OKLAHOMA LEGAL FAQ
Your Questions Answered
No matter what legal matter you are facing, there is absolutely no substitute for qualified, experienced legal counsel specific to your case. However, we realize that you probably have a lot of questions about the issue at hand – and we want to help.
At Nichols Dixon, we are dedicated to educating our clients as well as providing quality legal services. Below, we have provided brief answers to basic questions about the law in our many practice areas that may help you make the right decision for your future.
Still have questions after reading our FAQ? CONTACT our attorneys in Norman at (405) 294-1511.
I GOT A TRAFFIC TICKET – IS IT WORTH FIGHTING?
It might be. Keep in mind that a traffic violation is more than just a fine – it also puts points on your license, which can add up and eventually result in even more severe consequences, such as license revocation. That is why it might be worth fighting your ticket. Consult with the Norman criminal defense attorneys at Nichols Dixon to discuss your specific situation.
I’VE BEEN CHARGED WITH A DRUG CRIME. WHAT CAN HAPPEN TO ME?
Drug crimes can be charged as either misdemeanors or felonies. The penalties you face will depend on the specific charge you are facing. Marijuana possession, for example, is almost always charged as a misdemeanor, punishable by no more than one year in jail and/or a $1000 fine. More severe crimes, such as drug trafficking or distribution, could be charged as felonies, punishable by a wide range of serious and life-changing penalties. Discuss your case with our drug crime lawyers to see what penalties you might be facing.
CAN I GO TO JAIL FOR DUI?
Yes. Even for a first DUI offense with no aggravating factors, the law provides for jail time from 10 days to a maximum of one year – though our resourceful attorneys have helped many people negotiate alternatives. Even longer jail time is possible for a second offense or other felony DUI conviction.
I REFUSE TO TAKE A BREATH, BLOOD, OR OTHER ALCOHOL TEST WHEN I WAS PULLED OVER FOR SUSPECTED DUI. WHAT HAPPENS NOW?
Under Oklahoma's "implied consent" laws, the consequences of test refusal include immediate seizure of your driver's license and driver’s license suspension between 180 days and three years. The prosecutor will be allowed to present the fact that you refused to submit to testing along with other evidence when attempting to win a DUI conviction in your case.
I FILED FOR DIVORCE – WILL I HAVE TO GO TO COURT?
Not necessarily. There are two types of divorce: Uncontested and contested. If you are filing an uncontested divorce – one in which you and your spouse can agree on the terms of the divorce without a judge stepping in – you will not have to go to court. Instead, you and your partner can seek mediation and legal representation to effectively negotiate a settlement outside of the courtroom. This method is more time- and cost-effective than going to court.
HOW LONG WILL MY DIVORCE TAKE?
The length of time it takes to finalize a divorce depends on the circumstances of your situation. By law, an uncontested divorce involving children can take no less than 90 days. An uncontested divorce without children, however, could be finalized in as little as 10 days. Contested divorces, on the other hand, generally take much longer – possibly up to a year or two. At Nichols Dixon, we always strive to help our clients finalize their divorce quickly without compromising the quality of our representation.
I’M UNHAPPY WITH A COURT ORDER – CAN I MODIFY IT?
Under certain circumstances, yes, you may be able to modify a court order regarding child custody, child support, or alimony. Post-judgment modifications can be requested if you have experienced a significant change in circumstances – for example, if you lost your job, had to relocate for work, or remarried. The court will carefully assess all requests for post-judgment modification and you must show substantial proof of a significant change in circumstances.
MY EX-SPOUSE IS DISOBEYING A COURT ORDER. WHAT CAN I DO?
Depending on the type of order being violated and the extent of the violation, the court may be able to punish someone for violating an order by:
- Entering an automatic judgment against the violator
- Garnishing the violator’s wages
- Finding the violator in contempt of court
- Sending the violator to jail
- Revoking the violator’s driver’s license
THE INSURANCE COMPANY IS OFFERING ME A SETTLEMENT THAT SEEMS ACCEPTABLE – SHOULD I JUST TAKE IT?
At Nichols Dixon, we highly recommend that you consult with an attorney before accepting any offer from the insurance company. Insurance companies are businesses that put their profits before customers, so they will rarely offer the full and fair compensation you deserve. If you accept their settlement offer, you will be waiving your right to seek further compensation in the future. That is why it is best to seek legal guidance from a professional. We can assess your case and determine if there is more money on the table.
I LOST A LOVED ONE DUE TO SOMEONE ELSE’S NEGLIGENCE. WHAT CAN I DO?
As long as you are the deceased’s “personal representative,” you have the right to pursue legal action and seek financial compensation. Keep in mind there is a two-year statute of limitations for wrongful death claims.
HOW CAN NICHOLS DIXON HELP PROVE THE OTHER PARTY’S LIABILITY IN A CAR ACCIDENT?
We have extensive resources, knowledge, and access to industry experts, all of which can help us conduct a thorough investigation of the accident. We can revisit the scene of the accident and compile evidence showing the other party’s fault in the car accident.
ESTATE PLANNING & PROBATE
WHAT IS A WILL AND WHY DO I NEED ONE?
A will is one of the most fundamental pieces of any good estate plan. Your last will and testament outlines your wishes regarding your estate and your property in the event of your incapacitation or death. In your will, you can appoint people to make certain decisions on your behalf, reduce your tax liability, instruct others how to distribute your assets, and provide many other helpful instructions. If you should become incapacitated or pass away without a will, there is no guarantee that your wishes will be respected.
WHY DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY TO HELP WITH MY ESTATE PLAN?
Though you are legally able to draft your estate plan on your own, it can be extremely beneficial to collaborate with a lawyer. Our estate planning attorneys in Norman have extensive knowledge that we can use to your advantage when planning for your future. By working with a lawyer, you can save money (for both yourself and your loved ones), ensure that your plan is legally sound, and reduce your tax liability.
WHAT IS PROBATE?
Probate is a legal process wherein a court oversees the administration of a deceased person’s estate. In Oklahoma, all wills must be probated. If the person died without a will or if they had a large estate, probate can become a long and challenging process. Having an attorney by your side can help you and your family navigate the process and ensure that the deceased’s wishes are respected.
What Is the Difference Between Power of Attorney & Guardianship?
The major difference between a power of attorney and a guardianship is that one is voluntary while the other requires approval from the court. If you want to be appointed guardian of a loved one, you must prove that the person is unable to make responsible decisions or communicate their wishes. With a power of attorney, your loved one can sign a document that will give you the power the make important decisions about their estate.
Which Is Better, a Guardianship or Power of Attorney?
The answer to this question depends on the details of your situation. If you are in a position where you can no longer adequately care for yourself or manage your wealth and assets, then a guardianship is probably the best option. If you are in a position to plan your future and have someone trustworthy in mind, you should consider a power of attorney. Our lawyers can review your case and help you determine which option is right for you.