Clearly, no one wants to suffer the consequences of a DUI, but some people may not realize just how severe the penalties are for even a first-time DUI in Oklahoma. In addition to the $1,000 in fines you might be required to pay, the 30-day license suspension, the skyrocketing car insurance rates you will be subject to, and the reputational damage you might suffer, you will also have to serve at least 5 days in jail for a first-time DUI, and this jail sentence could go all the way up to one year. While 5 days is a lot less than one year, for most of us the thought of even spending a single day in jail should be enough reason to take all possible steps to avoid a DUI conviction. One way to do this is to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney to reduce your DUI charges in order to avoid mandatory jail time.
Wet Reckless Charges in Oklahoma
In many cases, an experienced criminal defense attorney can negotiate a DUI charge down to what is referred to as a “wet reckless” charge, which is essentially a reckless driving charge. Although a wet reckless charge can still affect your insurance rates, and result in a fine, it has two main advantages in comparison with a DUI:
a wet reckless charge is not considered a DUI
A wet reckless conviction involves no mandatory jail time
Prosecutors will not allow for a defendant to plead to a lesser charge in all cases, but an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side can aggressively negotiate with a prosecutor to reduce DUI charges to a wet reckless charge.
DUI v. DWI in Oklahoma
Although many states have drunk driving laws which are interchangeably referred to as “DUI” and “DWI” laws, there is actually a difference between the two in Oklahoma. If a person’s BAC is .08% or over, then the crime charged can be a DUI. But if the BAC is less than .08%, then prosecutors may charge the defendant with a DWI. Although a DWI is still a crime and may result in up to a six-month sentence, there is no mandatory jail time, and so a driver might successfully avoid jail time by pleading to a DWI.
Work With an Experienced Oklahoma DUI Attorney
If you have been arrested for a DUI violation in Oklahoma, you may be facing serious consequences if convicted, not to mention damage to your personal and professional reputation. J. Patrick Quillian, Attorney at Law, is a criminal defense attorney in Oklahoma City with years of experience in obtaining favorable outcomes in DUI matters. Contact him today to schedule a consultation regarding your DUI matter.