Nobody gets behind the wheel intending to get a DUI. Maybe your drinks snuck up on you. Maybe you were more intoxicated than you thought. Whatever the reason, you wound up seeing flashing lights behind you and the next thing you knew you were in the backseat of a squad car.
Being charged with a DUI is a frightening experience, especially if it is your first one. You’re left with a lot of questions. Try to relax, though, these are a few of the most important things a person needs to know after getting a DUI.
How this can affect your record
If you are convicted, you will have a DUI on your criminal and driving records. You will also have to suffer the legal consequences associated with the DUI. Plus, in most cases the mark on your driving record will drive up your insurance by over a time and a half, usually for several years. The addition to your criminal record will be visible to any background checks done by employers, higher education and other inquiring parties.
What the repercussions can be
A first time DUI in Oklahoma is considered a misdemeanor, but that’s not an invitation to take it lightly. If convicted, you could face:
- Up to one year of jail time
- Fines of up to $1000
- Alcohol treatment or other interventions
- License revocation for six months or an ignition lock
The judge will have the final say of what penalties are administered, but these are a guideline of what comes with a conviction.
There is always a defense
This all may seem bleak, but don’t let yourself be discouraged. Even when the evidence looks bad, there is always hope. Working with an experienced attorney is the best way to advocate for yourself. They will look at the details of your situation and craft the best defense possible given the facts.
There are several strategies used by DUI attorneys to defend their client’s rights, including:
- The nature of the initial stop – If you were pulled over without sufficient probable cause your case may be thrown out.
- Tests are inaccurate – Breathalyzers are regularly improperly calibrated and field tests’ accuracy are often questionable.
- Improper police action – The officer may have acted improperly or mishandled evidence in some way.
- Rising BAC – Alcohol takes time to be absorbed. It may have been the case that you were under the limit while driving but went over the limit during the stop.
Each situation is different, but these are among the most common strategies an attorney might consider when looking at a client’s case.
Receiving undue punishment is something nobody should have to endure. Advocate for yourself and your rights, and don’t give up hope if you’re facing DUI charges.