DUI in Tulsa County
If you have been charged with a DUI in Tulsa County, you are probably wondering what to expect, as well as whether you will be given an opportunity to plead. We've handled thousands of Tulsa DUI cases—here’s everything you need to know, based on our years of experience handling this charge.
Immediately After Arrest
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Tulsa County, you will be given a bond within 24 hours (many times less). You do not need to hire an attorney within that first 24 hours, but you need to hire one once you bond out to ensure you have experienced counsel walking you through each step.
After you have bonded out, you will be given an arraignment date. You must go to that court date as it is where the State formally charges you with a DUI. This hearing is the last court date you can attend without an attorney. After you are formally charged, you will be assigned to a public defender (if you do not hire your own attorney), as well as a judge and prosecutor. At this stage, you will also have the opportunity to plead.
Common DUI Plea Offers
Keep in mind there is no guarantee of any type of plea deal. Pleas are offered by the prosecutor and are 100% at the prosecutor’s discretion. However, most people charged with DUIs are given plea offers that look similar to what we have detailed below. This will give you some guidance about what to expect when considering a deal.
After you were first charged, you probably looked up the punishment for a DUI and panicked when you saw it was up to a year in jail. That is what the law says, but it is rare that you would actually get a year in jail for a first-time DUI. Instead, you will most likely be offered a term of probation. This probation can look different depending on your blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of your arrest, as well as your criminal history.
- If you do not have any criminal history and your BAC was between a .08 and .15: You will most likely be offered an 18-month deferred sentence, which provides an automatic expungement of your DUI charge at the end of your probation. In addition, you will be required to participate in a Drug and Alcohol Assessment, a Victims Impact Panel, and an ADSAC course. You will also be required to pay a DA supervision fee, as well as a $300 fine, and $150 to the Victims Fund. However, if you complete all of these classes prior to plea, the prosecutor will often lower your probation to 12 months.
- If you have a criminal history and your BAC was between .08 and .15: You will most likely be offered a 12-month suspended sentence. This is a form of probation without an automatic expungement. It seems strange that you would be given less time if you HAVE a criminal history, but this is because the DUI charge will stay on your record, whereas with a deferred sentence, it does not. In addition to this probation, you will be required to participate in a Drug and Alcohol Assessment, a Victims Impact Panel, and an ADSAC course. You will also be required to pay a DA supervision fee, as well as a $300 fine and $150 to the Victims Fund.
- If you do not have a prior criminal history and your BAC was over .15: You will most likely be offered an 18-month deferred sentence (remember, this provides an automatic expungement at the end of your probation. Again, you will be required to participate in a Drug and Alcohol Assessment, a Victims Impact Panel, and an ADSAC course. You will also be required to pay a DA supervision fee, as well as a $300 fine and $150 to the Victims Fund. Additionally, you will be required to install an interlock device on your car, and it will be monitored by the Department of Public Safety (DPS). However, if you complete all of these classes prior to plea, the prosecutor will often lower your probation to 12 months.
- If you have a criminal history and your BAC was over a .15: You will most likely be offered a 12-month suspended sentence. Again, this is a form of probation without an automatic expungement. You will be required to take a Drug and Alcohol Assessment, a Victims Impact Panel, and an ADSAC course. You will also be required to pay a DA supervision fee, as well as a $300 fine and $150 to the Victims Fund. Additionally, you will be required to install an interlock device on your vehicle and it will be monitored by DPS.
All of the previous plea examples assume that your DUI charge was your first. If you have had a prior DUI or APC within the past 10 years, your case will be filed as a felony rather than a misdemeanor, and this will significantly impact the type of plea offer you receive. These examples should NOT be anticipated if you are being charged with a felony DUI.
Standard Probation Requirements for DUIs in Tulsa County
Drug and Alcohol Assessment
A drug and alcohol assessment is required by statute to be included on every DUI case. The assessment involves an individual, your case worker, asking you questions about your substance use and possible abuse. Any follow-up requirements they provide to you are also considered a mandatory part of your probation.
After your drug and alcohol assessment, you will be sent to an Alcohol and Drug Substance Abuse Course (ADSAC). Depending on your individual case, you will either be required to complete a 10-hour or 24-hour ADSAC within 6 months of obtaining your drug and alcohol assessment.
Victims Impact Panel
Any Tulsa County plea offer will require your participation in a victims impact panel. This panel is exactly what it sounds like: a group of people telling their stories about how a DUI accident or arrest impacted their lives, whether a parent who lost a child or a person imprisoned for a DUI. While some counties allow an online victims impact panel, Tulsa County doesn’t at this time (but may in the future).
In Tulsa County, your check-in requirements will look different depending on your type of probation, length of probation, and if you completed all classes prior to plea. One of the positives in Tulsa County is that completing your classes prior to plea often allows you to go on “unsupervised probation.” This means that you pay your probation fees each month, but are not required to formally check in. It is always a good idea to complete your drug and alcohol assessment, victims impact panel, and ADSAC as soon as possible.
Fines and Fees
Every criminal plea comes with fines and fees. In Tulsa County, most misdemeanor cases come with a $300 fine, and $150 fine for the victims compensation fund. These are the fines associated with the punishment for your case, but you must also pay DA supervision fees and court fees. Court fees are set by the court clerk, and the cost is dependent on your type of case and how long it has been pending. DA supervision fees are around $50 per month, and pay for monitoring your progress on probation and continuously checking your criminal record.
New Criminal Charges
The biggest requirement of probation is that you don’t receive any new criminal charges. If you make a minor mistake on probation, it can likely be fixed fairly easily (such as settling up the back payment you missed). If you get new criminal charges in Tulsa County that are more serious than something like a missed payment, you will likely be required to spend more time on probation or even do some jail time.
If you are required to get a breathalyzer as part of your plea, it will not be overseen by the DA’s office. The breathalyzer will be installed and monitored by DPS.
The Bottom Line
Getting a DUI doesn’t mean you will have to go to jail. Many DUIs in Tulsa County result in probation, which is why it is important to find an attorney familiar with the plea process. If you have been charged with a DUI, contact us for a free consultation.