If you have been arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence or Driving While Impaired in Oklahoma, you more than likely have a lot of questions.
Our Oklahoma City DWI lawyers at Putnam Law Offices have put together this guide to answer some of the questions you may have. If you still have questions, contact our law firm to schedule a free case review with our lawyers.
General Questions about DUI and DWI
There are typically some common questions that are asked by people who have been arrested for either DUI or DWI in the Oklahoma City area. Some of these include:
Although most people use DUI and DWI interchangeably, there are a few key differences between the two charges.
A person is determined to be driving under the influence (DUI) when they have a blood alcohol content (BAC) level that is 0.08% or higher.
A person is determined to be driving while impaired (DWI) if they have a BAC that is around 0.06% and 0.07%.
Under Oklahoma law, a person is presumed to be under the influence of alcohol if they have a BAC that registers at or above 0.08%. This means that the court does not need to further demonstrate that you were suffering from any physical impairments. So long as the prosecution is able to show that your chemical BAC test was inerrant, it is enough evidence for a conviction.
If your BAC was determined to be 0.06% or 0.07%, there is no presumption that you were intoxicated. For this reason, the prosecution must be able to present adequate evidence that indicates that you were not able to safely operate your vehicle due to being impaired by alcohol. In some cases, this includes statements from the arresting officer.
In Oklahoma, implied consent means that if you are driving a vehicle on any public roadway, you consent to a blood alcohol test. If you refuse to take a test, your driver’s license will be suspended immediately.
The only time that a driver can refuse to take a test is when the accident results in great bodily harm or death to at least one person involved. If this occurs, the statute requires an automatic blood test to be ordered and performed.
If you refuse to take either a breathalyzer or a blood test, you will be treated as if you had a positive test result. The officer will take your driver’s license and issue an Officer’s Affidavit to you at the scene. This indicates that you refused to take the test and you will be reported to the Department of Public Safety.
Within 30-days, your license will be suspended for at least six months unless you request a hearing from DPS.
Refusing to take a test will ensure that you are treated as if you are over the legal limit even if you were not at the time you were stopped. It is better to take the breath test and, if necessary, request to have a blood test performed at your own cost.
You do not have the right to consult with an attorney before deciding if you are going to take the state’s tests. This is generally explained to drivers when they are read the implied consent law before asking whether or not they are willing to take the test. Furthermore, there are instances where consent is not needed for a test, including incidents that result in serious bodily injury or death.
Under implied consent laws in Oklahoma, an officer is not able to perform any type of testing on a driver without having read the implied consent laws and received some type of response, either verbal or non-verbal.
You have a right to indicate whether or not you are going to take the test. If a person is not conscious, they are not able to provide consent or refuse the test.
The exception to this rule is that if an accident results in death or great bodily injury, an automatic blood draw occurs by law.
There are specific laws in Oklahoma that refer to DUI accidents that result in great bodily injury. In general, these incidents can result in felony charges that result in up to 20-years in prison for offenders.
If a person loses their life as a result of a drunk driving accident, the drunk driver can be charged with manslaughter. This charge carries a sentence of up to life in prison upon conviction. If you are facing these charges, you should seek the assistance of a DUI accident lawyer in Oklahoma City immediately.
If you are sitting behind the wheel of a parked vehicle while intoxicated, you can still be charged with DUI. For example, if you are found in the vehicle with the keys in the ignition or with your hand on the wheel, even if you are not driving, you can still be charged with Actual Physical Control (APC).
An APC conviction can result in penalties that are equal to those imposed for a DUI. Seeking the assistance of a skilled DUI law firm in Oklahoma County can make a difference in your ability to fight these charges.
Questions about DWI in Oklahoma City
If you have been arrested for DWI, you most likely have a lot of questions regarding what is going to happen moving forward. Here are some of the most common questions our Oklahoma DWI lawyers hear from our clients.
A DWI conviction is considered a lesser offense in comparison to a DUI. A person who is deemed guilty of DWI could face fines up to $500 and/or up to six months in jail.
You could also have your driver’s privileges suspended as well. The duration of the suspension will be determined by how many times you have been charged with DWI. Generally, the time is:
- Up to 30 days for your first offense
- Up to six months for your second offense
- Up to one year for your third offense
- Up to one year per offense after your third offense
Yes. A person who is convicted of a DWI will have their driver’s license suspended for the above-mentioned time. However, simply being arrested for a DUI results in the immediate suspension of driving privileges.
Questions about DUI
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, it is important that you are familiar with your rights and obligations. Here are answers to some of the most common DUI-related questions asked by people in Oklahoma.
There are various penalties that people convicted of DUI are going to face. As a first-time offender, you will be charged with a misdemeanor offense in state court. This can carry a sentence of at least 10-days in jail or up to one year in county jail. A misdemeanor DUI charge can result in up to $1,000 fines as well and the offender will have to participate in an assessment and evaluation and follow all of the court-ordered recommendations.
If you are charged with a second DUI within a 10-year period, your DUI will result in felony charges. A felony charge can be enhanced, even if you work out a plea deal for the misdemeanor that resulted in probation without a conviction.
A first-time felony DUI charge can result in 1-year to 5-years in prison. A second felony DUI within a 10-year period can result in a prison sentence between 1-year and 10-years. A third felony DUI charge will result in one to 20-years in the Department of Corrections.
In Oklahoma, no police officer is able to arrest you for a misdemeanor unless that misdemeanor occurs while the officer is present. One exception to this rule is when a person is involved in a car accident where DUI is suspected. As a suspected-impaired driver, you can be placed under arrest if the officer believes that your accident was a result of driving under the influence.
When an officer arrives at the scene, they are going to conduct an investigation just as they would for any accident. The officer is going to look for typical signs of intoxication. However, they may or may not perform roadside tests. The officer will then gather evidence from the scene until they have probable cause to make a DUI arrest.
You never want to rush to plead guilty to DUI. Instead, find an Oklahoma City DUI lawyer who can advise you on your rights moving forward. If you want to resolve your case with a plea agreement, a skilled legal team can try to negotiate a deal that is going to work better for you than what you are being offered by the prosecutor.
There are instances where attorneys have some leeway with regard to negotiating your penalties. For this reason, it can have negative consequences for you to accept the first deal presented to you.
Furthermore, there may have been something that the police officer did wrong that you can use as a defense to beat your DUI case. The knowledgeable DUI lawyers at Putnam Law Offices are experienced in handling some of the most complex DUI Cases in Oklahoma City and across the entire state. Rather than moving forward with a plea deal, let our team review the circumstances surrounding your arrest and build the strongest case possible to have your charges dropped or reduced.
It is important that you understand that you always have a right to remain silent and you should never provide any statements to the police. Miranda Rights are specific to in-custody interrogations that are performed by law enforcement. Therefore, if you are in custody, the officer is required to explain your rights to you and to ask you if you want to waive your rights.
If the officer fails to read you your Miranda Rights, then anything you say to them can be used as evidence against you. It is in your best interest to tell the officer that you do not want to provide any statements without first speaking to an attorney.
After being charged with a DUI offense, seeking counseling or going to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings can help you. Clients are encouraged to begin treatment before going to their first court date.
Going to treatment gives your attorney something to take to the prosecutor while arguing about why you deserve a lesser charge or to have your charges dropped. Attending meetings and receiving counseling can help gain a better position to negotiate a better outcome for your case.
The actual medical and dental insurance premiums for the child are allocated between both parents in the same manner as the adjusted gross income. The amounts are then added to the base child support obligation.
If both parents come to an agreement for an amount to be paid for support, they can create an order that is different from the guideline calculation. It should be noted that the order can be changed at any time by either parent once the order is entered.
Whether you are going through a divorce or dealing with another family law matter, our Oklahoma City law firm can help you handle even the most complex legal case. Our lawyers are committed to providing our clients with the utmost confidence that their cases are being handled in a manner that reflects their own best interests.
Putnam Law Offices Can Help You
If you are facing either DUI or DWI charges, it is important that you know that you do not need to move forward alone. Our experienced Oklahoma City DUI lawyers at Putnam Law Offices can help you fight your charges and have them thrown out or reduced.
Our lawyers have in-depth knowledge of DUI laws in Oklahoma and extensive experience helping people beat convictions. Our law firm offers case consultations so we can discuss your charges and your case whenever it is convenient to you. Contact our Oklahoma DUI law firm by calling (405) 849-9149 to get started on your case.