Oklahoma City Criminal Defense Attorney  What’s the Difference Between a Misdemeanor and a Felony 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 you may possibly receive.  This article explores the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony in Oklahoma.

Misdemeanors

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:

  • Battery
  • Simple assault,
  • Shoplifting
  • Vandalism
  • Breaking and Entering
  • DUI, DWI, and APC
  • Marijuana Possession
  • Petit Larceny

Felonies

Oklahoma law states, “A felony is a crime which is, or may be, punishable with death, or by imprisonment in the penitentiary,”. Typically however a felony offense in Oklahoma is one 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:

  • Homicide
  • Rape
  • Robbery
  • Sexual Assault
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Child Abuse or Neglect
  • Child Sexual Abuse
  • Child Pornography
  • Drug Possession with Intent to Distribute
  • Drug Trafficking

Felonies generally have more sever consequences than misdemeanors, including the loss of certain civil rights. A person convicted of a felony will lose the right use, own or possess a firearm, the right sit on a jury and the right to vote, to name a few. In addition they will face fairly severe employment consequences and will likely be prohibited from holding any position that involves the handling of money or getting licensed in any type of profession.

Sometime the nature of the offense itself will dictate whether the crime is classified a felony or misdemeanor. For instance, theft of property with a value of less than $500 will be classified a misdemeanor in Oklahoma, while theft will be classified a felony if the values stolen exceed $500. Some crimes are considered felonies in Oklahoma even though the statutes call for imprisonment in a county jail upon conviction instead of a state prison.

In addition, a subsequent offense of a misdemeanor-level crime you’ve been convicted of in the past can be considered a felony. For instance, a person’s first conviction DUI in Oklahoma is usually a misdemeanor, but a second or subsequent conviction for DUI within a ten-year period may be classified a Felony.

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Oklahoma City Criminal Defense Attorney

Whether you have been charged with a felony or a misdemeanor in Oklahoma, it is very important to speak with an Oklahoma criminal defense attorney who is informed and experienced in representing clients in a manner that achieves the best possible result for the charges against you.

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.