What is a Misdemeanor?
Misdemeanors generally carry less severe penalties than felonies. In Oklahoma, a misdemeanor is an offense that is punishable by no more than 1 year in county jail.
Examples of misdemeanors in Oklahoma include:
- First time DUI
- Simple assault
- Breaking and Entering
- DWI, and APC
- Drug Possession
- Petty Larceny
What is a Felony?
Felonies can be much more serious. Oklahoma law states, “A felony is a crime which is, or may be, punishable with death, or by imprisonment in the penitentiary”. Typically, a felony in Oklahoma is one that is punishable by 1 year or more in state prison.
Examples of felonies include:
- Sexual Assault
- Aggravated Assault
- Child Abuse or Neglect
- Child Sexual Abuse
- Child Pornography
- Drug Possession with Intent to Distribute
- Drug Trafficking
- DUI after a previous DUI conviction
Felonies generally have more severe consequences than misdemeanors, including the loss of certain civil rights. A person convicted of a felony will lose the right to use, own, or possess a firearm (can be true with some misdemeanors as well), the right to sit on a jury, and the right to vote (for a time). In addition, a convicted felon can face severe employment consequences. Many employers will not hire or allow a felon to continue in their employment. Likewise, they can be prohibited from holding a position that involves the handling of money or getting licensed in any type of profession. Housing options can also be limited by a felony record.
What’s an Enhanceable Misdemeanor
In addition, some crimes are considered “enhanceable”. That means that the second offense of a crime you’ve been convicted of in the past can be considered a felony. For instance, a person’s first conviction of a DUI in Oklahoma is usually a misdemeanor, but a second or subsequent conviction for DUI within a ten-year period may be classified as a Felony.