Many residents are not aware that sometimes DUI charges may be felonies instead of misdemeanors. This lack of knowledge leaves them completely unprepared for the aftermath of a DUI arrest. While any DUI charges are serious, felony DUI means the defendant will face more severe penalties should a conviction occur. The following sections offer some basic points about felony DUI charges in Oklahoma.
Felony DUI charges may occur for a variety of reasons. Most first arrest for drunk driving are classified as misdemeanors. However, subsequent DUI arrests may be treated as felonies. The penalties associated with felony drunk driving are harsh. Following a mandatory alcohol evaluation and assessment, possible penalties can include many years of incarceration as well as costly fines. Sometimes, a court may waive these penalties if the defendant complies with recommended treatment programs.
Additional penalties often associated with Oklahoma DUI charges include the following:
- Court-ordered installation of an ignition interlock device
- Possible vehicle confiscation for three or more offenses
- Ongoing supervision as well as periodic testing
- Loss of driving privileges through license revocation or suspension
- Possible community service sentences
As you can see, the stakes for both misdemeanor and felony DUI charges are quite high if convicted. You will benefit from guidance and counsel from a qualified legal professional if your goal is to avoid conviction or have your charges reduced.
By taking an active role in your case and in your defense, you have a chance of overcoming your charges and starting fresh. Arming yourself with the right legal knowledge is a great way to take control of your situation.
Source: Title 47. Motor Vehicles, “Oklahoma State Courts Network,” accessed Jan. 31, 2018