Most moving violations will have no more serious consequences than an expensive fine from a traffic ticket. Citations for minor infractions are typically an annoyance at worst, but in some cases, serious traffic violations can result in criminal charges. These traffic crimes and their penalties are described in Oklahoma's Motor Vehicle Code, found in Title 47 of the state's statute, and include offenses such as reckless driving and DUI.
In Oklahoma, reckless driving is described as driving "in a careless or wanton manner without regard for the safety of persons or property" (47 O.S. 11-901), and/or speeding as defined in 11-801.
As a first offense, reckless driving is a misdemeanor punishable by 5 to 90 days in jail and fines ranging from $100 to $500. Second and subsequent offenses, while still misdemeanors, have harsher penalties: 10 days to 6 months in jail and/or a fine of $150 to $1,000.
The subjective nature of a reckless driving offense makes it easy for prosecutors to charged drivers with a crime, but this lack of objective definition also provides defense attorneys an avenue for fighting the charge. If you are charged with reckless driving in Oklahoma, call a lawyer to protect your driving record and prevent a criminal record.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) is one of the most commonly prosecuted crimes in Oklahoma. Most people know that the legal limit to determine intoxication per se in Oklahoma is a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent. However, a person may be charged with a drug or alcohol-related driving offense with a much lower BAC. In fact, a person can be charged with a crime even if he or she is intoxicated in a vehicle, but not actually driving.
Oklahoma DUI laws are outlined in 47 O.S. 11-902 of the motor vehicle code. According to state law, it is illegal for a person to "drive, operate, or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle" under the following conditions:
As a first offense, driving under the influence (DUI) or being in actual physical control (APC) of a vehicle while impaired is a misdemeanor that carries the following legal penalties:
Furthermore, a DUI arrest leads to driver's license suspension, which can drastically inhibit one's freedom to go about freely. Loss of license can make it difficult to get to work, to run daily errands, and to participate in leisure activities.
However, the penalties described above are for the first conviction alone. Subsequent DUI convictions carry harsher penalties.
The above offenses and penalties are associated with DUI resulting from a BAC of 0.08 percent or greater. However, if a driver's BAC is 0.15 percent or greater, he or she is charged with aggravated DUI. In addition to the penalties described above, a person charged with aggravated DUI must submit to one year of supervision and drug and alcohol testing, and cannot drive without using an ignition interlock device for a minimum of 90 days.
If a death occurs as a result of a DUI accident, the intoxicated driver may be charged with manslaughter or second degree murder. If, after a conviction of manslaughter or murder caused by a DUI, a person is found guilty of DUI again, he or she may be sentenced to 5 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), actual physical control (APC), or other serious traffic offense, call (405) 608-4990 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced DUI defense lawyer. We have helped hundreds of Oklahomans just like you to bring their cases to a successful resolution. Find out how we can help you.