Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) can be charged against you several ways in Oklahoma. If you are arrested by a city or municipal police officer, the police officer has the option (subject to their department's policies) of charging you in the city court or in the state district court. If the DUI is filed in the city court, the penalties range from no jail time to 6 months jail time and/or a fine. If you are arrested by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, a county deputy, the charge will be filed in the state district court.
If it is your first driving under the influence (DUI) offense and no one was injured, the DUI will be filed as a misdemeanor. Misdemeanor DUI carries a fine of up to $1000.00 and jail time of at least 10 days but not more than one year in the county jail. The sentence can be deferred resulting in no conviction or the jail time can be suspended. Although DUI is a serious charge, most people will not be required to do any jail time on a first time misdemeanor DUI offense. (Be careful as some of my competitors will try and scare you by telling you that jail time is a real possibility in an effort to charge you more.)
If you have a prior conviction for DUI from a court of record (District Court or Oklahoma City and Tulsa Municipal Courts) within the prior 10 years of your new DUI charge, you can be charged with felony driving under the influence (DUI). Depending on prior convictions, felony DUIs carry a minimum of one year up to either five, ten, or twenty years in the state penitentiary. The fine can be as high as $7500.00. The sentence can be deferred or the jail time can be suspended.
If you have an accident while driving under the influence resulting in great bodily injury, the State can charge you with a felony regardless of whether you have any prior convictions. If a death results, you can be charged with Manslaughter which carries up to life in the State Penitentiary.
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