Author: Frank Urbanic

New Oklahoma Laws In 2016 Part 19 – Expanding The Force Element In Specific Sexual Assault Crimes & Defining The Necessary Consent For A Sexual Act

HB 2398 expanded the force element in specific sexual assault crimes and defined the necessary consent for a sexual act. This part of the bill created 21 OS §§ 111-113.

In all instances of sexual assault including, but not limited to, rape, rape by instrumentation and forcible sodomy where force is alleged, the term “force” shall mean any force, no matter how slight, necessary to accomplish the act without the consent of the victim. The force necessary to constitute an element need not be actual physical force since fear, fright or coercion may take the place of actual physical force.

The term “sexual assault” is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicit consent of the recipient including, but not limited to, forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, child sexual abuse, incest, fondling and all attempts to complete any of the aforementioned acts.

The term “consent” means the affirmative, unambiguous and voluntary agreement to engage in a specific sexual activity during a sexual encounter which can be revoked at any time. Consent cannot be:

1. Given by an individual who: (a) is asleep or is mentally or physically incapacitated either through the effect of drugs or alcohol or for any other reason, or (b) is under duress, threat, coercion or force; or

2. Inferred under circumstances in which consent is not clear including, but not limited to: (a) the absence of an individual saying “no” or “stop”, or (b) the existence of a prior or current relationship or sexual activity.

This law went into effect June 6, 2016.

HB 2398 – http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/cf_pdf/2015-16%20ENR/hB/HB2398%20ENR.PDF

21 OS § 111 – http://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=478165

21 OS § 112 – http://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=478166

21 OS § 113 – http://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=478167

If you have been accused of committing a sex crime then, The Urbanic Law Firm can help you.

405-633-3420

New Oklahoma Laws in 2016 Part 18 – Traditional Insanity Acquittal Abolished

SB 1214 abolishes the traditional insanity acquittal and authorizes new verdicts of “guilty with mental defect” or “not guilty by reason of mental illness.”

A defendant found “guilty with mental defect” is subject to ordinary punishment, including probation, if authorized. A defendant found “not guilty by reason of mental illness” shall not be released until the court has determined that the defendant is not presently dangerous and a person requiring treatment. The court must immediately order a mental health evaluation in both scenarios.

“Guilty with mental defect” means the person committed the act and was either unable to understand the nature and consequences of his or her actions or was unable to differentiate right from wrong, and has been diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder which substantially contributed to the act for which the person has been charged.

“Mental defect” means the person has been diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder which substantially contributed to the act for which the person has been charged.

“Mental illness” means a substantial disorder of thought, mood, perception, psychological orientation or memory that significantly impairs judgment, behavior, capacity to recognize reality or ability to meet the ordinary demands of life.

This law went into effect November 1, 2016 and modifies 22 OS § 1161.

SB 1214 – http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/cf_pdf/2015-16%20ENR/SB/SB1214%20ENR.PDF

22 OS § 1161 – http://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=70946

If you know someone who is accused of committing a crime and potentially has mental issues then contact The Urbanic Law Firm.

405-633-3420

New Oklahoma Laws In 2016 Part 17 – Expanding Drug Court & Community Sentencing Eligibility


HB 2753 modifies 22 OS § 471.2 and 22 OS § 988.2 to expand drug court and community sentencing eligibility to include persons recommended for drug court after a Mental Health and Substance Abuse Assessment and Evaluation.

The following are now the basic requirements to enter drug court in Oklahoma:

1. The offender’s arrest or charge does not involve a crime of violence against any person, unless there is a specific treatment program in the jurisdiction designed to address domestic violence and the offense is related to domestic violence and substance abuse;

2. The offender has no prior felony conviction in this state or another state for a violent offense within the last ten (10) years, except as may be allowed in a domestic violence treatment program authorized by the drug court program. It shall be sufficient for this paragraph that a criminal history records name search was conducted and indicated no apparent violent offense;

3. The offender’s arrest or charge does not involve a violation of the Trafficking In Illegal Drugs Act;

4. The offender has committed a felony offense; and

5. The offender:

a. admits to having a substance abuse addiction,

b. appears to have a substance abuse addiction,

c. is known to have a substance abuse addiction,

d. the arrest or charge is based upon an offense eligible for the drug court program, or

f. is a person who has had an assessment authorized by Section 3-704 of Title 43A of the Oklahoma Statutes and the assessment recommends the drug court program.

Note that a felony offense is required to be eligible for drug court. In July 2017, all simple possession drug charges become misdemeanors–regardless of drug and regardless of how many times someone has been arrested for drug possession.

Now, a way to become eligible for community sentencing is to have an assessment authorized by Section 3-704 of Title 43A of the Oklahoma Statutes with the assessment recommending the drug court program.

This bill also modified 22 OS § 471.1 to imply that drug court need not be in lieu of incarceration.

This law went into effect November 1, 2016.

HB 2753 – http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/cf_pdf/2015-16%20ENR/hB/HB2753%20ENR.PDF

22 OS § 471.2 – http://www.oscn.net/applications/OCISWeb/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=70501

22 OS § 471.1 – http://www.oscn.net/applications/OCISWeb/DeliverDocument.asp?citeid=478264

22 OS § 988.2 – http://www.oscn.net/applications/OCISWeb/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=440221

43 A OS § 3-704 – http://www.oscn.net/applications/OCISWeb/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=466531

If you believe you may benefit from drug court or community sentencing in Oklahoma, then call The Urbanic Law Firm.

405-633-3420

New Oklahoma Laws In 2016 Part 16 – Changing The Definition Of Child Abuse

“Abuse” in the Children’s Code used to mean “harm or threatened harm or failure to protect from harm or threatened harm to the health, safety, or welfare of a child by a person responsible for the child’s health, safety, or welfare, including but not limited to nonaccidental physical or mental injury, sexual abuse, or sexual exploitation.” HB 3201 removed a “failure to protect from harm or threatened harm” to a child’s safety or welfare from that definition in 10A OS § 1-1-105(2).

This change was due to the distinct delineation between the offenses of child abuse and child neglect as noted in Lewallen v. State.

This law went into effect November 1, 2016.

HB 3201 – http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/cf_pdf/2015-16%20ENR/hB/HB3201%20ENR.PDF

10A OS § 1-1-105(2) – http://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=455456

Lewallen v. State – https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=11641937451549908405&q=failure+to+protect&hl=en&as_sdt=4,225

If you’ve been charged with child abuse or child neglect in Oklahoma, don’t panic! Call Urbanic.

405-633-3420

New Oklahoma Laws In 2016 Part 15 – Prosecutor Can Dismiss Charge By Filing A Notice Of Dismissal

HB 2934 amends 22 OS § 815 to allow prosecutors to dismiss a criminal charge by filing a notice of dismissal. The notice must be filed before the preliminary hearing in felony cases and before the matter is set for trial in misdemeanors. A defendant in such case shall only be required to pay the costs of that action if agreed upon by the parties. Dismissal after these time limits requires application to the trial court and an order of dismissal–as per the prior law.

This law went into effect November 1, 2016.

HB 2934 – http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/cf_pdf/2015-16%20ENR/hB/HB2934%20ENR.PDF

22 OS § 815 – http://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=70681

Dismissal is my goal in every case. If you’re charged with a crime and would like aggressive representation, then call The Urbanic Law Firm.

405-633-3420

New Oklahoma Laws In 2016 Part 14 – Prison Sentence Modification Period Extended To 60 Months

Previously, a prison sentence could be modified within 24 months of being imposed. HB 2443 amends 22 OS § 982a to allow sentences to be modified within 60 months.

The sentencing court can now modify a sentence within 60 months after any of the following:

  • the initial sentence
  • revocation of suspended sentence
  • an original sentence to Drug Offender Work Camp (DOWC)
  • after receipt by the trial court clerk of the mandate affirming conviction and sentence on appeal

HB 2443 – http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/cf_pdf/2015-16%20ENR/hB/HB2443%20ENR.PDF

22 OS § 982a – http://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=70771

If you know someone who would like to have their Oklahoma prison sentence modified contact The Urbanic Law Firm.

405-633-3420

Map-banner

New Oklahoma Laws In 2016 Part 13 – Doubling Fees To Prosecute You

SB 1610 doubles a variety of fees that are assessed in criminal cases. The new fee amounts are as follows:

  • Traffic case for each offense (other than DUI) – $20
  • Misdemeanor case for each offense – $30
  • Misdemeanor DUI offense – $30
  • Felony case for each offense – $50
  • Felony DUI offense – $50
  • Each juvenile case – $30

The sad thing is that most people didn’t have the money to pay the original fees. The higher fees will make it even more likely that people will be dragged back into court for not complying with the terms of their plea agreement.

This law took effect on November 1, 2016.

SB 1610http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/cf_pdf/2015-16%20ENR/SB/SB1610%20ENR.PDF

Codified at 28 OS § 153 – http://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=76795

If you’ve been charged with a crime, don’t panic! Call Urbanic.

405-633-3420

banner-attorney-address

New Oklahoma Laws In 2016 Part XII – Court Costs To Be Reduced If Restitution Is Reduced

SB 941 amends 22 OS § 991b(C)(3). It requires a court to lower the fines, court costs, and costs of incarceration if the court decides that restitution should be reduced during a revocation hearing. The defendant must put on evidence that the terms of the order of restitution carries a hardship on the defendant or the defendant’s immediate family. The court is to lower the costs, fines, and costs of incarceration by the same percentage reduction of the restitution.

This law went into effect November 1, 2016.

SB 941 http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/cf_pdf/2015-16%20ENR/SB/SB941%20ENR.PDF

22 OS § 991b(C)(3) – http://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=70816

If you are facing a probation revocation or acceleration, then don’t panic! Call Urbanic.

405-633-3420

Map-banner

New Oklahoma Laws In 2016 Part XI – Courts To Consider PTSD When Sentencing Veterans

HB 2595 authorizes any court sentencing a veteran to consider as a mitigating factor that the person has been diagnosed as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from his or her military service. The vet has to provide documentary evidence that served in in a combat zone and has been diagnosed with PTSD. The law is codified in 22 OS § 973a.

As a veteran, I think this is a great thing. Many vets come back from combat and are unable to cope with the difficult things they experienced. I salute all the veterans out there, and I’m happy their concerns are being addressed.

Another way veterans are being addressed in the criminal justice system is through the Veterans Diversion Program (Veterans Court) in Oklahoma County. The program is specifically designed to help veterans facing criminal charges. It’s rigorous but worth it. If the veteran successfully completes the program then the charges are dismissed. I’ve worked closely with the people who run the program, and they do an excellent job. Their passion for helping vets is off the charts, so I can’t thank them enough for the great work that they do. I also have to take my hat off for the Oklahoma County District Attorney for supporting this great program.

HB 2595 – http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/cf_pdf/2015-16%20ENR/hB/HB2595%20ENR.PDF

22 OS § 973a – http://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=478323

Article covering the bill – http://kfor.com/2016/09/15/new-ptsd-bill-to-go-into-effect-across-oklahoma/

If you are a veteran who is facing charges, don’t panic! Call Urbanic.

405-633-3420

Weed-banner

New Oklahoma Laws In 2016 Part X – Illegal To Commit Forcible Sodomy On Unconscious Victims

HB 2398 closed a loophole in the law that allowed someone who had committed forcible sodomy on an unconscious victim to walk free. The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals ruled in mid-2016 that forcible sodomy is not illegal if a victim is intoxicated or unconscious. The public was outraged when the defendant in that case faced no repercussions for his actions. So, the legislature quickly enacted legislation that the governor quickly signed. It went into effect on June 6, 2016.

Specifically, it made the following acts illegal:

Sodomy committed upon a person who is at the time unconscious of the nature of the act, and this fact should be known to the accused; and Sodomy committed upon a person where the person is intoxicated by a narcotic or anesthetic agent administered by or with the privity of the accused as a means of forcing the person to submit.

HB 2398 text http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/cf_pdf/2015-16%20ENR/hB/HB2398%20ENR.PDF

Bill codified at 21 OS § 88 http://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=69419

Article covering the enactment of this billhttp://ktul.com/news/local/state-court-ruling-leads-push-for-change-in-oklahoma-sodomy-law

If you have been accused of forcible sodomy, call attorney Frank Urbanic at 405-633-3420.