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Norman criminal defense blog

Drug crime charges require careful defense strategies

Drugs crimes are seen by some as victimless crimes since adults who use drugs willingly purchase them. This doesn't mean that the laws see the situation in the same way. For this reason, Oklahoma has very strict laws against making, selling and using drugs. People who are found to be breaking the law will face criminal charges.

If you are facing criminal charges for anything related to drugs, you have to ensure that you understand the defense options that you have. These can vary greatly depending on the circumstances. You have to think about what happened during the course of your arrest and what factors are present in the case. This gives you a starting point for the defense strategy.

Are breath test results always accurate?

While watching television or movies, you've probably seen the depiction of law enforcement officers utilizing breath test machines. Maybe you've even witnessed it in real life. It is that little box officers ask drivers to breathe into when they suspect them of driving drunk. Law enforcement officers in Oklahoma depend on these devices to get impaired drivers off of the road, but are these machines always accurate?

Here's a simple truth. No, they are not 100% accurate. Several things can affect test results. This means that every year numerous people face DUI charges who probably should not. 

What are the marijuana-related penalties in Oklahoma?

Many states have imposed a variety of laws in recent years largely decriminalizing the possession of recreational marijuana. This has resulted in many individuals receiving nothing more than a simple slap on the wrist and a fine for many small-scale drug offenses. Oklahoma continues to treat marijuana as an illicit drug. Individuals convicted of marijuana-related crimes face stiff penalties, even for simple possession offenses.

Individuals who are found in possession of any amount of marijuana may be charged with a misdemeanor for either their first or subsequent offenses here in Oklahoma. Any individual convicted of such a crime may be ordered to pay up to a $1,000 fine and be sentenced to up to a year in jail.

Release from prison after a murder conviction can be challenging

Being accused of murder is a life-changing event, but being convicted of murder is more devastating. A defendant in this type of case must think carefully about their defense strategy. This includes the purpose of the defense. For some, the goal of the defense isn't to be found not guilty. Instead, it is to minimize the penalties that the person faces.

Many people focus on having to spend as little time in prison as possible. For a person who is facing a murder charge, not having to spend life in prison might seem appealing. They don't realize the challenges that a person who is released from prison after a murder conviction might face.

Alcohol monitoring is often required after DUI convictions

The court can place many requirements on a person who is convicted of drunk driving. Many people have probably heard of the ignition interlocks that prevent a vehicle from starting if there is a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) percentage noted in a breath sample required before the car is started. A person who must have the ignition interlock can't drive any vehicle that isn't equipped with one.

Another possibility is that the court might require a Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring bracelet. This monitors the wearer's sweat for the presence of alcohol, and it is useful in cases where the person is forbidden from having any alcohol consumption. Some individuals prefer this to having to go for periodic alcohol testing because they don't have to do anything other than continue with their normal daily activities.

Know your options for a drug charge defense strategy

Drug charges can come with minor consequences for some types of charges, but others carry lengthy sentences. One thing that you have to realize in these cases is that there is a chance that a conviction on what you consider a minor charge could impact you for the rest of your life.

More and more companies are starting to do background checks before they hire employees. This could leave you facing the possibility of having trouble finding a job. Your income can be impacted, and you might have trouble with paying for life's necessities.

Drunk driving: Know your right to dispute administrative actions

With Christmas and New Year's right around the corner, anyone who is going to head out to festive parties should remember that they need to find a way to make it home safely if they are planning on having adult beverages. Oklahoma laws regarding impaired driving are strict, so taking a chance by driving yourself home is something that shouldn't happen.

If an officer sees any behavior that signals that a driver might be impaired, they will conduct a traffic stop. They will then take steps to determine what's going on. This can include specialized testing, including field sobriety tests or chemical tests.

Facing charges of manslaughter

Causing the death of another person is something you may never have imagined. Nevertheless, you are now facing criminal charges that could alter the rest of your life. Homicide is the general category for crimes that involve the taking of someone's life. However, there are various levels of culpability, depending on your intent at the time of the event.

If authorities have charged you with manslaughter, it means that they do not believe you intended to cause the death of the other person. It is this intent that would likely result in charges of first- or second-degree murder, which could leave you facing decades in prison if a court convicts you. Nevertheless, manslaughter charges demand a solid and aggressive defense plan.

The booming medical marijuana industry in Oklahoma

While recreational marijuana is still illegal in Oklahoma, it has recently been noted that the medical marijuana program is flourishing. Our state is largely conservative, which accounts for the strong opposition of adding a recreational availability for residents.

At the end of last year, there were around 25,000 patients who were registered for medical marijuana. Currently, there are around 210,000 patients registered. That's a sharp jump for only a year. One thing that's being credited with the success of the program is the wide availability of it. Unlike some other states, the laws in Oklahoma are set to benefit the users and the suppliers.

Drunk driving charges can quickly ruin a holiday season

With the holiday season here, everyone needs to ensure that they have a way to get home if they are going to engage in any of the festivities. One thing that can quickly ruin the holidays is getting a drunk driving charge. This comes with considerable life impacts, so it is best to avoid driving while you are impaired.

If you are facing criminal charges for drunk driving, you need to get to work on your defense quickly. Not only do you have to think about the criminal justice aspects of the matter, you also have to address the administrative penalties that can lead to you losing your driver's license. We know that trying to stay on top of everything can be rather difficult, but we are here to help you.

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“Matt Swain helped me out of a situation that would have otherwise cost me money I didn't have, and precious time I couldn't spare. And he did it selflessly. If I ever need to turn to an attorney in the future, he would be my first call. I highly recommend him to anyone in the Norman/OKC area! His entire staff was kind and helpful from day one. Thank you all so much!�—Laura M.

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