Multiple DUI’s In Oklahoma
Driving under the influence (DUI) is what we call a predicate offense. This means the punishment for your first DUI will be less severe than the punishment you receive for any subsequent DUIs.
While your criminal history, the county where your DUI was committed, and the prosecutor handling your case can always play a factor in your sentencing, we have provided a walk through of what you can most likely expect when you get multiple DUIs.
NOTE: This information is a generalization to give you an idea of what to expect with a DUI charge and is not legal advice.
Regardless of whether it is your first or your fifth DUI, there are some standard elements of sentencing. Any DUI plea offer is going to require that you take a drug and alcohol assessment and a DUI class, as well as be part of a Victims Impact Panel. The length of your DUI class will vary depending on the results of your drug and alcohol assessment, and whether it is your first DUI or a continued issue.
Depending on the county, you may also have community service hours. If you got your DUI in a large county, such as Tulsa County, you are less likely to have community service hours. In a more rural county, such as Rogers County, you are almost guaranteed to have community service hours. If you received a DUI in a county that does require community service hours, you will receive them regardless of whether it is your first DUI or you have had multiple prior DUIs.
Your First DUI
No Criminal History
Assuming you don’t have any criminal history, you will most likely receive a deferred sentence on your first DUI. A deferred sentence is when you enter a plea of guilty, and the judge withholds a finding of guilt and defers your case for a period of time. If you complete all of the probation requirements and did not receive any new charges at the end of that time period, your case is dismissed and expunged.
A deferred sentence can only be given through a blind plea to a judge, or by pleading pursuant to a plea deal with the prosecutor. For a first-time DUI, the plea offer normally includes 18 months of probation, a drug and alcohol assessment, a Victims Impact Panel, a DUI school, possible community service hours, a $300 court fee, $150 victims impact fee, plus all of the court costs.
A first-time DUI carries between 10 days and 1 year in jail. If you take the case to jury trial and are found guilty, you will be sentenced between that time frame.
With Criminal History
If you have a prior criminal history, but don’t have a prior DUI, you most likely will not be offered a deferred sentence and will instead be offered a suspended sentence. Unlike the deferred sentence, you are immediately found guilty and your case is not eligible for expungement as quickly. However, all probation requirements are the same.
The phrase “aggravated DUI” can seem scary. But an aggravated DUI isn’t much different from a normal misdemeanor DUI—it just requires the state to show your blood alcohol content (BAC) was above a .14 at the time of your arrest. The punishment range and plea offers for aggravated DUI are the same. The only difference is that you are required to have a breathalyzer installed on your car. Many people choose to enroll in the Impaired Driver Accountability Program (IDAP) program in order to keep their license, which requires a breathalyzer, so this doesn’t ordinarily make a difference for them as they would have the breathalyzer either way.
Your Second DUI
If you receive a second DUI within 10 years of being convicted of your first DUI, it can be filed as a felony. This is because a DUI is what we call a predicate offense. A felony DUI comes with an increased punishment, as well as the issues associated with a general felony.
Once you are a convicted felon, you lose a lot of rights afforded to most people, such as the right to vote and the right to own a gun. This is in addition to the actual punishment you receive for the DUI.
A second DUI carries a minimum of 1 year in prison and up to 5 years. If you choose to plead to the charge, whether it be a blind or guilty plea, you most likely will not receive a sentence of jail time. You will probably be offered either a deferred or suspended sentence. Despite it saying the minimum time is 1 year, the State can offer to “suspend” that year. Meaning they will suspend the prison sentence and you will serve that period of time on probation instead.
Regardless of how it is configured, either probation or jail time, you must spend at least a year under the supervision of the State. It is hard to say what the offer will be, as it varies quite a bit from county to county and prosecutor to prosecutor. Some prosecutors will offer a deferred sentence, as it is your first felony offense. Others will only offer a suspended sentence, because you already received one deferred sentence and they aren’t willing to give you a second. This offer can also change depending on factors such as whether you are receiving addiction treatment, what your criminal history is, how long it has been since your last DUI, how far you were over the legal limit, and how compliant you were with officers during the traffic stop.
If you do not participate in an inpatient treatment or residential treatment program, you are required to serve at least 5 days in custody. The inpatient or residential treatment must be at least 5 days in order to avoid the in-custody requirement.
Much like with the first DUI, you are required to participate in a drug and alcohol assessment, Victims Impact Panel, and DUI school. Also like with the first DUI, you may be required to do community service work, but that will vary from county to county. You will also be required to pay court costs, a victims compensation fee, and will most likely have a general fine.
Your Third DUI
Like with the second DUI, your third charge will be filed as a felony. It carries between 1 year and 10 years in prison. Unlike with the second DUI, it is likely that you will spend some time in custody. As previously discussed, the state must place you under supervision for at least the 1 year minimum, but they could choose to “suspend” the jail sentence so you are spending the time on probation instead of in custody. Also, you would not be eligible to receive a deferred sentence. You would either receive a suspended sentence, jail time, or a split of the two.
Similar to the other DUIs, you are required to participate in a drug and alcohol assessment, Victims Impact Panel, and a DUI class. Additionally, you are required to do an inpatient treatment program for at least 10 days. If you do not do the inpatient treatment program, you must spend at least 10 days in custody. You are also required to do at least 240 hours of community service and install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.
Your Fourth DUI
Like with the second and third DUI, your fourth DUI will be a felony. It carries between 1 year and 20 years in prison. You will not be eligible for a deferred sentence, and will almost certainly serve some time in prison. This may be formulated into a split sentence, with a portion spent in prison and another portion served as a suspended sentence.
As was required with the other DUIs, you will participate in a drug and alcohol assessment, Victim’s Impact Panel, and DUI school. You are required to spend at least 10 days in an inpatient treatment facility, or at least 10 days in the Department of Corrections. You will have a minimum 1 year of supervision with testing, 480 community service hours, and an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle.
This Doesn’t Apply to all DUIs
We went through what to generally expect on your first, second, third, and fourth DUI. However, this doesn’t apply to all DUIs. If you seriously injure or kill someone while driving under the influence, the law is completely different. The punishment will be much more severe, and is fact specific to your case.
Also, the statute only allows a DUI to be filed as a felony if the second DUI is obtained within 10 years of the first DUI. That 10-year clock restarts each time you get a DUI. This means that if your third DUI is 11 years after your first, but 6 years after your second, it will still be treated as your third DUI, not your second.
The Bottom Line
If you get a DUI in Oklahoma, the punishment gets worse each time you are charged. While the first DUI only carries a year in jail, subsequent DUIs can carry up to 20 years in prison. If you’ve been charged with a DUI, it’s important to consider your options before pleading and consult an attorney who has experience with DUIs in your area.