I. What is a felony in Oklahoma?
Oklahoma is one of a small number of states that do not classify felonies into different categories. For example, some states have felony categories such as Class A, B, and C. In those states, a Class A felony might be the most serious type while a Class C felony might be the least serious.
In Oklahoma, a felony is any crime punishable by death or imprisonment in state prison.
II. Sentence range for Felonies in Oklahoma?
In states where felonies are classified by category, each category of offense has a maximum penalty associated with it. For example, in a state with Class A, B, and C felonies, a Class A felony might have a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and $500,000 in fines, while a Class C felony might have a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and $100,000 in fines.
Because Oklahoma doesn’t have different felony categories, each felony has its own penalties associated with it. For example, someone convicted of arson faces a fine of up to $25,000 and no more than 35 years in prison. On the other hand, someone convicted of the unlawful delivery of goods faces up to $1,000 in fines and no more than five years in prison.
III. Repeat felony offenders in Oklahoma?
In addition to the potential penalties outlined under each felony law, Oklahoma also imposes additional penalties for repeat felony offenders. For example, someone convicted of a second offense of forcible sodomy faces a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, while someone convicted of a first offense of forcible sodomy faces up to 20 years in prison.
IV. The 85% rule in Oklahoma
Some crimes in Oklahoma are covered under the state’s “85 percent rule,” a sentencing guideline that requires people convicted of such crimes to serve at least 85 percent of their prison sentences before becoming eligible for parole. For example, someone convicted of criminal sodomy and sentenced to a 20-year prison term would have to serve 17 years in prison before being eligible for early release.
There are a number of crimes that the 85 percent rule applies to, including but not limited to:
- First-degree murder
- First-degree manslaughter
- Conjoint robbery
Robbery with a dangerous weapon
- Child prostitution
- Aggravated drug trafficking
V. Examples of Felonies in Oklahoma
The following list of felonies represents a small number of felony crimes identified in Oklahoma.
- Asking or receiving bribes
- Mutilating, treating with indignity, or destroying the flag
- Assisting the prisoner to escape
- Assault, battery, or assault and battery with a dangerous weapon
- Aiding suicide
- Desertion of children under the age of 10
- Commercial gambling
- Possession of child pornography
V. Statute of Limitations for Felonies in Oklahoma
In any criminal case, prosecutors have to file criminal charges within a specific amount of time. Each state has laws that determine how long prosecutors have filed charges, known as the statutes of limitations.
The Oklahoma statute of limitations establishes different time limits for different types of crimes. For example, there is no time limit for murder charges, but other crimes have 12, seven, five, or three-year limits. For a more detailed explanation of the Oklahoma law and how it works, you can read the Oklahoma Criminal Statute of Limitations.
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