At Duncan & Hill Law Firm we practice all types of criminal defense. No criminal defense case is too big, or too small, for us to handle. Give us a call at 918-640-4332 to set up a free consultation at our Oklahoma City office and we will be happy to analyze your case with you.
A question we frequently get from our clients and potential clients, is how much time would a person actually serve for a given offense. This is an excellent question if the criminal charge is pending out of state court. In federal court, there is a great deal more of truth in sentencing—what amount of years a person receives as a sentence is actually very close to the amount of time they will serve—there is a little flexibility in that people can discharge certain sentences after serving 85% of their time, but in general if a person in federal court receives 5 years to serve, they will serve just nearly 5 years. Things could not be more different in state court. In state court, a person can serve drastically different amounts of time depending on what the charge is (is it considered non-violent, or violent). For this reason, we will discuss further what crimes are considered violent in Oklahoma (meaning you serve much more time) and how you can determine what amount of time each charge may carry. For a more in-depth dive into how much time a crime will entail, give us call to set up an free consultation.85% Crimes in Oklahoma
In Oklahoma, there is only one statute that explicitly lists crimes and tells what percentage of the time a person must serve if convicted and sentenced to prison, it is Title 21, Section 13.1. There are 22 enumerated offenses in this statute that are commonly referred to as “85% crimes” because a person must serve the vast majority—specifically 85% of their sentence before they can be released from prison. An inmate in the Department of Corrections can bank credits while they serve their 85% crime, but will be prohibited from applying them until they reach their 85% mark. If an inmate did not earn any credits (think he or she received many write-ups for behavioral issues) they could serve well over 85% of the sentence. The best way to determine if a certain crime is considered a violent 85% crime in Oklahoma is to look at the statute which can be found on www. oscn.net. A few examples of 85% crimes are: Murder, Robbery, Burglary in the First Degree, Rape, Child Abuse, Pointing a Firearm and Aggravated Child Pornography.
Other crimes that Oklahoma defines as violent but does not necessarily require an inmate to serve 85% of the sentence are found in Title 57, Section 571. This can be confusing as many crimes are listed in both Title 21, Section 13.1 and Title 57, Section 571—but the take away is that if the crime is found in the 85% statute (Title 21, Section 13.1) then a person must serve 85% of that time. The legislature has not put a similar percentage of time to serve mandate on crimes found in Title 57, Section 571—but individuals should still be more careful when accepting a plea to one of those charges as the Department of Correction’s policy is to have those inmates serve a great deal more time than other inmates serving for purely nonviolent crimes.Punishment in Oklahoma for Violent Crimes
In Oklahoma, every crime is given a range of punishment. For example, the crime of first time misdemeanor DUI carries a minimum of 10 days in jail, to a maximum of 1 year in county jail. The purpose behind the range of punishment is to give the sentencer flexibility to consider the crime at hand and any mitigating or aggravating factors. In violent crimes, the same is true. For example, the crime of Robbery in the First Degree carries a minimum punishment of 10 years in prison, to a maximum punishment of life in prison. It is important to note though, that if a person has prior felony convictions, under Title 21, Section 51.1 of the Oklahoma Statutes, the range of punishment will be a great deal higher. For instance, if a person is currently charged with a violent felony and has one prior felony conviction (that discharged within ten years of the current offense) then his or her minimum punishment becomes 10 years in prison with a maximum of life in prison; or after two prior felony convictions the minimum jumps up to 20 years in prison, with a maximum punishment of life in prison. Calculating ranges of punishment can be confusing in Oklahoma, to be sure you know what punishment a crime carries, call us today (918-640-4332) at our Oklahoma City office to schedule a criminal defense consultation.