Oklahoma City Criminal Defense Attorney  What It Means To Be Sentenced To Probation For An Oklahoma Criminal Offense

probation in OklahomaLearn first what it means to be sentenced for a crime in Oklahoma and what it is to be sentenced to probation in Oklahoma.

Sentenced in Oklahoma

A sentence is the formal pronouncement of the specific punishment that the court will impose upon a person convicted of a crime.

There are many factors a judge may consider before imposing a sentence. Some of these factors are:

  • The convicted person’s criminal history, or lack thereof.

  • How the crime was committed.

  • What losses or damage (tangible and intangible) were suffered by the victim(s).

  • The convicted person’s socioeconomic circumstances.

  • The level of regret or remorse for the crime expressed by the convicted person.

When Is A Person Sentenced For a Crime In Oklahoma?

In cases involving minor offenses, the judge usually imposes the sentence immediately after the person has been convicted, or after a verdict of guilty has been returned by the jury.

In more serious cases, the judge may take time to consult with the prosecutor, the defense lawyers or probation authorities before deciding upon a sentence.

Sentencing Alternatives In Oklahoma

There are various forms  of punishment a judge can impose upon a person convicted of a crime. In most cases, the form of punishment imposed, or combination thereof, will depend on the severity of the crime. Here, loosely ordered from most to least severe, are the various forms of punishment that may be imposed upon conviction:

  • Capital punishment

  • Incarceration

  • Monetary fines

  • Restitution

  • Probation

  • Alternative sentences

The rest of this article will deal with probation as a sentencing alternative.

What It Means To Be On Probation In Oklahoma

Probation permits the judge to allow the convicted person to be released with certain restrictions and conditions upon their freedom, and usually under the supervision of probation authorities.

The judge may sentence a convicted person to probation as an alternative to incarceration. For example, if you are a first time offender and/or your offense is not of a serious nature, the judge may sentence you to a period of probation and allow you to serve your sentence in the community under the supervision of either:

  1. The Oklahoma Department of Corrections.

  2. The District Attorney’s office where the charges where filed.

  3. A community sentencing program run by the county in which you reside.

Different Forms Of Probation In Oklahoma

Two common forms of probation in Oklahoma are deferred sentences and suspended sentences.

Deferred Sentence

With a deferred sentence, the judge postpones adjudication in the case pending successful completion of probation. If all of the conditions of your probation are met, the judge may dismiss the charges against you and a conviction will thereby be avoided.

Suspended Sentence

With a suspended sentence, the defendant is actually convicted of the crime and sentenced to a period of incarceration. The judge, however, allows the convicted defendant to serve out his or her sentence under supervised probation in the community, instead of behind bars.

Violation of Probation in Oklahoma

Under probation, strict adherence to the conditions of your release is extremely important to your freedom.

Typically these conditions will involve:

  • regularly reporting to a parole or probation officer.

  • not committing any additional crimes.

  • not leaving the state unless you obtain written approval in advance.

  • not using or having any drugs in your possession.

  • avoiding contact with other offenders, be they on probation, parole or simply have past criminal records.

  • submitting to random searches and/or drug tests.

If you comply with the conditions of your probation, you can remain free. If you violate any of the conditions of your release, your suspended sentence may be revoked and you may be required to serve the full amount of time you originally pled to. Likewise, you may have your adjudication accelerated in the case of a deferred sentence and be incarcerated for the maximum amount of time allowable by law.

Conclusion

If you are on probation in Oklahoma and adhere to the conditions of your release, you will be able to remain free while completing part of or all your sentence. In addition, if you have received a deferred sentence you may later have the charges against you dismissed and avoid a conviction on the charges against you.

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Oklahoma City Criminal Defense Attorney

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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.