When police observe signs of impairment in a motorist, they will frequently begin a more comprehensive investigation to determine if the individual has been drinking. The officers may request that the driver submit to field sobriety tests, and this could potentially lead to an arrest.
Prosecutors will then have to decide whether or not to charge the individual with DUI. If there are any issues present, it is possible that they will opt not to bring charges against the motorist. It can take some time for the cases to work their way through the system, which can place a strain on those who are waiting to see what happens next.
In Oklahoma, some individuals arrested for DUI have had to wait more than two years for their charges to be filed due to issues with how the cases were handled. The cases concern motorists arrested by state troopers working in Oklahoma City.
Some of the stops were made by officers who typically work in other locations, so they were not familiar with the procedures in place in the county, and failed to follow all of the steps. Prosecutors did not receive the information packets that they needed to determine if charges should result from the arrest.
An investigation uncovered what is believed to be dozens of these outstanding cases, which means that some motorists may now be charged with DUI after this long wait. Under Oklahoma law, prosecutors do have up to three years to bring DUI charges against individuals.
The delays may cause significant issues for some people. They may have started working at a new job that requires a clean driving record. If convicted, they face very severe penalties, which can include jail time. If they have had subsequent DUIs, they could be looking at much tougher sentences.
Most arrested for drunk driving really have had no other interactions with law enforcement, and are confused about what they need to do at this time. If you have been arrested for DUI, you need to understand what will happen next. You may be asked to submit to a blood or breath test, and if you refuse, your license will automatically be suspended.
Police may be asking you questions as they process your arrest, and it is important to know that they will use your statements against you, making it much more difficult to defend yourself against their allegations. You should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible so that you have someone protecting your rights and advising you of your best interests.