Courts are loathe to see repeated DUI charges brought, not because they fault the police, but because they fault the defendant. Thus, a DUI third offense or more in Muskogee, Oklahoma is a serious charge. Also, you will need the help of a qualified Muskogee attorney to navigate the court system.
Basic Requirement To Use Due Care When Driving
We all are required to use due care when driving on public roadways. We must not engage in any activity that interferes with our ability to drive safely. That can include texting while driving, eating while driving, putting on makeup while driving, and ingesting any medication or intoxicant that impairs our ability to drive safely.
Ingesting any intoxicant, alcohol, drugs, even some medications that have been lawfully prescribed, and then driving afterward can open a person up to a DUI charge. Any substance that impairs your ability to drive safely can lead to a charge of DUI or reckless driving in Muskogee.
In Oklahoma, it is against the law to drive or operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of any drugs, intoxicants, or alcohol, alone or in combination with a blood alcohol content level of .08% or higher. Okla. Stat. tit. 47 § 11-902
DUI: Not Just Alcohol
DUIs pertain to more than just alcohol. Specifically, they pertain to someone who:
- has a blood alcohol content level (BAC) of .08% or higher;
- is under the influence of alcohol;
- has any amount of a Schedule I chemical or controlled substance in their system;
- is under the influence of any intoxicating substance other than alcohol which makes it unsafe to drive; or
- is under the combined influence of alcohol and another intoxicant which makes it unsafe to drive.
Even cold medication can make it unsafe to drive.
Penalties Increase For DUI Third Offense
Penalties escalate with each DUI. A first DUI conviction is punishable by 10 days to a year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both; a second conviction is punishable by up to 5 years in prison. A third conviction is charged as a felony and can result in up to 10 years in prison in addition to fines.
Courts have a great deal of discretion in sentencing a DUI. In addition to the above, a court may impose treatment, loss of license, and counseling.
While treatment and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings may be recommended by the court for a first conviction, a defendant facing a third DUI conviction will most certainly be required to attend AA meetings or other substance abuse classes. If the defendant is sentenced to prison time, it is likely that these requirements will be carried out at the prison facility.
Finally, DUI convictions mean that your driver’s license will be suspended or revoked.
An assessment is part of the court’s process. That assessment and its results can be crucial to determining how any jail time is spent.
A court can mandate prison, have a defendant mandated to residential treatment, or some combination of treatment or jail. Your attorney can be instrumental during this process.
In addition, an experienced DUI attorney can attack the prosecution’s evidence when there are problems with it, which can result in dismissal or a reduction of sentence.
DUI Third Offense Defenses To Explore With Your Attorney
There are defenses that may be available to you depending on your circumstances and the facts of your case. Here are some of the more common defenses.
Faulty Testing Equipment: The field test may have been improperly calibrated or administered, resulting in inaccurate test results.
Improper Stop: This is a technical defense but one that can be helpful. If the officer lacked sufficient probable cause to make the initial traffic stop, then discovering that the driver was under the influence may be inadmissible in court.
BAC Was At Legal Limit: BAC levels go up after ingesting alcohol before they go back down. If there is a lag in time between the stop and the test, it could be that your BAC was at the legal limit while you were driving — even if it was at an illegal limit at the station.
If you are facing charges for a DUI third offense or more, your attorney can be invaluable in building a strong defense and preserving your freedom. Ten years in prison is a long time.
Free Consultation: Muskogee Felony Defense Attorney
If you are facing criminal charges of any kind, you need help to build a solid defense. Even small facts can make a big difference. Don’t try to go it alone. Get the help you need when it matters most.
Our experienced attorneys are here to help. We know your freedom is important and will work with you to preserve it. Our attorneys know how to build a strong defense.
Call a Muskogee felony defense attorney today at 918-884-7774 to ask questions or schedule a free, confidential consultation.