When you get charged with a DUI, you aren’t immediately convicted. You still have a chance to fight your charges in court. Contact a drunk driving lawyer in Oklahoma City today to begin building a strong defense.
When you see blue and red lights pull up behind you on the road, it can be a terrifying experience. Being charged with a DUI is probably one of your worst nightmares, but you can remain calm because being charged with a DUI doesn’t mean you’re convicted of a crime. If you hire an experienced attorney to defend you in court, there’s a chance your charges can be reduced or dismissed.
If you don’t fight your charges in court, the consequences of having a criminal misdemeanor or felony conviction on your record can be significant. Not only can it be hard to get a job and rent housing with a tarnished record, but the world will forever see you as a criminal and make assumptions about your character. Oftentimes, you won’t get the opportunity to explain what exactly happened.
At Talley Turner Bertman, we know that people make mistakes, and it can be easy to get charged with a DUI even when the situation may not have warranted such a charge. An Oklahoma City DUI lawyer can support you through the legal process and ensure that you have a strong defense to fight the prosecution.
Oklahoma City DUI penalties can vary depending on the charge you’ve been given. Unlike other states, which have classes of misdemeanors and felonies to show how severe the crime is, Oklahoma simply uses lengths in jail and prison time and varying fine amounts to show severity. For example, a first-offense DUI is a misdemeanor, which can include ten days to one year in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.
A second-offense DUI can increase the charge to a felony, and other factors can also make a first-time offense more severe. For instance, if you caused a car wreck while driving under the influence and people were injured, or if a minor was in the vehicle with you, your first-time offense could be a felony.
First-time felony offenders will serve a minimum of one to five years in prison and will pay up to $2,500 in fines.
Oklahoma has the Oklahoma Implied Consent Law, which states that before any DUI testing is done on the scene, the police officer must explain that they’re requesting to do a breath or blood test on you, and while you’re allowed to refuse the testing, doing so will automatically revoke your driver’s license.
It’s up to you whether or not you choose to take the breath or blood test on the scene, but if you know you’re going to blow higher than a 0.08 on the breathalyzer, consider your decision carefully. Blowing a 0.08 will immediately give grounds to charge you. If you do take the breathalyzer, you might also consider requesting an additional blood test immediately, as the blood test is much more accurate.
Sobriety tests are also common when getting pulled over and can include basic tasks such as following a pen with your eye, walking heel-to-toe in a straight line, and standing on one foot. None of these tests are required, and you should never feel forced to participate in such tests. Even a sober person can fail these tests, and they can cause you to be wrongfully charged with a DUI.
One of the most important things to note is that, in the state of Oklahoma, if you get arrested for a DUI, the police officer will hand you a warning saying your license will be revoked in thirty days. You only have fifteen days from when you were arrested to appeal this suspension; otherwise, your license will be revoked, without exception.
It’s essential that you get in touch with an Oklahoma City DUI attorney within these fifteen days or else you may not have a chance to get your license back for an extended period.
Hiring a DUI lawyer will be essential to building a strong case in your defense. If you’re determined to get your drunk driving charges reduced or dismissed, key strategies will need to be put in place to show the judge or jury that you were innocent or made a serious mistake. Some of the strategies your lawyer may use include challenging the breath or blood test findings, because these can oftentimes be inaccurate.
Your attorney may also do a deep investigation of the police procedures in your arrest and make sure the officers followed policy in every way possible. If any errors can be pinpointed, this can be used against the prosecution and in your favor.
While you may be hesitant to fight your DUI charges in court, it can save you from years of distress knowing a conviction is on your record. The criminal court system can be intimidating when you aren’t familiar with the legal process, but we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions below in order to ease your concerns.
If you have any further questions regarding the details of your Oklahoma City case, you can reach out for a no-obligation consultation and we’d be happy to help in any way we can.
The police officer should read you your Miranda rights when you get arrested. You have the right to remain silent, because anything you say can be used against you in court. You also have the right to hire a lawyer, or if you want, one can be appointed for you. You don’t have to answer any police questions that you don’t want to answer.
A DWI is a lesser charge in the state of Oklahoma than a DUI. Adults over the age of twenty-one may be charged with a DWI (driving while intoxicated) if they’re caught driving under the influence when their blood alcohol content is below 0.08, while a DUI (driving under the influence) is used when a blood alcohol content level is above 0.08, which is the legal limit for DUIs.
You’re never required to hire a lawyer, but it’s a wise decision to hire a lawyer even if you’re charged with a DUI misdemeanor because a misdemeanor can remain on your record the same way a felony can. While a misdemeanor holds lesser penalties than a felony, you can still be seen as a criminal by both the law and the rest of society.
It’s important not to panic when you get charged with a DUI, because the outcome is not yet determined. While being arrested can be a scary experience, hiring a lawyer to prevent a conviction is the smartest thing you can do. At Talley Turner Bertman, we’ll come up with every strategy possible to help reduce or dismiss your charges. You can rest assured that you’re in good hands.
If you want to speak to an Oklahoma City DUI lawyer about your case in more detail, contact us for a free consultation by calling 405-254-8548 or filling out the contact form below.
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