Derryberry & Naifeh, LLP
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Do you understand the consequences of a DUI charge?

Many people who drink and drive in Oklahoma assume the only ones who have something to lose are those who have lucrative careers, fancy lifestyles and are in the public eye. Little do they realize that DUI charges have a much deeper impact on their lives. Not only do they have to deal with the stigma attached to the crime, they must also deal with the short- and long-term effects. Many of the immediate consequences of DUI charges can alter the course of their lives for many years to come. 

Damages reputation and credibility 

DUI charges and convictions are quite damaging to one’s reputation. Offenders who work in high-esteem positions, such as teachers, doctors and politicians, do not realize that their peers, supporters, friends and loved ones may no longer hold them in high esteem because of their situation. Drinking and driving show offenders are not only capable of making poor decisions, but they are also incapable of exercising self-control. The crime also suggests offenders are willing to put the public in danger because they were unwilling to do the right thing and obey the law. 

Jail time 

First-time offenders may have to spend up to six months in jail, which is a long time for them to put their lives and careers on hold. Spending some time in jail may not be enough to deter some from becoming repeat DUI offenders. Repeat offenders may end up spending far more time behind bars. In many professions, workers arrested and sentenced to serve time for certain offenses like DUIs are let go because their situations violate their employment contracts. 

Fines, restitution and other expenses 

DUI charges carry fines, restitution and other expenses. Depending on the circumstances, offenders may also find themselves financially responsible for impound fees, the procurement and installation of interlock ignition devices and higher vehicle insurance fees. They may also have to pay to have their driver’s licenses reinstated and obtain special auto insurance. 

Loss of professional certifications and licenses 

In some cases, DUIs can lead to the loss of professional licenses, resulting in loss of employment and a decrease in income. Offenders may also encounter challenges seeking gainful employment in the future. Doctors, dentists, nurses, financial advisors, law enforcement officers, educators and other professionals must disclose their criminal situations to the appropriate licensing boards. The boards, at their discretion, may allow them to keep their licenses, strip them or deny renewal applications. 

It is important for anyone who has a DUI charge to fight it. The consequences of a conviction can affect her or his entire life for a long time. But, those charged can take measures to minimize its impact.

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4800 North Lincoln Boulevard
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

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