A felony charge is very serious. A felony conviction can result in you receiving stiff penalties including thousands of dollars in fines, years in prison and the loss of certain civil rights. In addition, you will face fairly severe employment consequences. So, if you have been charged with a felony offense, it would be in your best interest to those charges reduced to a misdemeanor, if at all possible. This article discusses how a felony can be reduced to misdemeanor in Oklahoma.
According to Oklahoma criminal statutes, a crime is defined as any “…. act or omission prohibited by the law which, upon conviction, is punishable by fine, imprisonment, removal from office, disqualification to hold office, or death”. Misdemeanor and Felony are terms used to categorize crimes by the severity of the punishment given for the offense.
In Oklahoma, a felony is generally any offense that is punishable by 1 year or more in a state or federal prison. Felonies are generally more extreme crimes than misdemeanors, with an extreme example being murder.
Here are other examples of felonies in Oklahoma:
- Sexual Assault
- Aggravated Assault
- Child Abuse or Neglect
- Child Sexual Abuse
- Child Pornography
- Drug Possession with Intent to Distribute
- Drug Trafficking
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 a county jail.
Examples of misdemeanors in Oklahoma include:
- Simple assault,
- Breaking and Entering
- DUI, DWI, and APC
- Marijuana Possession
- Petit Larceny
Reducing a Felony To a Misdemeanor
It goes without saying that the first strategy for defending a felony charge is to convincingly establish your innocence or at least cast doubt on the evidence presented by the prosecution. Remember, it is the prosecution’s job to try to convince the jury of your guilt, beyond reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor fails to do this in the eyes of the judge or jury, you will most likely be found not guilty.
If you can not sufficiently establish your innocence or cast doubt on the state’s case against you, your attorney may be able to reduce the consequence of a probable conviction by intervening early with the state attorney’s office to reduce the charges against you from a felony to a misdemeanor.
Just because you have been arrested does not mean that the state has to proceed with the particular charges against you. If your attorney intervenes early enough, there may even be a chance, depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, to convince the state’s attorney not to proceed on any charges at all.
Often, individuals are charged with crimes that are considered “wobblers”. These are offenses that may either be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the circumstance of the crime itself. For instance, theft of property can be classified as a felony or misdemeanor in Oklahoma, depending on the value of the stolen property. If you have little or no past criminal record or have behaved well on probation in the past, your attorney can submit a written motion to the court to reduce the “wobbler” felony theft to a misdemeanor theft charge.
Confidential Consultation: Oklahoma City Felony Attorney
If you have been charged with a felony in Oklahoma, it is advisable to speak with an experienced Oklahoma City Felony Attorney who can fight to reduce the potential felony to a misdemeanor and give you the best chance of avoiding jail time and receiving the fewest possible penalties and respective fines. Call Criminal Defense Law Office of Oklahoma City at (405) 588-4529 (588-4LAW). If you prefer, you may send your question using the contact form at the top right side of this page.