What to Expect When Hiring an Oklahoma DUI AttorneyPutnam Law Office
The consequences of a driving under the influence (DUI) charge can be costly, running up to about $10,000, not to mention possible jail time, license suspension, and a damaged reputation in terms of getting hired. These charges can also follow you long after you’ve gone to court and paid your required debt to society.
A DUI charge may lead to increased insurance rates and can bar you from jobs that require you to drive company vehicles. However, with the right Oklahoma City DUI attorney, these consequences may be avoided and allow you to move on with your life.
Stages of a DUI Charge
Step 1: The Arrest
Cops often pull drivers over for a DUI if they catch a glimpse of an opened alcoholic beverage in the car, or if the driver is swerving or engaging in other suspicious behavior. If you are pulled over, the cop will likely ask you for your driver’s license and if you’ve been drinking. If you display signs of intoxication or if the officer suspects you hare, they may have you do a breathalyzer or sobriety test.
If you fail these tests, you will be arrested and moved to a holding cell until you make bail or if a court date is established. These sobriety tests can be highly subjective and are not always accurate. Even you aren’t intoxicated or as intoxicated as the test suggests, you can still be wrongfully charged and held in jail.
Step 2: The Arraignment
After being charged with a DUI, you will be brought into a room where the charges against you will be read. The most important part comes when the judge asks if you would like to hire an attorney. The US Constitution grants everyone a right to an attorney and, in the case of a DUI charge in Oklahoma, it’s in your best interest to hire a qualified DUI attorney. Hiring an attorney can mean a reduced prison sentence or, in some cases, dropped charges.
Finally, the judge will ask if you wish to plead guilty or not guilty. By pleading guilty, you accept responsibility and full ownership for the crime and will receive your punishment immediately. If you plead not guilty, then you will be scheduled a preliminary hearing to contest the charge.
Step 3: Preliminary Hearing
During the preliminary hearing, your attorney will present a defense of why your charges should be reduced or dropped. The state prosecutor may call up witnesses to provide evidence of your DUI. Your lawyer will defend you against the witnesses and state prosecutor by presenting counter evidence. Depending on the specifics in your case, your DUI attorney may argue that the tests were invalid, that the judgment of the arresting officer was incorrect, or that your charges are excessive for the crime. Each case is unique and fighting a DUI charge in Oklahoma requires an experienced knowledge of the law.
Step 4: The Jury Trial
If the case moves forward, then your lawyer will help hand-pick members of the jury, develop alternative explanations to witness testimonies and present closing arguments on your behalf.
Step 5: The Verdict
The jury ultimately determines whether you are guilty or not. Based on this final verdict, you may be free to go or you may face charges for a DUI.
Take Action: Call a DUI Lawyer Today
If you or someone you know was arrested for a DUI, contact the DUI lawyers at the Putnam Law Office. You have the right to an attorney, and we are here to help you get your life back on track. Mr. Putnam is a personal injury lawyer in Oklahoma City, OK who puts clients first and will work with you to obtain fair compensation. Contact us today at (405) 726-1010 for a consultation to discuss your case.