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Oklahoma City Criminal Law Blog

What are the crime classifications in Oklahoma?

How are crimes in Oklahoma classified? There are two types of classification: felonies and misdemeanors. A felony is punishable by serving a year or more in prison and payment of a fine. If convicted of certain felonies, a defendant may also face the death penalty. In contrast, a misdemeanor is punishable by serving less than a year in jail and payment of a fine. The fine is generally less than $500. A defendant facing a misdemeanor is not subject to the death penalty.

There are a variety of crimes that can be classified as a misdemeanor in the state of Oklahoma. Misdemeanors are grouped in major categories. A major category is the one that includes drug and alcohol-related offenses in the state. Several crimes against children like child abuse and enabling child neglect are also classified as misdemeanors. Anyone who tries to evade or obstruct an officer may be charged with a misdemeanor.

Tulsa man accused of shooting with intent to kill

Oklahoma highways can be dangerous places. Drivers must be vigilant about obeying the rules of the road and watching for fellow drivers. Drivers on one Oklahoma highway allegedly had an additional threat while on the road. A Tulsa man has been charged with shooting at a vehicle on the Gilcrease Expressway.

It is alleged that the 39-year-old defendant shot at a vehicle on the expressway and another Tulsa neighborhood. On May 17 he was arrested on a charge of shooting with intent to kill. The alleged victim had his rear window shattered from the bullet. The police report states that the victim was traveling westbound near the Tisdale exit at the time of the shooting.

What is "justifiable homicide" in the eyes of Oklahoma law?

When a news story details an investigation into a shooting or similar altercation that leaves a person deceased, many of us start to ask questions. How did the person die? What was the motivation? Will the shooter be charged? Of course, such cases are rarely cut and dry. In fact, the State of Oklahoma has a rule that deems some such situations ok if certain circumstances were present at the time of the event.

Specifically, subsection 21-733 of the Oklahoma Statutes addresses "justifiable homicide." Under the law, the killing of another person is justifiable under three situations. In one situation, if the homicide happens while a person is lawfully attempting to arrest the deceased based on a felony that person committed, attempting to keep or preserve the peace, or in an attempt to deal with a riot, it is justifiable.

Defenses to drug manufacturing charges in Oklahoma

Manufacturing or cultivating illegal drugs is a serious crime under both federal and Oklahoma law. Unlike simple possession cases, prosecutors typically charge these crimes as felonies. A conviction can result in a lengthy sentence in state or federal prison. Fortunately, there are ways to defend against these charges.

When police conduct a raid on a suspected drug manufacturing lab, they often arrest everyone they find on the premises. If a defendant can show he or she was there for another purpose and had no knowledge of the manufacturing operation, they should be able to get the charges dismissed.

Enid man faces charges from sexting

Cell phones have allowed us to keep in touch with loved ones instantly. Beyond making phone calls, smart phones allow individuals to share music and pictures between friends and family. Unfortunately, strangers may also be able to gain access to other citizens. When a stranger sends sexually offensive material, it can be disturbing to the person who received the message.

An Enid man was recently arrested for allegedly sending explicit pictures to a stranger. It is believed that the stranger's phone number was obtained from a public records source. The allegations stem from texted images of genitalia that were sent to the unsuspecting stranger. The Enid man is being held at the Garfield County jail on two counts of distributing obscene material. His bail is currently set at $30,000.

Oklahoma investigates internet crimes against children

Crimes against children are of particular concern for those in society. The popular view is that children should be protected from those who seek to do them harm. One way to protect children is to monitor internet use. The internet is sometimes used to lure children into dangerous situations.

To protect children from internet crimes Oklahoma has created a special division of law enforcement to look out for their interests. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation has a unit that investigates Internet Crimes Against Children. The agents in this unit are specially trained to investigate the exploitation of children by the use of technology. When necessary, they conduct undercover operations and respond to any ICAC complaints.

Defending our Oklahoma clients from criminal charges

Oklahomans who are accused of a crime face a difficult road. Government prosecutors have enormous resources at their disposal and are often under pressure to win a conviction and the harshest possible sentence. At the same time, those who are accused of crimes in high-profile cases may feel that they have been tried in a court of public opinion before they have ever had their day in court. All this is true whether the alleged crime is something violent, like assault, or something nonviolent, such as fraud.

Most Americans are familiar with the idea that, under our criminal justice system, every defendant must be presumed innocent until proven guilty. This isn't just a figure of speech; it means that the prosecution has to prove its case. If it wants the jury to decide that a defendant is guilty, the prosecution needs to lay out convincing evidence. Building a defense is largely a matter of showing that the prosecution's evidence is not enough to support a conviction. The defense should also, when possible, provide evidence that appears to contradict the prosecution's theory of the case.

Shooting suspect turns himself in to police

In the Christian religion, Easter is a major holiday that is often marked by attendance at a house of worship followed by gatherings of family and friends. This tradition does not include the harming of those loved ones. However, one family is facing just that after three members were shot during an Easter evening attack.

Three adults in the home were shot after 10:00 pm on Easter Sunday. One woman is in critical condition. Another woman and a man are listed in stable condition at local hospitals. The remaining four individuals that were in the home, three of which are children, were not injured. The investigation continues, but the prime suspect in the case turned himself into police on Monday. He is the estranged husband of one of the shooting victims. No official charges have been filed, but the alleged shooter is being held on a complaint of shooting with the intent to kill and child endangerment.

Sex crime punishment and Fourth Amendment rights

A United States Supreme Court ruling may have opened the door for a unique constitutional challenge. At issue is the lifetime tracking of a repeat sex offender. The question that is being explored is whether or not this constitutes a search. The Fourth Amendment provides a protection against unreasonable search and seizures. If the lifetime tracking is considered a search that falls within the parameters of the Fourth Amendment, a defendant must prove that the search is unreasonable.

 A per curium decision by the U.S. Supreme Court has answered that the attachment of the tracking device is, in fact a search. The decision was based on two recent Supreme Court cases regarding searches under the Fourth Amendment. The first is the United States v. Jones, where the court held that the installation of a GPS device on a car is a constitutional search. The other case is Florida v. Jardines, where the court held that if the police use a drug-sniffing dog on a suspect’s porch, this can also be classified as a constitutional search. The Supreme Court cited these two cases when it declared that a state conducts a search when it places a tracking device on an individual’s body without their consent -- particularly when the device is designed to track that person.

Statutory rape in the state of Oklahoma

All crimes that involve sex are cause for concern in the state of Oklahoma. When these crimes involve children, there is a heightened sense of concern due to the age of the child and their inability to give legal consent on matters of a sexual nature. The law outlines the age of consent for certain sexual acts while also stating the penalty for the crime.

In Oklahoma, the age of consent is 16. Statutory rape occurs when a minor has sex with an individual that is at least three years older than the minor and is over the age of 18. If a minor is found to have had oral sex, the male could be charged with forcible oral sodomy. The law applies equally to male and female defendants. The laws for sex crimes also applies to same sex couples.

M.K. Bailey Law Offices
4811 Gaillardia Parkway, Suite 110
Oklahoma City, OK 73142

Phone: 405-486-9789
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