Oklahoma City DUI Attorney
Have you been accused of or arrested for driving while under the influence? We realize being pulled over by law enforcement and going through the process of a DUI arrest can be overwhelming and upsetting. Instead of panicking, you should immediately retain the services of a caring Oklahoma City DUI attorney who can protect your rights. We are committed to giving you and your case the best chance of a positive outcome. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can start fighting on your behalf.
Understanding DUI Charges & Penalties
The most important thing to know about your DUI arrest is that you are under an extreme deadline. Anyone arrested for a DUI risks having their license suspended until the conclusion of the suspension period, meaning it is illegal to drive at all. However, individuals can request a hearing with the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to prevent license suspension. To obtain this hearing, individuals must submit a request within fifteen days of the arrest. An experienced Oklahoma City DUI lawyer can request a hearing, represent you at this hearing, and help you keep your license while the matter is pending.
In addition to possible license suspension, there are other serious penalties for DUI convictions. Law enforcement and prosecutors in the state of Oklahoma take DUI offenses extremely seriously. They do not go easy on people they believe are guilty of this offense regardless of whether or not the accused is a first-time offender. Depending on the nature of the offense you are being charged with and whether you have been arrested for a DUI in the past, you could be facing prison time and extensive fines.
A first time DUI offense is considered a misdemeanor. Convictions could lead to a sentence of up to one year in jail, a fine up to $1,000, alcohol assessments and treatment, and the suspension of your driver’s license. Additional DUI convictions will be considered felonies and result in much longer prison sentences, higher fines, longer license suspensions, and much stricter probationary terms.
The severity of penalties can also increase if the accused was transporting a minor, had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over 0.15, or if innocent people were harmed in an accident caused by alleged drunk driving. Because so many factors can influence penalties, anyone charged with a drunk driving offense will need an experienced DUI lawyer to navigate the maze of contributing factors.
Drunk Driving Charges
There are three drunk driving related charges in Oklahoma:
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI) – Nearly everyone has heard of a DUI. Under Oklahoma law, a person can be charged with a DUI if they are operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.08 of higher. Commercial drivers and drivers under the age of twenty-one have much stricter BAC limits.
- Driving While Impaired (DWI) – Drivers can be charged with a DWI if they appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol that make them unable to operate a motor vehicle safely. This means that even if you do not meet the BAC threshold for a DUI, drivers with a BAC as low as 0.06 or 0.07 can be charged with a DWI.
- Actual Physical Control (APC) – Individuals with a BAC of 0.08 or higher can be charged with an APC if they are in the position to control a motor vehicle. This means individuals could be charged with this crime even if they are not the driver and are just sitting in a car.
Implied Consent In Oklahoma
Oklahoma has “implied consent,” which means when a person gets behind the wheel of a vehicle, they consent to sobriety testing. While refusing to take a sobriety test will result in the confiscation of one’s license and potential license suspension, implied consent does not mean drivers must submit to Breathalyzers or blood tests. Drivers are only required to undergo sobriety testing after a DUI arrest. Any Breathalyzer tests or blood tests administered before an arrest are completely voluntary, and drivers have the legal right to refuse these tests.
Our Past Successes
Criminal attorney Taylor McLawhorn has helped scores of clients with DUI offenses. While any alcohol related offense is important, some result in the death of another individual. For example, one client was charged with Misdemeanor Manslaughter for causing the death of another while driving under the influence of alcohol. In Oklahoma, this charge carries a minimum sentence of four years up to life in the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (with no prior felony convictions). This case occurred in a small county, where a jury trial had not been conducted in nearly 20 years. The client had prior convictions for driving under the influence and had confessed to drinking at the time of the instant offense. The Government sought a sentence of 25 years or more in the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Mr. McLawhorn, after multiple consultations with his client, tried the case before a jury. At the end of the trial, the client was found guilty, but only sentenced to the minimum term required by law of four years in the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.
How Taylor McLawhorn Can Help
The entire legal team is committed to fighting DUI charges. We understand how a DUI conviction could haunt your life, so we work to mitigate the effects of a DUI arrest as much as possible. When you contact us, Taylor McLawhorn will begin protecting your rights and building the strongest case possible. If you have been arrested for a DUI, DWI, or APC, contact us today and schedule an appointment with our experienced Oklahoma City DUI attorney.