Wagoner Lawyer Blog What Are the Two Main Classifications of Crimes in Oklahoma Law?

Oklahoma Has Two Criminal Offense Classifications: Felonies and Misdemeanors

Video Transcribed: I am Stuart Ericson, I am an attorney in Wagoner. Going to talk about Oklahoma crime statutes briefly. What are the two types of crimes that Oklahoma law has? Of course, felonies and misdemeanors.

Felonies are more serious than misdemeanors, and they carry imprisonment in DOC, Department of Corrections, which is prison. Misdemeanors are lesser crimes and they carry county jail times. So you would not go to prison or the Department of Corrections for a misdemeanor, you would go to county jail.

And of course, as we talked about in other videos, probation is always an option, too, for most crimes. Oklahoma keeps our crime statutes pretty simple as far as filing cases and how they are numbered. Felony cases are CF case numbers, criminal felony, so CF, and then the year. So this year would be 2022, and the first felony filed of the year would be one. So the first felony of the year would be CF 2022-1.

Right now, Tulsa County or Wagner County may be up to five hundred or 250, so it may be CF22-500 would be the 500th case filed. Misdemeanors are the same. It would be CM, criminal misdemeanor, 2022 dash the case number. So that’s how you know if your case is a felony or a misdemeanor right off the bat by the case filing. And you would also know the difference in severity by that as well for you or a loved one.

And then it’s a pretty simple process to get the criminal process started in Oklahoma. Upon arrest, there is an arraignment where you appear before a judge, the bond is set and many times there’s a predetermined bond that you can bond out even before your arraignment.

lawyer in WagonerBut at arraignment, you go before a judge, the judge will basically ask you, do you have a private attorney or they’ll give you time to hire a private attorney or many people fill out a pauper’s affidavit, which is to say, to try to get a public defender, saying that they can’t afford an attorney and they fill out a pauper’s affidavit, the judge then either approves or denies that.

So the arraignment will stay in place until it’s determined, do they have a private attorney or do they have a public defender? Then the case can go forward.

A misdemeanor case generally goes to a sounding docket, where the plea offer is given to the defense attorney and their client, and then you decide how to proceed from there. You either reject the offer and set it for a trial, or you take the offer and set it for a plea.

A felony case has a few extra steps. We have preliminary hearings in Oklahoma. So after arraignment, your case would be set for either a sounding docket in some counties or straight to a preliminary hearing in other counties.

And of course, the preliminary hearing is where the state has to put on some evidence that a crime was committed and that you probably did it. So it’s not a jury trial.

The judges don’t decide who’s telling the truth, and who’s not, that’s all that a jury trial is for. If you need my help, reach out to wagonerlawyer.com and ask for Stuart Ericson, I am the Wagoner Criminal Defense Attorney.

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