You Served Your Sentence for a DUI or Drug Crime. Now What?
Finally, you finished serving your sentence for a DUI or a drug crime. Whether you had to spend time in jail or prison, or you had to pay fines and take alcohol education classes, it is all over. Now you may be wondering what is next.
Double-Check that You Completed All Terms of the Sentence
First, double-check with your lawyer or the court that you have truly completed all the requirements of your sentence. Sometimes there will be a requirement saying that you have to take random BAC tests or check in with a probation officer for months or years after you get out of jail. Many people convicted of DUI or drug crimes have to attend treatment programs or classes too. Also, there may be a period of time when you cannot drive or get your license back. Make sure you comply with all of these terms in full. Otherwise you could face further problems with the court.
Can You Get Your Criminal Record Sealed?
In Oklahoma, you can make a request that the court seal your arrest or conviction records. This is called expungement. Not all arrests or convictions are eligible to be expunged. However, if you are able to secure an expungement, future background checks probably will not show that you were arrested or convicted for the crime. As a result, you may benefit by having less difficulty getting a job. Talk to a lawyer for help getting your record expunged.
Unfortunately, many people who finish their DUI or drug crime sentences commit similar crimes again. The state calls this “recidivism”. If you have just finished your sentence, you can take steps to avoid a future arrest. For example, you can attend support groups, continue going to treatment for drug or alcohol abuse, seek therapy, and get help from your family and friends. Some people even choose to buy home breathalyzers to keep in their cars, so they can avoid driving while over the limit.
If despite your best efforts you get in trouble again, be sure to speak to a lawyer. Oklahoma law requires more strict sentences for repeat offenders, so you need someone on your side during the process. Your lawyer may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor on your behalf.
If you are facing repeat DUI charges, seek out an attorney who knows the Oklahoma criminal law system inside and out. Clint Patterson, Esq., of Patterson Law Firm, a former Tulsa prosecutor now using his trial experience and expert-level knowledge of DUI science to defend drivers, has the experience and the insight to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your case. To schedule a case evaluation, visit Patterson Law Firm online or call Clint’s office at (918) 550-9175.