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The Patterson Law Firm

Intent in DUI and Possession Cases

Intent in DUI and Possession Cases

People use the word “intent” in criminal cases all the time, but many do not realize that not all crimes require a showing of intent. For example, Oklahoma DUI laws have no intent requirements. As a result, it does not matter whether you intended to drive drunk. You can still be convicted of DUI. However, possession in Oklahoma does have an intent element – you must knowingly have possession. The intent requirement is known in criminal law as the mens rea. If a crime requires no mens rea – no general and specific intent – it is called a strict liability...

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Suspended and Deferred Sentences in Oklahoma

Suspended and Deferred Sentences in Oklahoma

People who commit DUI offenses in Oklahoma may receive suspended or deferred sentences. While there are important differences between these alternative sentencing methods, both give people the option to meet certain conditions imposed by the court and avoid jail time as a result. In Oklahoma and the rest of the United States, you are considered to be “convicted” of a crime if you are found guilty by a judge or jury and final judgment is entered. However, sentencing for the crime may occur at a later hearing. Suspended Sentence For a suspended sentence, you are convicted of a crime but do not have...

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When Do You Have a Right to an Attorney After a DUI Arrest?

When Do You Have a Right to an Attorney After a DUI Arrest

The right to an attorney in a DUI case is the same right that you have in other criminal matters. You may be surprised to hear that the police can require you to take a breath test or standardized field sobriety tests before you have the right to an attorney. In fact, your right to have an attorney begins when any “custodial interrogation” begins, not when you are pulled over. “Custodial” means that a reasonable person would not feel free to leave the situation. Courts ask whether the situation presents the same coercive pressures as a “station house questioning” at the...

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The Oklahoma Aggravated DUI

The Oklahoma Aggravated DUI

Oklahoma law includes a criminal charge for aggravated driving under the influence, which carries additional penalties and fines to a standard DUI charge. You may be charged with an aggravated DUI if your breath or blood test shows a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 or more. Like the standard DUI charge, aggravated DUI is a misdemeanor punishable by ten days to one year in jail for a first offense and a fine of up to $1,000 if the case is pursued in state court. 47 O.S. § 11-902(C). In addition, a person convicted of an aggravated DUI will be sentenced to...

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Problems with Breath Testing in Oklahoma

Problems with Breath Testing in Oklahoma

Breath testing for blood alcohol content has many flaws that could affect the outcome of a DUI case. Oklahoma law enforcement use a breathalyzer called the Intoxilyzer 8000, which works on a light absorption theory. Like for blood testing, variances in the test equipment and testing process can result in incorrect BAC level measurements. Breathalyzer technology employs a number of scientific assumptions that can be challenged because not every human processes alcohol or breathes into the device in the same way. For example, the devices’ accuracy depends on the assumption that every driver has an exact number of parts of alcohol...

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Oklahoma Diversion Programs

Oklahoma Diversion Programs

Oklahoma has some diversion programs available for first-time offenders that can reduce the amount of jail time to be served for a DUI. These programs may be required by the court as part of a deferred or suspended sentence. Diversion programs aim to help alcohol or drug offenders get treatment and keep people out of jail. They also reduce second offenses and saves the public money. However, failing to successfully complete a diversion program can result in adverse consequences such as jail time or a conviction being entered on your record. DUI offenders generally attend drug and alcohol counseling as part...

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Facing a Possession of Controlled Dangerous Substances Charge

Facing a Possession of Controlled Dangerous Substances Charge

If you have been charged with possession of controlled dangerous substances, you and your loved ones probably have many questions about the charges. Oklahoma's strict drug possession laws carry hefty sentences and fines, so it is important to understand the nature of the charges against you, possible defenses, and the consequences if you are convicted. Controlled dangerous substances are defined in 63 O.S. § 2-204 through 2-212 and include a wide range of drugs and other substances such as heroin, cocaine, marijuana, LSD, and more. In Oklahoma, knowing or intentional possession of controlled dangerous substances (CDS) is illegal. 63 O.S. §...

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What Is a DWI in Oklahoma, and Is It Different from a DUI?

What Is a DWI in Oklahoma, and Is It Different from a DUI?

People throw around the terms “DUI” and “DWI” frequently when talking about drinking and driving. But is there a difference between a DUI and a DWI in Oklahoma, and what do those terms mean? DUI means driving under the influence of an intoxicating or impairing substance. DWI means driving while intoxicated or driving while impaired. Sometimes people use DUI to refer to alcohol intoxication, while they use DWI to refer to being under the influence of drugs or other substances. In Oklahoma, these two terms are often used interchangeably. Some people use DUI to refer to a “per se” drunk driving...

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Problems with Gas Chromatography in Oklahoma

Problems with Gas Chromatography in Oklahoma

The state of Oklahoma uses gas chromatography to test blood samples for blood alcohol concentration in DUI cases. This article summarizes the chromatography process and some common problems with it that can be raised in court. What Is Gas Chromatography? Gas chromatography (GC) is a scientific test used to separate and analyze chemical compounds, such as alcohol molecules and blood. The test involves injecting a known volume of the driver’s blood into a narrow tube, called a column. The blood sample is swept through the tube by a stream of carrier gas, such as helium. The tube contains a device called a...

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The Effect of a DUI on Your Oklahoma Commercial Driver’s License

The Effect of a DUI on Your Oklahoma Commercial Driver's License

Being charged or convicted of a DUI while holding a commercial driver’s license could cost you your license or even your job. To obtain a commercial driver’s license or CDL, you must pass a test and meet higher state-established standards than holders of non-commercial licenses. Similarly, the federal government has established higher standards than some states for when a commercial driver loses his license after a DUI. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration sets minimum standards that holders of CDLs must meet. States perform the practical administration of applications, renewal, and reinstatement of CDLs and may set even higher standards for...

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