Attorney Angela Singleton - Oklahoma City Criminal Defense

How Does A Prior Arrest Or Conviction Impact A DUI Case?

Prior DUIs can definitely hurt you. If you have prior convictions or probation sentences for DUI, it can automatically make a new DUI a felony. There is a specific timeframe of 10 years from the end of your last sentence. If you get another DUI within that 10-year period, then that DUI is going to be charged as a felony. If you’ve had a previous DUI case that for whatever reason didn’t enhance your new criminal charge to a felony, the prosecutor is still going to know about that. They are going to have an extensive background on you, as well as record of all of your contacts with police and the courts in the state of Oklahoma (and anywhere else in the United States). This is something that’s going to come into play when you’re trying to negotiate your case because they are going to make recommendations knowing that this is not your first DUI.

What Factors Can Enhance Or Aggravate A DUI Charge?

Prior convictions or probationary sentences will enhance DUIs automatically to a felony. There is a charge for aggravated DUI that can be charged if they claim that you have a blood alcohol content of more than 0.15. It carries the same punishment as DUI but adds extra punishments and requirements. So, in addition to the other range of punishments that you would face, you may be required to do inpatient treatment, have a year of aftercare following inpatient treatment, have an interlock device on any vehicles that you have, and complete large amounts of community service work.

If you receive a DUI while there is a child in the car, you can be charged with an additional felony charge of child endangerment. There are other charges stemming from DUI that can make it more serious. If you are involved in an accident that resulted in great bodily harm and you are found to be driving under the influence, then that’s automatically going to be a felony, carrying 4 to 20 years in prison. If you’re involved in an accident that resulted in a person’s death, then you can be facing a first degree manslaughter charge, which carries anywhere from 4 years to life in prison.

What Factors Do You Consider When Deciding Whether To Take A DUI Case To Trial Or Not?

First and foremost, I consider the desire of my client. It’s my role to help and guide them, not to dictate what will happen. When I am advising about what to do on a case regarding trials, pleas or filing certain motions, I look at the facts of the case. I get the discovery, look at the police reports, consider the strengths or weaknesses of the evidence, and I make decisions from there. There are other factors that should be considered, such as which judge and which prosecutor is assigned to the case. Having an attorney who has the experience to know and understand all of the different players within the criminal justice system can be a major advantage. I look at all of those things and then advise my client on what I think is the best course of action.

Do Most DUI Cases Go To Trial Or Do They Settle For A Plea Deal?

Most DUI cases settle. Of those that settle, most are settled by plea negotiations when an attorney works out some sort of resolution that the client and the state both benefit from. That’s why it’s so important for someone to get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible. That way, they can review your case and give you the needed time to get as much leverage as possible before going into that first court date.

Are Most People Surprised At The Collateral Consequences Of a DUI?

The biggest thing that people are surprised by is the amount of time that’s going to be taken away from them as a result of the DUI. From meeting with attorneys, going to court dates, doing any necessary classes or counseling, potentially meeting with probation officers, and doing community services, there is a significant amount of time that has to be dedicated to the process.

What Qualities Should I Look For When Hiring A DUI Attorney?

The main thing you want in an attorney is someone who has experience. You want someone who can explain the process to you, answer your questions, and give you their time. The major red flags would be someone who charges a very low amount to represent you. The old saying is, “You get what you pay for.” There are a lot of cheap lawyers out there who will not review your case or explain your options. They will simply plea you out, and you don’t want to sell your rights to the lowest bidder. The other red flag is anyone who promises you certain results; any reputable attorney will tell you that they can’t guarantee you certain results. However, they can guarantee you that they will do everything to fight for your rights, and that’s what I would do as your attorney.

For more information on Impact Of Prior Arrest Or Conviction, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (855) 203-9127 today.