of alcohol or drugs in their system that prevents them from safely driving a motor vehicle.
A DUI charge will apply when a person is driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher. If their BAC was lower than 0.08%, however, a police officer deems them unable to operate a vehicle safely, they will be charged with a DWI.
In relation to drugs, it is important to know that you can be arrested for a DUI for driving under the influence of prescription drugs, even if you have a valid prescription. If an officer decides you are incapable of safely driving or believes that your driving poses a risk to public safety, they may arrest you for a DUI or DWI.
Actual Physical Control
In Oklahoma, a person does not have to be operating a vehicle to receive criminal charges. It is illegal to both operate and be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. As such, if you are found in control of your vehicle, without operating it, while under the influence, you could face criminal penalties.
For example, if you are sitting in your car with your keys in your pocket waiting to sober up before you drive, a police officer can still charge you with a DUI or APC charge.
Penalties For a DUI Conviction
The penalties for DUI convictions in Oklahoma can be quite severe. The consequences of a conviction will depend on several circumstances, including your blood alcohol level at the time of your arrest, whether it was your first DUI conviction, whether it is a misdemeanor or felony, and some other aggravating factors. There are certain sentencing guidelines in place that dictate minimum sentences and offer Judges a guideline on how to sentence you.
Driving While Impaired (DWI) and first-time DUI offenses are charged as misdemeanors. If there were any aggravating factors, or if your blood alcohol content was higher than 0.15%, the charge will increase to an aggravated DUI. An aggravated DUI does not elevate the charge to a felony. However, you will receive harsher penalties.
Misdemeanors are less serious than a felony DUI however, the charge carries the following penalties:
- Maximum jail time of one year.
- Maximum fines of $1,000.
- License revocation period of six months.
- Installation of an ignition interlock device.
Following a DUI arrest, you are required to request an administrative hearing with the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety (DPS) to reinstate your driver’s license. If you fail to request a hearing, your license will be automatically suspended.
Felony DUI Conviction
If you commit a second offense or more within ten years, you may receive a felony DUI conviction. As a felony criminal charge is more serious than a misdemeanor, the penalties you receive will be far more severe. These penalties could include:
- Jail time from one to twenty years.
- Maximum fines of $5,000
- Installation of an ignition interlock device on your steering wheel
- Revocation of your driving privileges for over three years
- Community service
- Mandatory attendance in a drug and alcohol program
Besides the harsh penalties of a felony conviction, you will receive a permanent criminal record, which can severely affect your future opportunities and make it more difficult to apply for jobs, education, loans, public housing, and much more. If you are facing criminal charges for a felony driving under the influence charge, contact an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible.
Do I Have To Take a Breath Test When Pulled Over?
Many Oklahoman citizens panic when they get pulled over by a police officer while driving. They may decide to refuse a breath test or not take part in field sobriety tests, out of fear that they will be arrested for a DUI. However, implied consent laws in Oklahoma require drivers to take a blood or breath test when pulled over by an officer on suspicion of driving under the influence. Refusal to take this test can cause your license to be revoked and further penalties upon conviction.
Although an officer cannot force you to take the test, we recommend you adhere to requests by police officers, even if you believe you are under the influence. It can be much more difficult to get an Oklahoma DUI case dismissed when an individual refused to take an alcohol test.
Can I Get Out of a DUI in Oklahoma?
Although Oklahoma DUI cases are more difficult to get dismissed, it is possible with the help of a talented lawyer. If you have been arrested for a DUI charge, it is important to not plead guilty straight away. There may be several faults in the case that would render the charge illegal or result in your case getting dismissed, such as corrupted evidence or police misconduct. An attorney can help get your charges thrown out by filing motions or negotiating with the prosecution.
If this is your first DUI charge, and you have no criminal history, an attorney can try to get a deferred sentence for your case. This means that your case will be essentially put on hold for a certain amount of time and if you do not commit any further offenses during this period, your case will get dismissed. Your lawyer must petition the prosecutor and Judge for a deferred sentence on your behalf. This way, you can get out of a DUI conviction if you do not commit further offenses.
The other option is to get your criminal charges reduced from a DUI to a lesser charge, such as reckless driving or driving while impaired. To get a reduced charge, your lawyer must negotiate with the prosecutor and try to arrange a fair plea agreement. This usually means pleading guilty to a criminal charge to receive a less severe sentence and avoid a criminal trial.
Defenses For DUI Cases in Oklahoma
The most effective way to avoid a DUI in Oklahoma is to hire an experienced attorney that can build a strong criminal defense on your behalf. When negotiating to get your charges dropped or the case dismissed, they will need to submit evidence or proof that your case is legally unsound.
Some defense strategies a lawyer could use include:
- Lack of probable cause for your arrest
- Inaccurate blood, breath, or field sobriety test
- Police violated your constitutional rights, including an improper search of your vehicle
- Unconstitutional DUI stop
- The police officer did not read you your Miranda rights before arresting you
- You refused to give a BAC test for personal reasons and not because you were under the influence
Your lawyer will come up with a defense strategy that rests on the circumstances of your case. The only way to avoid DUI convictions, ensure that you do not lose your driver’s license, and end up in Oklahoma jail, is with a robust defense. They will use this defense strategy to get your case dismissed in a state court or your sentence deferred.
Contact a DUI Defense Attorney at Cannon & Associates Today!
Oklahoman authorities crack down on those who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you are convicted of a DUI, the consequences can be severe. You could end up with a lengthy jail sentence, huge fines, a suspended driver’s license, and a permanent criminal record. The only way to get out of a DUI in Oklahoma is by hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney.
At Cannon & Associates, we have been helping clients fight against DUI charges for many years. Our lawyers are highly skilled at building strong criminal defenses to get charges dropped and cases dismissed. We understand the severe consequences of a permanent criminal record, and we want to help protect your future by fitting aggressively on your behalf.
Our policy of Fierce Advocacy means that we give effective personal attention to each case and ensure that we explore every potential avenue to prevent a criminal conviction. When coming up against Oklahoma DUI cases, it is important to have fierce representation.
Contact Cannon & Associates at 405-591-3935 to schedule a free consultation.
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