More than 200 new laws went into effect in Oklahoma as of November 1, 2016, one of which will have an impact on anyone charged with drunk driving in the state. Under the recent regulation, you may face stiffer penalties for a conviction if you’re a repeat DUI offender, which may affect your driving privileges and can even lead to serious criminal charges. Oklahoma’s News On Six outlined the details of the new law, but a drunk driving lawyer can help you understand how the rules may apply to your specific case.
Penalties for Repeat DUI Offenses: A first DUI conviction is a misdemeanor punishable by jail time and fines, but subsequent offenses result in harsher penalties:
- A second drunk driving conviction within 10 years is a felony charge that includes a minimum one year and maximum five years in prison. Plus, you may be required to pay a fine up to $2,500.
- Three or more DUI offenses carry a felony charge as well, but potential jail time increases to 10 years and the maximum fine is $5,000.
These criminal penalties are in addition to any administrative punishment, which may include suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. Under the new law, a prosecuting attorney may require you to complete a treatment plan as part of your sentence.
Cases Transferred to District Courts: The new Oklahoma law requires cases involving drunk driving to be handled by state district courts if the person has a history of DUI convictions. Previously, DUI matters were heard in municipal courts, typically under the jurisdiction of the city or town of the arrest.
Tracking Violations: Because DUI cases will now be handled by state district courts, authorities are better able to track drunk driving offenses – and can identify an offender that has multiple DUIs in their record. Before the new law went into effect, some repeat offenders were treated under first-time DUI rules because police were unable to track prior violations.
We are here to help
DWI and DUI are serious offenses that can impact your driving privileges and carry criminal penalties, so it’s important to understand how these cases work in Oklahoma. However, this general information isn’t a substitute for the years of experience that a drunk driving attorney brings to your situation. If you’ve been charged with DWI or DUI, it’s critical that you consult with a qualified lawyer who knows the law and criminal defense proceedings. Please contact the Law Offices of Robert R. Robles at (405) 232-7980 to discuss you’re your matter in more detail.