The Actual Physical Control crime is also sometimes called APC. You already know that in Oklahoma, you are not allowed to drive a car while under the influence of alcohol or drugs – otherwise known as driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while impaired (DWI). However, you might be surprised to learn that it is against the law to merely be in actual physical control (APC) of a motor vehicle when you are under the influence. Most commonly, an APC offense occurs when you are asleep in your car or are waiting in your car when you are stopped by the police.
Some of the direst consequences of an APC conviction include a jail sentence, hefty fine and the potentially long-term suspension of your driver’s license. Just like with a DUI, getting hit with an APC conviction might hamper your ability to get to work, drive to school, visit your doctor, or tend to your family members’ needs. Let’s take a look at Oklahoma’s APC laws including what you could do to protect your rights if you have been charged with an offense.
What Does The Law Say About APC?
In Oklahoma, it is against the law for you to have actual physical control (“APC”) of a motor vehicle while you are under the influence of alcohol or an intoxicating substance.
You must have alcohol or drugs in your system to be found guilty of APC. First of all, just like with a DUI, you violate the law by being in physical control of a vehicle when:
- You are under the influence of alcohol
- Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 percent according to a blood or breath test taken within two hours of your arrest
- You have a Schedule I chemical or controlled substance (e.g. heroin, ecstasy, LSD) that is detected through your blood, urine, saliva or bodily fluid within two hours of your arrest
- You are under the influence of anything that is intoxicating and this makes you incapable of operating a vehicle or driving safely
It doesn’t matter whether you are lawfully entitled to alcohol, drugs or controlled substances. Keep in mind that unlike some other states, Oklahoma does not consider you to have an excuse or defense to an APC charge when you are lawfully entitled to a prescription or controlled dangerous substance. So, even if you have been prescribed OxyContin, you could still face an APC charge.
Consequences Of Actual Physical Control Crime
First APC offense is a misdemeanor: If this is your first APC offense, then this constitutes a misdemeanor which is punishable by a maximum $1,000 fine and one-year jail sentence. You’ll also have to submit to a drug or alcohol evaluation and comply with a recommended treatment plan. Many times, depending on certain facts, you’ll be facing either deferred or a suspended sentence if the States facts hold up.
Second APC offense is a felony: If your second offense occurs within 10 years of the time that you completed your sentence or deferred judgement for DUI or APC, then this new APC offense constitutes a felony which is punishable by a maximum $2,500 fine and five-year prison sentence. It is possible for you to alternatively be ordered to undergo a drug or alcohol assessment, evaluation and treatment at your expense. Keep in mind that Oklahoma law requires you to serve at least five days in jail if you are not otherwise placed at an impatient or residential treatment program for that period or longer.
Second APC felony offense: If this is your second time being convicted of a felony DUI or APC offense, then you face a maximum $5,000 fine and 10-year prison sentence. However, you could still be ordered by the court to instead undergo treatment at your expense plus do 240 hours of community service. You may be required to use an ignition interlock device (IID) too. Remember that you’ll be required to spend at least 10 days behind bars if you are not otherwise placed in a court-ordered impatient or residential treatment program for at least that period.
Third APC felony offense: With a third felony DUI or APC conviction, you face a maximum $5,000 fine and 20-year jail sentence. Alternative sentencing entails evaluation and treatment, one year of periodic testing and supervision at your expense, 480 hours of community service, and an IID restriction. This offense also carries at least a 10-day jail sentence if you do not undergo treatment.
Keep in mind that in Oklahoma, if you are 18 or older and you are in physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and you have someone in your car who is under the age of 18, then you face double the amount of fines.
Operating Or Being In Physical Control While Under The Age Of 21
If you are under 21 years of age, then It is against the law in Oklahoma for you to have any measurable quantity of alcohol or drugs in your system while being in physical control of a motor vehicle. You could be found guilty even if you appear intoxicated. A first conviction carries a maximum $500 fine, 20 hours of community service and treatment. Second convictions carry additional consequences such as a maximum $1,000 fine, 240 hours of community service, treatment and an IID restriction. And third convictions come with a maximum $2,000 fine, 480 hours of community service, treatment and an IID restriction.
Hiring An Oklahoma DUI, APC Attorney
If you have been charged with an actual physical control crime then you should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who is well versed on Oklahoma DUI and APC laws. The Tulsa DUI attorneys at Kania Law Office have extensive experience protecting the rights of people who have been charged with alcohol-related and drug-related offenses including APC. We are on your side. For a free consultation, reach out to Kania Law Office today by calling (918) 743-2233 or by contacting us online.
Tulsa's Local Criminal Defense Lawyers
Are you looking for Tulsa attorneys who will fight aggressively for you? Our team of criminal defense attorneys have the experience needed in Oklahoma law to secure the outcome you deserve.