My question involves criminal law for the state of: Oklahoma
:: WARNING: THIS IS A LENGTHY POST, BUT THIS SHOULD COVER JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING SO I CAN GET A GOOD SOLID ANSWER FROM PEOPLE ::
The accident occurred on 11/26/2009. A friend and I went out drinking at a local pub in the city. I dropped him off at his place, and proceeded to head back to my place. I decided to take a different route as I was going to stop by a local grocery store to get a snack. As I was driving, I decided to change songs on my Ipod, and ended up running into a median. Not knowing how bad of damage was done to the vehicle, I decided to try and change the tire so I can be on my way home. Within thirty minutes, a OHP trooper came and asked what the situation was. I told him I was changing my tire, in which he responded with 'I'm going to come back in ten minutes, and if you're still here, then I'm gonna have to take you in.' I didn't want to leave my car sitting on the side of the highway, so I called my friend, and he drove to the scene to pick me up, and then we went back to his place to get the right tools to get the beat up tire off of the car ( the tools I had were not that great ). This was about an hour and thirty minutes later, and then another OHP trooper came, flashed his light at the tire, and said the car was totaled. The trooper then told me to go in his car, and he was doing the test with my eyes ( while seated inside of the car ) and automatically 'you're drunk, you're going to jail.' He gave me two choices: do the blow test or spend the night in jail. Since I felt fine, and I had read somewhere that if you refused the test, your license would automatically be taken away ( which, as it turns out, isn't the case in the state of Oklahoma ), I told him I would take the test. He gave me two tries: once I blew .11, and second was .13. He only counted the .11, and alas, had to spend the night in jail where I ended up getting bailed out by a relative around 5pm on Thanksgiving. Within a couple of days, I went to Hunsucker Defense Firm and had them represent me. This is my first dui, and with the exception of a petty larceny conviction, I have no serious criminal offenses on my record.
My question is this: This took place 11/26/2009, and as of today, 10/23/2010, I have not been convicted nor has DPS taken away my license ( I have had full driving privileges this whole time through a temporary license ). There have been four disposition court dates set up, in which the defense has called a continuance. I had read mostly positive reviews on the Hunsucker Defense Firm from various legal sites and even got a good word from my drug/alcohol assessment person. Also, they gave the option to do a payment plan, which me being a poor college student at the time sounded lucrative, as I wasn't too familiar of other law firms that offered that ( some of the ones I looked into wanted you to pay up front ). I started my services in November 2009, and this is what has happened:
* There has yet to be a DPS hearing. There have been ones that were scheduled, but they would be cancelled supposedly ( I say supposedly because I honestly can't get information on if they were truly cancelled or if someone on my side asked for a continuance. I tried getting an answer from DPS themselves but they weren't allowed to tell me anything, that my lawyer had to talk to them ). This is nerve wrecking because this is why my Disposition court dates have had continuances. According to my firm, they like to re-examine the trooper and use what he says to use against him in the Disposition court to try and lessen my pending charges, though this doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense to me because for as long as I've had to deal with this, the courts and DPS are two separate entities.
* In August 2010, I finally found out that the courts had a 2 year deferred sentence against me, along with 40 hours community service, $1,000 costs ( which include court costs ), VIP and DUI classes. Under the suggestion of one of the lawyers at Hunsucker, he said I could take the assessment, VIP and DUI classes and that should lower the other charges down significantly. I went ahead and did them, mostly because I didn't want to sit on my hands when I could be taking care of all of this. I did my assessment, which had me at a level 1, so I did the 10 hour dui class, and the vip class. I got my certifications for both and gave them to Hunsucker well before the 10/14/2010 disposition court date that passed. I called a week later ( before that I had called twice, left a message, and even sent an e-mail asking them to please call me back ), and they said they still had me with a 2 year deferred sentence, 40 hours community service, and $1,000 costs. I asked why this was the case, especially after Brian, the other lawyer, had suggested for me to take them in order to lower the other charges, and Andy ( the guy I'm talking to ) was like 'Well basically, there are new DA's in the court, and usually if they're fairly new, they like to keep it safe and not mess around with the the current pending charges.' and saying that after the DPS hearing is when they'll be able to lower the pending charges. After that, I realized that this case is going nowhere. It's nearing a year since the accident, and I still have full driving privileges, and to me, there seems to be no end in sight.
I have also felt entirely out of the blue this whole time. The only time I've gotten any kind of response back from John ( the main lawyer of the firm ) is when I kept sending out e-mail after e-mail wanting a response ( literally, I hadn't heard anything from him in a week and it was an important question ) and that is when he responded with 'my team is working very hard on your case. You just need to relax and have patience. We can't just fix this over night.'
This is what I want to ask you, the board community: Given all the information I have given you, would you advise me to seek another dui lawyer around town and see what they can do for me? I have already paid my $3,000 to Hunsucker, but would be willing to go with another lawyer if that is what you think would be best and if it be possible. Here is my deal: I have been receiving numerous job offers to teach abroad. However, with this case dragging on and a 2 year deferred sentence on top of that for when everything is finalized, it's definitely become a hinderance of sorts. I have my reasons for wanting this to end, both personal and professionally. If the charges can't be lowered, then let me go ahead and start what I need to finish. I'll pay off the fines and do the community service right now.
Sorry if this is considered double posting, btw ( the first part of this is from one of the other forums on here ).