Have you just been arrested for drunk driving? Don’t give up hope yet. Many people do not realize how many options are available to DUI offenders. Our Oklahoma City DUI attorneys are here to explain the potential consequences you could be facing after a drunk driving arrest and defenses that may be available to you.
POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES OF A DUI
A Criminal Record. Although a DUI is a traffic offense like speeding or reckless driving, it is also a criminal offense. If you are arrested for drunk driving and your charges are not dropped/reduced, then you will be convicted of DUI. This will mean either a misdemeanor or felony offense on your criminal record.
Higher Insurance Rates. While this is not always the case, many people who are arrested for DUI face higher insurance rates if they are convicted. This is because an insurance company will see you as a liability. In some cases, insurance companies might even drop a DUI offender’s policy and they will have to find coverage elsewhere.
Suspended Driver’s License. One of the more inconvenient aspects of a drunk driving offense is the fact that you could lose your right to drive. Your driving privileges are dealt with by the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety (DPS) rather than the criminal court. To contest a suspension, you must request an administrative license hearing. Otherwise, you could lose your right to drive for a few months to over a year.
Fines and Jail Time. If you are convicted of the criminal offense of drunk driving, you will face fines and possible jail time. Many misdemeanor DUI offenders avoid jail time but some judges may sentence an offender to a few hours to up to a year in jail. Fines vary depending on the nature of the offense.
Probation. After a DUI conviction, an offender will have to comply with the conditions of probation. The judge sets these conditions in accordance to the Oklahoma criminal statutes. This could include community service, alcohol education programs, ignition interlock devices and more.
Even though there is the possibility of severe consequences, a DUI charge does not mean that you are guilty. You still have time to secure defense that could be effective in getting your charges dropped or reduced. Listed below are some of the most common defenses.
Chemical tests were inaccurate (ex: improper calibration, driver was not instructed to “keep blowing,” etc.)
Officer did not have probable cause to pull the defendant over.
Driver did have alcohol in his/her system, but not enough to constitute a DUI.
Illegal/improper DUI checkpoint.
DUI PLEA BARGAINS
In some cases, DUI attorneys may not be able to get their client’s charges dismissed completely. However, they may be able to agree to a plea bargain (plea deal) to get the charges reduced or the sentence lessened. One of the most common DUI plea bargains is reckless driving.
Were you arrested for drunk driving? Don’t let a DUI ruin your life. With great defense, you have a shot at beating your charges or securing a reduced charge. Learn more about Atkins & Markoff and how we could help you by calling an Oklahoma City DUI lawyer at our firm today!