If you have experienced an arrest for Oklahoma DUI, Oklahoma APC or, Oklahoma DWI, you, like most other persons, have many questions. Answers for a few questions are listed below:
- Do you need an attorney for a DUI?
- “DUI” vs. “APC”: What’s The Difference?
- Will I lose my driver’s license because of this DUI?
- If I Lose My License, is there a Way to Keep Driving Legally?
- Am I going to Jail for this?
- What about my Driving Record?
- What is the difference between a Deferred Sentence and a Suspended Sentence?
Should your particular question not be answered here, make sure to get a
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Answer: Absolutely YES. There are dozens and dozens of reasons to justify
that answer. Your freedom AND driver’s license is at stake because of
this arrest, REGARDLESS of whether this is the FIRST time you
have had this happen or the 100th time. And, here are some questions
to ask that attorney before you hire him/her:
- Are you Certified in Standardized Field Sobriety Tests administration?
Are you Certified as a TRAINER of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests
- Are you certified by the State of Oklahoma as an Intoxilyzer 8000
- Are you certified by the State of Oklahoma as an Intoxilyzer 8000
- Have you every attended the DUI Trial College conducted by the National College for DUI Defense, held at Harvard Law School? How many times?
- Have you ever published any articles or books on DUI Defense? How many?
- Have you ever made LAW in DUI Defense by taking any cases to the Appellate Court(s) of this State?
- Have you tried at least 250 driver’s license hearings at the Department of Public Safety?
- Have you tried at least 150 driver’s license appeals before District Courts in Oklahoma?
- Have you tried a jury trial on DUI?
- Have you ever won any of these hearings, appeals, or trials?
- Is the percentage of your law practice which is devoted to DUI Defense less than 75%?
- Are you responsible for, or contributory to, any new Jury Instruction used in Oklahoma on or in a DUI case?
- And, last, and most importantly: Are you Board Certified by the National College for DUI Defense, as provided by the American Bar Association’s Specialization?
If the answer is “NO” to ANY ONE of the questions above, you should keep
looking for the lawyer who will handle your DUI Case. An answer of “NO” to
any of these questions shows that he is likely NOT on the cutting edge of this
There is at least ONE lawyer in Oklahoma who CAN answer ALL of these
questions with a “YES”: Charles L. Sifers.
Lawyers are bad about talking in short-hand or code. So let me clarify this a bit.
“DUI” is short for driving under the influence of intoxicants. DUI requires
driving that is witnessed by the police officer OR evident from a car wreck.
“APC” is short for actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the
influence of intoxicants. This is often confusing to people, especially when a
person has been arrested for an alcohol related TRAFFIC offense when he is NOT driving! You can be arrested for APC while sitting in your car. Many people have had this happen to them when they KNEW they had had TOO MUCH to drink to drive safely, and pulled over to “wait it out”. Although trying to do the right thing, they were arrested for a crime that is effectively the same as DUI. They were no better off – with the possible exception of avoiding a car wreck while driving – than if they had gone ahead and tried to drive on home! Whether arrested for DUI or APC, the criminal punishments AND the drivers license punishments are the same. And, yes, APC can even be a felony!
To be sure, our office is NOT condoning anyone taking the chance of driving
when one KNOWS that he has had TOO MUCH to drink. However, you should know what ELSE you should do to avoid this crime of APC. Simply pulling over is NOT enough. Your vehicle must be TOTALLY OFF any street or road. Pulling into a parking lot or driveway is NOT enough!
The absolute BEST way to avoid either a DUI or APC is to NOT get into a car
after having drunk alcoholic beverages. If you know you have had too much, get
away from your car and have SOMEONE ELSE drive you home!
The Government intends to take it if it thinks you failed or refused a test!
However, if OUR OFFICE has anything to say about it, you won’t!
Remember: We only have 30 days from arrest to either sign up for the IDAP
program OR file a District Court Appeal to contest this revocation of
license. If we wait longer than that, the license will be revoked NO
MATTER WHAT occurs to your DUI case in criminal Court.
Perhaps. The law provides for a “modification” or what some people call a “work permit”. However, modifications are for ONLY Class D licenses. There is NO
modification for any class of CDL for ANY length of time. Revocations for
this length of time result from a breath test failure or refusal that has
occurred for the FIRST time within ten (10) years. Therefore, if you have
had a previous revocation for the same thing anytime within TEN years of
your newest arrest, the revocation period will be for one to three years long.
Certainly, that is a possibility in MOST courts in Oklahoma. However, first
offenders often do not have to worry about jail, only fines, fees, and costs. For person with PRIOR arrest, the chances go UP that the Government will try to do this to you. That is where you lawyer comes in. Our job is to stand between you and the government to keep that from happening!
Driving records are LIFE-TIME records. Many people do NOT know this. The record that can be reviewed by the public is for the past three years. However, police and prosecutors can see ANYTHING that is on your driving record, no matter HOW old! ALSO, although you might NOT have anything “get on your record” from the Criminal court case, if your license is revoked for this arrest, it will be reflected on your driving record for a failed or refused breath test. That means even if you are found NOT GUILTY of the DUI, a revoked license for the test refusal or failure will STILL be on your driving record. This is why it is SO IMPORTANT to do everything that you can to avoid any entry on your record, from the FIRST case to the 100th case.
A deferred sentence is where a person charged with DUI either pleads guilty or no contest OR is found guilty, and the judge puts off sentencing or conviction of the charge. He “defers” this sentencing. This period of time can be up to seven (7) years in Oklahoma. These can be available for misdemeanors OR felonies. Usually there are conditions imposed upon the client during this probationary period of time, such as, going to meetings or treatment and/or community service. There are usually fines and court costs. However, if the client completes all these conditions and does not get re-arrested, the case is DISMISSED at the end of the probationary period! It is, then, NOT put on your driving record. This is the next best thing to being found not guilty! HOWEVER, remember this: A deferred sentence can be used to enhance a DUI from a misdemeanor to a felony. Even after a successful deferred expires and the case is dismissed, the State can use it as if it was a conviction for any new DUI afterwards to enhance the new case to a Felony. A suspended sentence is a CONVICTION. What is suspended is any jail sentence that the client might have to serve. The length of time that a case can be suspended is the maximum period of time that the person could go to jail, i.e., up to a year for a misdemeanor DUI. Once this period of time expires, the person is off probation. However, he is still convicted of the offense. This conviction results in being placed on the person criminal record AND his driving record.