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The Patterson Law Firm

Breathalyzer Technology: Still Unreliable?

Breathalyzer Technology: Still Unreliable?

Doubts about breathalyzer accuracy continue to circulate in the DUI defense community and have led to successful court strategies for defendants. There are two main ways that defense attorneys challenge breathalyzer results: by questioning calibration and maintenance procedures and rules, and by questioning whether the machines, even properly calibrated, produce accurate results. Courts have repeatedly found problems with the way police departments maintain breathalyzers and with the rules governing calibration and maintenance. See our previous blogs on this topic. Further, courts continue to order manufacturers to release source code for breathalyzer devices to defense attorneys. A recent case from Washington state...

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DUI or Drug Arrest While You Were Asleep

DUI or Drug Arrest While You Were Asleep

Police find a man asleep in a car on the side of the road and arrest him on suspicion of DUI. They find another man sleeping on the sidewalk next to a used syringe and several bottles of pills and arrest him for drug possession. Both men remain unconscious throughout their arrest, transport, and booking, waking up the next morning in jail cells. You may wonder if this is legal and how the prosecutor can prove crimes were committed if the men were asleep. DUI Arrest While Asleep Even sitting in a car while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or...

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Over-Serving Alcohol: Is It a Crime in Oklahoma?

Over-Serving Alcohol: Is It a Crime in Oklahoma?

In Oklahoma, over-serving alcohol to intoxicated people is a crime that could result in felony charges. Law enforcement and prosecutors charge bartenders with this crime fairly frequently. Often charges result when an intoxicated person leaves the bar and drives drunk or is hit by cars. Currently, two different Oklahoma laws prohibit over-serving. One law makes it a misdemeanor for retail establishments that can sell low-point beer (beer with a low alcohol content) to knowingly and willfully sell low-point beer to an intoxicated person. 37 O.S. § 37-247. Agents and employees of the retail establishment can be prosecuted, as well as the...

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Do You Need Insurance to Get Your License Reinstated After a DUI?

Do You Need Insurance to Get Your License Reinstated After a DUI?

After you get arrested for suspected DUI, you may have your driving privileges revoked and need to get your license reinstated along with new insurance. If you fail a breathalyzer or blood test, or if you refuse a test, the officer or the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety will give you a piece of paper explaining license revocation. This document acts as your driver’s license for 30 days. When that 30 day period expires, the DPS will revoke your driving privileges. For a first offense DUI, the revocation lasts 180 days. You can request an administrative hearing in the first 15...

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What It Means to Be Arrested on Suspicion of a Crime

What It Means to Be Arrested on Suspicion of a Crime

In Oklahoma, police may arrest someone on suspicion of committing a crime. Arrested on suspicion is different than reasonable suspicion. Reasonable suspicion and probable cause are standards of proof that police must establish before taking certain actions. Arrested on Suspicion Police often use the term “arrested on suspicion” of committing a crime when they have probable cause to arrest someone for doing something criminal. This does not mean the police have proven that the person committed the crime. Nor can police arrest you just for doing something suspicious. When you get arrested, they have to think you violated the law. People may get...

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Will a New Oklahoma Law Reduce Defense Costs for Drug Offenders?

Will a New Oklahoma Law Reduce Defense Costs for Drug Offenders?

As discussed in the previous blog, in late April and early May 2018 the governor of Oklahoma signed quite a few new bills into law that affect criminal sentencing. One of these laws may reduce defense costs for drug offenders. Another may help drug offenders who need treatment more than they need prison time. First, the law known as SB 1021 could lead to reduced costs of criminal defense. When the law goes into effect in late 2018, people who are charged with crimes and have limited finances will be able to receive court-appointed attorneys if they post bail. Currently, anyone...

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New Oklahoma Laws Ease Mandatory Sentences for Drug Crimes

New Oklahoma Laws Ease Mandatory Sentences for Drug Crimes

A slew of new Oklahoma laws ease sentences and imprisonment for drug crimes and crimes often charged alongside drug crimes. These laws, all signed by the governor on April 26, 2018, go into effect in late 2018. First, the law known as SB 649 will reduce sentences for repeat drug offenders convicted of possession. Currently, repeat offenders receive harsher sentences because of their previous drug possession offenses. The new law eliminates those sentencing enhancements. Courts now cannot impose longer sentences on defendants because of their previous convictions for possession of controlled dangerous substances. However, people convicted of other drug crimes may...

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Update on Collins v. Virginia: The Supreme Court Ruling

Update on Collins v. Virginia: The Supreme Court Ruling

In a recent blog, we discussed the Collins v. Virginia case, which was pending before the Supreme Court of the United States at the time. The Supreme Court just issued its written opinion on May 29, 2018. To recap, the case drew into question whether police officers can search the driveway of a house without a warrant due to the automobile exception to the warrant requirement. The police located a motorcycle sitting on the defendant’s driveway under a tarp and believed that the distinctively painted motorcycle had been reported stolen. They went up the driveway and took the tarp off, found...

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Finding the Right Criminal Defense Attorney for Drug Charges

Finding the Right Criminal Defense Attorney for Drug Charges

If the prosecutor has charged you with committing a drug crime, your search for the right criminal defense attorney should start now. You have a narrow window of opportunity to find someone who will investigate, mount a strong fight against the charges, and obtain a result that helps you. Does the Attorney Know the System? Ask the attorney about his or her experience fighting drug charges for clients. How long has he or she been practicing, and what did he or she do before practicing law? Finding a lawyer who worked as a prosecutor or district attorney, or even in law enforcement,...

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Drug Tests and How Long Drugs Stay in Your System

Drug Tests and How Long Drugs Stay in Your System

In Oklahoma, drivers pulled over for suspected DUI may receive a drug test. Driving under the influence of drugs is illegal, and if law enforcement suspect you have been using drugs they can request a test. Oklahoma DUI-D (driving under the influence of drugs) laws are extremely strict. If you are caught driving with any amount of a Schedule I controlled dangerous substance in any bodily fluid, you can receive a DUI-D charge. In addition, you can receive a DUI-D charge if you are driving while under the influence of any intoxicating substance. Intoxicating substances include the various controlled substances listed...

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