Are there any recent changes to Oklahoma DUI law that residents should know about?
Answer: The way the law works now, first-time DUI, if you get it from a municipality, they can actually keep it. So most of the time, a DUI in city court is your first time, which usually that’s always favorable to the defendant, no priors. When you’re in state court, you know, if you got pulled over by a county sheriff or by OHP and it happens to be your first time DUI and you get stuck in state court, it’s still a lot more work. DAs are much less willing to work with you than city prosecutors, who are just trying to keep the flow going in their courtroom and generate money for the city.
So the way the law works now, they changed it recently, Mary Fallin signed in a bill to where all DUIs and DWIs go to courts of record, which are at this point Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and all district courts. So they either have to become courts of limited jurisdiction or they have to give up all their DUIs and DWIs to state court. So right now, the government’s trying to keep a tab on all DUIs, whether they be municipal or state. Which is actually worse for the defendant, because if they send them all to state or if they become courts of limited jurisdiction, then that first one, if you get a first-time DUI, it will always be a misdemeanor, then that second one, if it’s within 10 years, will become a felony. Well under the old law, if you got a municipality DUI and it wasn’t Oklahoma City or Tulsa, those could never be used to enhance. So under the new law, all DUIs will be able to enhance the next one to a felony DUI. So not very favorable legislation to the citizens of Oklahoma.