What is the difference between a license suspension hearing and a criminal case?
When you are arrested for DUI in Oklahoma, the state will file a criminal case against you, usually in municipal court and the is against your driver’s license. The criminal case is where you face your charges of DUI, a prosecutor is representing the state against you and this is where you have fines and face jail time. A license suspension hearing is handled by the Oklahoma Department of Safety and is a separate case.
The Officer took my license, can I still drive?
Maybe. The officer should hand you a 30-day temporary license if your license was valid and unexpired at that time. This allows you to drive for thirty days from the date the officer gives you the temporary license. Department of Safety will then try to revoke your license and you must request a hearing that is again separate from your criminal case within 15 days of your arrest.
Do I have to consent to a blood alcohol test?
Oklahoma has implied consent. It means that if you are driving on a public road and have a driver’s license, then you consent to a blood alcohol test if an officer believes you are intoxicated. If you refuse the test, then your driver’s license will be suspended. If you refuse a breath or blood test, it is treated as if you had a positive test.
I was arrested, now what?
You will be booked into jail and the bond will be set. You will remain in custody for a sobering-up period. Upon release, you will be informed of the time and location of your first court appearance. Now, hire an attorney.
On the administrative side, you will need to apply for a DPS hearing within 15 days of your arrest to avoid forfeiture of your license. A great attorney will fight for you to be able to retain your license. For a 1st offense DUI-6 months suspension, 2nd Offense DUI-1 year suspension, 3rd offense- DUI- 3-year suspension.
On the criminal side, you will have an initial hearing called an arraignment. The judge will inform you of what you are being charged with and you will enter a not guilty plea at this time. Another hearing will be set, usually within 30 days of the date of the arraignment. At the next hearing, your case will either 1) have a plea bargain, 2) a motion hearing or 3) a trial date set.
Any good attorney will attempt to get a plea deal for your DUI/DWI Charge. Most misdemeanor charges are resolved this way. This is an agreement between the prosecutor and the client that resolves the case without a trial.
Plea Bargaining: An alternative to trial, is your attorney obtaining either a deferred sentence or suspended sentence for you. A deferred sentence means that a judge will defer your matter, you will be on probation, supervised or unsupervised, and complete the negotiated requirements, such as driving class, probation, etc. A suspended sentence is when jail time is suspended, and you will be required to go on probation and complete certain other requirements.
A motion hearing is when the attorney feels there needs to be a ruling by the judge, such as to suppress evidence found by an illegal search. Testimony is taken and the judge will rule on the issue.
A trial will require motions and evidence, before, while at trial you will provide testimony and have testimony from the arresting officer as well.
What is a modified driver’s license?
It is given as an alternative to having an administrative hearing and in this case, you will have an interlock system installed in your vehicle for a period of time instead of having your license suspended. This interlock system will require a breath sample to start the vehicle.
We will assess your situation and help you to make the best decision for your case. We are here to help you maintain your driver’s license and put this bad mistake behind you.