Many people arrested for DUI have never been in trouble with the law and have no prior criminal record. If you’ve never been the subject of a police investigation or arrested and charged with a crime before, it’s easy to feel frightened, overwhelmed and guilty—even if you are innocent.
Despite these feelings, it is imperative for you to be proactive if you have been charged with DUI. The longer you wait to take action, the less likely it becomes that you will have a favorable resolution to your case.
The first step to take after being arrested for DUI is to contact an attorney who is experienced in defending these cases. While it is important to perform due diligence before hiring an attorney, you need to act quickly. The earlier you hire an experienced DUI defense lawyer, the more time he or she has to investigate the case and prepare a strong defense.
15 Days to Save Your License
In Oklahoma, an arrest for DUI actually triggers two separate cases: criminal and administrative. The administrative case is handled by the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety and deals exclusively with your driving privileges.
Once you have been arrested, you have only 15 days to request an administrative license suspension hearing. If you do not request the hearing within the 15-day window, your license will be automatically suspended for no less than six months and additional ignition interlock (blow and go) time of up to two years on your vehicle. We automatically request the hearing for our clients once they retain us.
Taking the Charge Seriously
Another proactive step to consider is taking a voluntary drug and alcohol assessment. This can go a long way in showing the court that you are taking the charge seriously. Oklahoma law requires an assessment on DUI cases. By being proactive, we are oftentimes able to use that to your advantage.
The assessment will, at a minimum, require a 10-hour ADSAC DUI class and a two-hour Victim Impact Panel (VIP) class. Depending on your history, there could be more requirements like a 24-hour ADSAC course, outpatient treatment, or in-patient treatment if there is a severe problem.
If you contact one of our experienced DUI attorneys in time, we can file the administrative hearing request on your behalf and ensure you meet the 15-day deadline. We can also help you get going with the assessment by providing referrals and advise you on other proactive measures to help ensure the best possible outcome in your case.
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