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Norman criminal defense blog

Plan a marijuana charge defense carefully and early

When you are facing marijuana charges, you might be tempted to put off thinking about your defense strategy. This is a difficult position to be in these days because the views on marijuana are changing quite rapidly — although not in all states. The fact is that all criminal charges should be treated seriously and given the attention they deserve so that you aren't left with a flimsy defense when you go before the court.

Some people think that marijuana matters in Oklahoma will be less serious because of the medical marijuana laws here, but this isn't the case. Anyone who can't legally possess medical marijuana can face criminal charges if they have weed on them at all. Even people who can possess medical marijuana may end up being arrested if they aren't in full compliance with the current laws.

Murder charges are sometimes downgraded in plea bargains

While no criminal charges should ever be taken lightly, a murder charge is one that must be taken very seriously. You can face a long term in prison, depending on what type of murder charge you are up against. There are specific differences in the criteria for murder charges. Knowing the ones for the charge you are facing might help you with the defense planning.

You can't begin to assemble your defense right before your court date. Instead, you need to get work as early in the case as possible so that you are able to truly focus on the salient facts of the case. This gives you time to consider the options you have and how they might impact you. It also gives you a chance to evaluate the case against you and to consider how you will respond to the allegations of the prosecutor.

What you should know if you're facing drug paraphernalia charges

Drug charges are serious matters, but some people think that drug paraphernalia charges aren't as serious. To face drug paraphernalia charges, people don't have to be caught with illegal drugs in their possession.

Under the law, drug paraphernalia is anything that is used to make, manufacture, sell, distribute or use drugs. Some things considered drug paraphernalia are common household items that might have other uses. This is when the context of the items comes into the picture.

Pay attention to facts and presentation methods in your defense

Facing murder charges can mean that your own life is on the line if that charge is in the first degree. This is a serious matter because you can end up behind bars for the remainder of your natural life. When you are in this position, you have to think carefully about what you are going to do. There are usually several options that you can explore in these cases.

When you are going through the options, you can't think in general terms. Instead, think about everything in terms of your own case. Unless you are reviewing a case with the exact same circumstances as your own, you can't count on what happened to them happening to you. With this in mind, you have to try to plan even the smallest detail as you work on the defense strategy.

I've been charged with DUI -- what are my defense options?

Drunk driving is not something that the state of Oklahoma takes lightly. If you have received a DUI charge, the consequences associated with a conviction can take a real toll on your life. Thankfully, a criminal charge does not mean the guarantee of a conviction. There may be one or more ways to fight the charges against you.

What defense options are there for DUI cases? Are any of them really ever effective? Would I just be better off accepting the punishment the court is ready to give me?

Commercial drunk driving charges can end careers

Commercial drivers are held to a higher standard when it comes to drinking and driving. This is due in part to federal laws that govern these drivers. Instead of having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent like noncommercial drivers, people who have a CDL have a BAC limit of only .04 percent. Additionally, federal regulations state that commercial drivers can't operate a vehicle within four hours from the time they stop consuming alcohol.

It is imperative that drivers who operate these vehicles remain ready to make decisions in the best interests of safety. When they are impaired, they can't do this. These drivers include semitruck operators, private motor carriers, people who work for any level of government and civic organizations. Bus drivers, for-hire motor carriers and anyone who drives a commercial vehicle are also covered under these laws.

Drug cases aren't as minor as some might think

Drug charges of all types are serious matters that you must address quickly. The issue with some of these is that the defendants don't think of them as anything serious. They aren't thinking about how these charges can impact their career and life. This mistake can lead to them making poor decisions regarding their defense.

If you are facing drug charges of any sort, you need to take the time to consider what is going to happen if you are convicted. This might provide you with the fuel you need to work on your defense. One thing to remember about a defense is that it must be based on the facts of the case.

Medical marijuana doesn't mean everyone can have it

Even though many places have decriminalized marijuana, it is still possible to face criminal charges because of this drug in Oklahoma. The state has approved the use of medical marijuana for people with qualifying conditions, but this doesn't mean that just anyone can have it on them. Oklahoma still has laws that classify marijuana as an illegal drug. Plus, it is still illegal on a federal level.

The medical marijuana industry here is thriving. So much so that residents of Arkansas are hoping to be able to turn to Oklahoma soon to fill their own medical marijuana needs. Our state has a clause that allows people from other states who hold a valid medical marijuana identification card to receive a temporary one here that allows them to buy in Oklahoma. Arkansas residents are facing a conundrum now. Their cards haven't yet been printed, so even those who have approval letters can't come here to buy.

What you need to know about field sobriety tests

Police officers in Oklahoma are constantly on the lookout for impaired drivers. If you happened to be one of their targets, they likely pulled you over and asked to perform a number of tests so they could check you for impairment. These tests are field sobriety tests.

There are three standard field sobriety tests recognized by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. The NHTSA considers them highly accurate, but the simple truth is they are not perfect. Depending on the administering officer's knowledge and understanding of these tests, false positives may result, meaning you could be under arrest even though you are not drunk.

Norman police officers are on the look out for drunk drivers

Norman, Oklahoma, residents might notice more police officers than normal when they are out driving through New Year's. There will be DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols throughout the city. These are aimed at preventing the deaths that can come from impaired driving.

Six people died in drunk driving incidents in Oklahoma during the New Year's and Christmas holiday in Oklahoma in 2016. Each of these deaths was wholly preventable, so the police department is taking part in efforts to help everyone make it home safely during this holiday season. Amazingly, there weren't any drunk driving fatalities reported during the New Year's holiday by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol in 2017.

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