If you are facing a charge of driving under the influence (DUI) in Oklahoma, you probably have a lot of questions. You may be wondering what the charges against you mean and what to expect going forward. The experienced DUI defense attorneys at the Worden Law Firm know a DUI arrest is stressful and confusing. Contact them today to set up your free consultation. Below are some of the most common questions clients have about the DUI process in Oklahoma.
What is the difference between DUI and DWI in Oklahoma?
While some states use the terms DUI and DWI interchangeably, Oklahoma law distinguishes between the two. DUI stands for driving under the influence, which is similar to DUI charges in other states. DUI is the operating of a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or more.
DWI stands for driving while impaired. A less-severe offense compared to DUI, you can be found guilty if you operate a vehicle with BAC of between .051 and .079.
What is the difference between a license suspension hearing and a criminal case?
When you are arrested for DUI in Oklahoma, the State will technically open two parallel cases against you. One is your criminal case; the other is a civil proceeding related to your driver's license.
The criminal case is what you think of when considering a traditional DUI case. You would be facing criminal charges, with a state prosecutor representing the State. If convicted, you could face criminal penalties like jail time or fines.
The license suspension hearing is similar, but these cases are handled by the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety. You will have the opportunity to defend yourself at a DPS hearing in an attempt to hold onto your driver's license. Like with a criminal case, you will have the right to have an attorney present.
Do I have to take a field sobriety test?
You are under no obligation to take field sobriety tests. The tests are highly subjective and designed for you to fail. Under perfect conditions, a failed field sobriety test might indicate intoxication, but it is nearly impossible to replicate those perfect conditions on the side of a road. There are also lawful explanations, like certain medical conditions, that can skew test results toward a false positive. Always politely refuse to take a field sobriety test.
Is it possible to win a DUI case at trial?
Yes! You may feel like the deck is stacked against you, but the reality is it is possible to prevail in a DUI trial. Your attorney will carefully review the evidence against to you develop the best defense available. Many successful defenses center around police misconduct during your police stop or mishandling of your chemical test results. Contact the Worden Law Firm to discuss your defense options.