If you are taken into custody for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Oklahoma within 10 years of being convicted of a previous charge of driving while intoxicated, you will likely face a felony charge. If you are in this situation, you should be aware of the possible consequences of a conviction. The penalties for a felony are generally far more severe than they are for a misdemeanor offense, and a felony conviction appearing on a background check could make securing employment or a place to live very difficult.
A felony DWI conviction in Oklahoma will result in a prison sentence of between one year and 20 years and a fine of up to $5,000. If you are convicted of felony drunk driving, you will also be required to attend alcohol counseling and have an ignition interlock device fitted in your vehicle for up to eight years. Your driver's license will also be marked to reflect your drunk driving record.
However, proving a felony drunk driving charge beyond reasonable doubt may be challenging for prosecutors, and even evidence that seems strong is subject to the scrutiny and challenge of a criminal defense attorney. The behavior of police officers could be examined to see if strictly established constitutional protections have been violated, and the results of breath or blood tests used to establish impairment may not always be reliable.
An attorney could help a motorist accused of felony drunk driving even if the police officers involved acted correctly and toxicology tests were performed according to guidelines. They may be able to do this by pointing out mitigating factors to prosecutors during plea negotiations as they seek to have felony charges reduced. If you are facing a felony DUI charge, or if you would like more information regarding the state's felony drunk driving laws, please visit our page dealing with the subject.