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3 secondary consequences of an Oklahoma DUI charge

On Behalf of | May 20, 2024 | DUI Charges |

A conviction for a driving under the influence (DUI) offense in Oklahoma can result in a variety of penalties. The courts can sentence someone to incarceration, order them to pay fines and suspend their driver’s license. Defendants often factor those potential penalties into their decision about whether they fight their charges or plead guilty. Frequently, defendants make the mistake of assuming they should receive lenient treatment from the courts if they plead guilty.

Especially if someone does not have any prior offense and faces their first DUI charge, they might expect minimal penalties for a conviction. Defendants also need to contemplate the potential secondary consequences associated with the DUI in addition to the criminal penalties possible. The following are some of the secondary risks after a DUI conviction.

Job loss

Someone convicted of a DUI offense may have violated their employer’s policies about criminal activity. Some organizations have very strict zero-tolerance policies that allow them to terminate anyone convicted of any type of offense while working for the company. Others may have jobs that require them to drive occasionally. The inability to do so could render them incapable of meeting their employers’ needs. Incarceration and its effects on attendance might also lead to the loss of someone’s employment after a DUI conviction.

Increased insurance costs

Many people focus on licensing penalties as a concern after a DUI charge. Obviously, losing one’s license can be inconvenient and even expensive. The costs don’t end when someone regains their driving privileges. Car insurance tends to cost more after a DUI conviction. People pay more for insurance when they have a history of unsafe driving. Those costs could potentially make driving prohibitively expensive.

A lasting criminal record

A DUI on someone’s criminal record could follow them for life under Oklahoma law. Many employers do background checks both when offering jobs to new hires and when promoting existing workers. A DUI could prevent someone from advancing their career even if they can maintain their job after their conviction. Landlords, educational institutions and even nonprofit organizations perform background checks before deciding to extend opportunities or offers to individuals. In some cases, a DUI conviction from years ago could end up being the deciding factor when someone applies for a new job or an apartment.

Fighting back against DUI charges can help people avoid the worst-case scenario in which they experience multiple serious financial and personal setbacks following a conviction. Those who understand the possible penalties of a DUI are in a better position to respond to the charges they face.