In most cases, a first-time DUI offender in Oklahoma will be charged with misdemeanor DUI or APC. A misdemeanor charge is not as severe as a felony; however, you may still face penalties for a misdemeanor DUI conviction.
Generally, all first time DUI arrests in Oklahoma start out as misdemeanors. However, there are several ways to enhance DUI charges to felonies. If you are arrested for DUI and have a minor in the car, then you can be charged with DUI and felony Child Endangerment. If there is an accident involved, you can be charged with Felony DUI resulting in Great Bodily Injury.
If you have had a prior DUI, your case may be a felony. In order for your DUI to be enhanced to a felony DUI, your prior DUI must have been from a court of record and be within the look back period.
Whether you refused to take the test or you took the test and had a high BAC level, this has no bearing on whether you can be charged with a misdemeanor or felony. A BAC .15 or higher may result in an Aggravated DUI charge, but this does not change the charge to a felony unless it meets the other requirements outlined in this section.
The penalties for a misdemeanor DUI depend on a number of factors. First, whether your case is filed in municipal (city) court or state district court will determine the severity of punishments, as cases filed in state court usually incur stiffer penalties than those filed in municipal court.
Oklahoma DUI misdemeanors carry a fine of up to $1000.00 and jail time of at least 10 days but not more than one year in the county jail. The sentence can be deferred resulting in no conviction or the jail time can be suspended. Although DUI is a serious charge, most people will not be required to do any jail time on a first-time misdemeanor DUI offense.
If you are charged in a municipality (city) court, then the fines will generally be lower. If it is your first offense, it is generally possible to have the charge reduced or dismissed after certain requirements are met. If your charge is in Oklahoma City Municipal Court, the charge carries up to a $1200.00 fine and up to 180 days. If the charge is not able to be beat at trial or dismissed through motions, generally a person will pay fine and receive 180 days supervised probation and upon successful completion, the DUI is reduced or dismissed. Oklahoma City Municipal Court is a court of record so charges there can be used to enhance to a felony if arrested for DUI again.
Every DUI case, whether misdemeanor or felony, consists of two separate actions. One is a criminal charge, which is heard in a court and decided by a judge or jury. The other is a civil action against your driver’s license. This action is carried out by the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety (DPS)—the same agency that issues driver’s licenses—and is decided in an administrative hearing.
Although you are entitled to this administrative hearing, Oklahoma state law dictates that you only have 30 days from the time of your arrest to contact DPS and request the hearing. If you fail to request the hearing within 30 days, you will forfeit your chance to have the hearing and your license will be automatically revoked on the 30th day for a period of no less than six months.
It is imperative that you contact the DPS immediately after being charged with DUI. If the hearing is not requested, not even a lawyer will be able to help you overturn your license revocation.
If you have been charged with DUI in Oklahoma City, call the Hunsucker Legal Group. Our staff of knowledgeable and experienced attorneys can help defend your driving privileges at the DPS hearing and will fight on your behalf at the criminal court trial. If you contact us within 30 days of your arrest, we can arrange the DPS administrative hearing on your behalf.
Call the Hunsucker Legal Group at 405-231-5600 to schedule a free, no-risk case consultation today.
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