Driving Under the Influence – What is your next step? Arrested and accused by the police of DUI? Scared? You might be asking yourself, “what’s next?” These are the first steps you should take to give yourself the best chance for a positive outcome in a tough situation.
1 – Write Everything Down and Do Not Speak to Anyone Until You Have Retained an Attorney
The facts and circumstances surrounding your arrest are paramount to your chances of winning or losing your DUI case. Important details may fade as time passes. Try and write everything you remember down, even if it appears insignificant. Answers to the questions below could prove helpful:
- Where and when did the officer stop you?
- What was the officer’s reason for stopping you?
- Did you submit to a breathalyzer or blood test?
- Did you perform any field sobriety tests? (track your eyes, walk a line, etc.)?
- Did you tell the officer anything about your night, and specifically, what you ate and drank?
After you refresh your memory, we highly recommend not speaking to anyone about the situation until obtaining an attorney. Discussing the situation with others is unhelpful, and may even strengthen the State’s evidence against you.
2 – You Must Request an Administrative License Hearing Within 15 Days to Defend Your License
Once charged with DUI, you will learn, there will be two separate legal actions against you. The State will pursue criminal charges and the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety will pursue a civil action. The civil action contests your driving privileges and you have only 15 days from the date of your arrest to request an Administrative License Hearing. Your 15 day clock starts ticking the date of your arrest. If you request the hearing within 15 days of your arrest you will receive a temporary driver’s permit. Failing to request this hearing prevents you from defending your license and your license is automatically revoked 30 days after your arrest (leading to a suspension of no less than 6 months).
To properly handle your request for the Administrative License Hearing─within 15 days of your arrest─it is important you hire an attorney as soon as possible to request the hearing for you. If you choose to attack this hearing on your own, make certain DPS receives your request prior to the 15 day deadline or your license will be suspended. Stay alert for a notification letter sent in the mail by DPS. This will inform you of your hearing date. DPS need only send the hearing notification letter to your last known address, your physical receipt of the notification letter is not necessary.
Note: If you have a Commercial Driver’s License and were arrested for DUI (even if you were in your personal vehicle), your CDL is automatically suspended for a minimum of one year. Oklahoma provides no work permit or hardship license for commercial drivers. You should still submit your request for the Administrative License Hearing within 15 days to obtain a temporary driver’s permit. Be aware, this temporary permit does not maintain your CDL, as it is automatically taken upon your arrest. Contact our office immediately if you have a CDL and were arrested for DUI.
3 – Prepare to Defend the Criminal Charge
While waiting for your Administrative License Hearing, begin preparing to defend the criminal charges against you. Know that every person charged with DUI has a right to a jury trial. Obtaining an experienced DUI lawyer will help provide you the best opportunity for success. A lawyer will look to supply numerous tactics to help strengthen your defense. A DUI lawyer will begin by looking at the stop itself to determine if the officer had any specific and legitimate reasons for suspecting you were under the influence. If the officer had no valid reason, this could supply your attorney a starting point for your defense. Did the officer make any mistakes? Did the officer present the facts accurately? If you do not seek advice from legal counsel, it is important you be proactive and start gathering evidence. Obtaining the police report and any dash cam footage is just the start.
4 – Contact F|F|Q|G+R
The clock starts ticking at the time of your arrest, meaning every second is vital. Remember, you have only 15 days from the arrest to defend your driver’s license. If you have been arrested for DUI, call Timothy L. Spencer at Franden | Farris | Quillin | Goodnight + Roberts in Tulsa. We have highly trained and knowledgeable attorneys who will actively defend your case.
Contact us at 918-583-7129.
*Disclaimer: The above is only a general description of law and is not meant to provide any legal advice to any readers.