Question: In Oklahoma, is it possible to be found not guilty of drunk driving in the criminal case but still have my license suspended or revoked administratively?
Answer: What actually takes place is, the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety gets essentially two stabs at your license. They can either take a license through a criminal conviction on the criminal side, and I stress the word conviction because oftentimes somebody in their criminal case can get a deferred sentence, which is not considered a conviction, and so they don’t get revoked on the criminal side. But if somebody does get a conviction, DPS can take their license that way.
The other way is that they can take it through an administrative revocation if, when the person’s arrested, the police officer will send in the paperwork and if you request the administrative hearing—or even if you don’t request it—DPS can take your driving privileges away through the administrative side. But they can’t do it through both. So, meaning if you get a criminal conviction, they can’t revoke you criminally and also administratively. It’s just one or the other. So it’s possible to have somebody found not guilty or they get a deferred on the criminal side and DPS end up revoking them through the administrative side, and vice versa.
Let’s say somebody ends up having their administrative hearing and they win it for whatever reason, and then they end up getting a conviction on the criminal side, and DPS will revoke their driving privilege because of the criminal conviction. So, long and short of it, they can get you two ways, but they can’t get you for both—just one or the other.
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