SQ 788 and Your Oklahoma Driver’s License
This past June, Oklahoma voters passed State Question 788, which legalized the use of medical marijuana for those individuals issued a medical license by the State. SQ 788 also lowered the penalty for those individuals possessing up to one and half ounces of marijuana that do not have a medical license but claim they have a medical condition. The penalty for this class of individuals was lowered to $400. Those in possession of more than one and half ounces are still subject to up to a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail.
Several municipalities have or are changing their misdemeanor marijuana possession ordinances to match the penalty of unlicensed individuals who claim they have a qualifying condition.
Driver’s License Penalties
One of the things SQ 788 did not change is the potential legal consequences affecting a person’s driver’s license for those caught possessing marijuana without a medical license while using a motor vehicle. Under Oklahoma law, a person convicted of a misdemeanor offense of possessing marijuana while using a motor vehicle will result in the loss of their driver’s license for six months, or possibly longer depending on the number of prior revocations.
Penalized for Paying a Fine?
The concern is that while SQ 788 lowered the penalty to a $400 fine, it is still charged as a misdemeanor offense. Many municipalities have announced that instead of arresting a person and requiring a court appearance, they will just issue a ticket, which can be satisfied without a court appearance. Numerous people will choose to simply pay the fine in lieu of a court appearance. However, doing so will result in a conviction.
Individuals who possessed marijuana while using a motor vehicle they don’t realize that by paying the fine they will lose their driver’s license. This is an action by the Department of Public Safety and as such, the Court will usually not advise you of suck consequences.
Save Your License
There are many ways in which an attorney can assist to decrease or prevent the likelihood of losing one’s driver’s license. If you find yourself in such a situation described here, please call Hunsucker Legal Group for a free consultation prior to paying the fine.