Category: Blog

Trespass on Farming and Ranching Property-2018 Oklahoma Laws #29

Trespassing oklahomaThe range of fine for willfully entering private land of another that is primarily devoted to farming, ranching, or forestry purposes without permission by the surface owner, surface lessee, hunting lessee, or lawful occupant of that land (trespassing) is now $750-$2,000. The previous range of fine is $500-$1500. The minimum fine for willfully or maliciously entering any land of another and then commits or attempts to commit waste, theft, or damage has been increased to $1,000. The previous range of fine was $250-$500. The minimum fine for a second or subsequent offense has been increased to $2,500. The previous range of fine was $700-$1,500. All of these offenses are misdemeanors. The range of punishment for all is 30 days-6 months in jail. This is an odd update to Oklahoma law in that it didn’t do a whole lot. The fines got bumped up a little on one crime, and it put a minimum (with no maximum?) fine on another crime. The fines weren’t even increased very much. HB 3370 amended 21 O.S. § 1835.2. It went into effect November 1, 2018. Sources: HB 3370 & 21 O.S. § 1835.2

Charged with a crime in Oklahoma? Call Oklahoma criminal defense lawyer Frank Urbanic in OKC at 405-633-3420.

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Real Roulette & Craps Legal-2018 Oklahoma Laws #28

It’s now legal to play craps with dice and roulette with balls. These games were previously legal, but they had to be played with something other than dice or a ball. Craps was typically played with the dealers turning cards over that had pictures of dice on them. An earlier version of this bill would have allowed sports betting was taken out of the bill.

The law specifically states that Oklahoma law does “not permit the operation of slot machines, house-banked card games, house-banked table games involving dice or roulette wheels, or games where winners are determined by the outcome of a sports contest.” Previously, dice games and roulette wheels were part of that list. “House-banked table games involving dice or roulette wheels” is new on that list. It’s interesting that the list includes “slot machines” since some casinos in Oklahoma have thousands of slot machines.

“Non-house-banked table games” means any table game, including but not limited to those table games involving a wheel, ball or dice, operated in a nonelectronic environment in which the tribe has no interest in the outcome of the game, including games played in tournament formats and games in which the tribe collects a fee from the player for participating, and all bets are placed in a common pool or pot from which all player winnings, prizes and direct costs are paid.

HB 3375 amended 3A O.S. §§ 262 & 280 and created 3A O.S. § 280.1. The changes went into effect August 2, 2018. Real craps and roulette became available in Oklahoma casinos as early as August, 2018.

Sources: HB 3375 and 3A O.S. §§ 262, 280, & 280.1; Oklahoman article; Casino.org article

Charged with a crime in Oklahoma? Call Oklahoma criminal defense lawyer Frank Urbanic in OKC at 405-633-3420.

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Trash Dumping-2018 Oklahoma Laws #27

oklahoma trash dumping crimeThis law increased the penalty for someone dumping an item that exceeds 50 lbs and increased the fine of a state traffic citation. It’s illegal to deliberately place, throw, drop, dumps deposit, or discard any garbage, trash, waste, rubbish, refuse, debris, or other deleterious substance on any public property or on any private property of another without consent of the property owner. This crime is a misdemeanor.

Penalty for Trash Dumping

The maximum punishment in the county jail is 30 days. The range of fine is $200-$5,000. A law enforcement officer may issue a state traffic citation to any person committing this violation. The maximum amount of that state traffic citation is $500. It used to be $400.

Trash Dumping Something Heavy

Now, if the item of furniture or item exceeds 50 pounds, the range of fine is $1,000-$6,500. The maximum punishment in the county jail becomes 60 days. HB 2702 amended 21 O.S. § 1761.1 It went into effect November 1, 2018. Sources: HB 2702 & 21 O.S. § 1761.1

Arrested in Oklahoma for trash dumping? Call Oklahoma criminal defense lawyer Frank Urbanic in OKC at 405-633-3420.

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Pretrial Release Authority For Special Judges-2018 Oklahoma Laws #26

Any county may establish and fund a pretrial program to be used by the district court in that jurisdiction. When a pretrial release program is established and private bail has not been furnished, the judge may order a person to be evaluated through the pretrial program. After conducting an evaluation of the person applying for pretrial release, the pretrial program will make a recommendation to the court. The recommendation will indicate any special supervisory conditions for pretrial release. The judge will consider the recommendations and may grant or deny pretrial release. The presiding judge of the judicial district may issue a standing order outlining criteria for cases that may automatically be evaluated for pretrial release by a pretrial program operating in the jurisdiction. The standing order may include amounts for bail and types of bonds deemed appropriate for certain offenses.

Who Isn’t Eligible For Pretrial Release

 Oklahoma judge pretrial releaseExcept as otherwise authorized by this law, people accused of or detained for any of the following offenses or conditions aren’t eligible for pretrial release by any pretrial program:

  1. Aggravated driving under the influence of an intoxicating substance;
  2. Any felony driving under the influence of an intoxicating substance;
  3. Any offense prohibited by the Trafficking In Illegal Drugs Act;
  4. Any person having a violent felony conviction within the past ten (10) years;
  5. Appeal bond;
  6. Arson in the first degree, including attempts to commit arson in the first degree;
  7. Assault and battery on a police officer;
  8. Bail jumping;
  9. Bribery of a public official;
  10. Burglary in the first or second degree;
  11. Civil contempt proceedings;
  12. Distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, including the sale or possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute or conspiracy to distribute;
  13. Domestic abuse, domestic assault or domestic assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, or domestic assault and battery with a deadly weapon;
  14. Driving under the influence of intoxicating substance where property damage or personal injury occurs;
  15. Felony discharging a firearm from a vehicle;
  16. Felony sex offenses;
  17. Fugitive bond or a governor’s fugitive warrant;
  18. Immigration charges;
  19. Kidnapping;
  20. Juvenile or youthful offender detention;
  21. Manslaughter;
  22. Manufacture of a controlled dangerous substance;
  23. Murder in the first degree, including attempts or conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree;
  24. Murder in the second degree, including attempts or conspiracy to commit murder in the second degree;
  25. Negligent homicide;
  26. Out-of-county holds;
  27. Persons currently on pretrial release who are arrested on a new felony offense;
  28. Possession, manufacture, use, sale or delivery of an explosive device;
  29. Possession of a controlled dangerous substance on Schedule I or II of the Controlled Dangerous Substances Act;
  30. Possession of a firearm or other offensive weapon during the commission of a felony;
  31. Possession of a stolen vehicle;
  32. Rape in the first degree, including attempts to commit rape in the first degree;
  33. Rape in the second degree, including attempts to commit rape in the second degree;
  34. Robbery by force or fear; 
  35. Robbery with a firearm or dangerous weapon, including attempts to commit robbery with a firearm or dangerous weapon;
  36. Sexual assault or violent offenses against children;
  37. Shooting with intent to kill;
  38. Stalking or violation of a Victim Protection Order;
  39. Two or more prior felony convictions; or
  40. Unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

Exceptions to Pretrial Release Rules

A person not eligible for pretrial release pursuant to above may be released upon order of a district judge, associate district judge, or–now–special judge under conditions prescribed by the judge. Said conditions may include an order to require the defendant, as a condition of pretrial release, to use or participate in any monitoring or testing including, but not limited to, a Global Positioning System (GPS) monitoring device and urinalysis testing. The court may further order the defendant to pay costs and expenses related to any supervision, monitoring, or testing.

Pretrial Services Programs

Every pretrial services program operating pursuant to these provisions must meet the following minimum criteria:

  1. The program must establish a procedure for screening and evaluating people who are detained or have been arrested for the alleged commission of a crime. The program must obtain criminal history records on detained persons through the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). The information obtained from the screening and evaluation process must be submitted in a written report without unnecessary delay to the judge who is assigned to hear pretrial release applications when the person is eligible for pretrial release;
  2. The program must provide reliable information to the judge relating to the person applying for pretrial release so a reasonable decision can be made concerning the amount and type of bail appropriate for pretrial release. The information provided must be based upon facts relating to the person’s risk of danger to the community and the risk of failure to appear for court; and
  3. The program must make all reasonable attempts to provide the court with information appropriate to each person considered for pretrial release.

A pretrial program may provide different methods and levels of community-based supervision to meet any court-ordered conditions of release. The program may use existing supervision methods for persons who are released prior to trial. Pretrial programs which employ peace officers certified by the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) are authorized to enforce court-ordered conditions of release.

Each pretrial program must provide a quarterly report to the presiding judge of the judicial district of the jurisdiction in which it operates. A copy of the report will be filed of record with the court clerk of the jurisdiction. The report will include, but is not limited to:

  1. The total number of people screened, evaluated or otherwise considered for pretrial release;
  2. The total number and nature of recommendations made;
  3. The number of people admitted to pretrial release that failed to appear; and
  4. Any other information deemed appropriate by the reporting judicial district or that the program desires to report.

Every pretrial release program must use the services of local providers; provided, however, any program in continuous existence since July 1, 1999, is exempt from this rule.  

Charged with a crime in Oklahoma? Call Oklahoma criminal defense lawyer Frank Urbanic in OKC at 405-633-3420.

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Vulnerable Adult Abuse, Neglect, & Exploitation Report-2018 Oklahoma Laws #25

elder abuse oklahomaOn or before January 1, 2019, the Oklahoma Office of the Attorney General will promulgate and maintain the Vulnerable Adult Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation Report. It will be accessible to the public on the internet. It’s currently in pdf format. The report will include a list of defendants who have been prosecuted by the Office of the Attorney General and have been found guilty by a court of law for abuse, exploitation, or neglect of elderly or vulnerable adults in the preceding 12 months. The report will be provided to the Governor, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate on an annual basis beginning January 31, 2019. The report must include, but is not limited to:
  1. The name of the defendant;
  2. The crime for which the defendant was convicted;
  3. A description of the findings of abuse, neglect or exploitation by the Office of the Attorney General, including the circumstances surrounding the abuse;
  4. The date of conviction or the date that a plea of guilty or nolo contendere was accepted by the court;
  5. The relationship of the defendant to the victim; and
  6. The county where the offense or offenses occurred.
Here’s the page where this report is located. This is the 2018 annual report. HB 3064 created 43A O.S. § 10-111.1. It went into effect November 1, 2018. Sources: HB 3064 & 43A O.S. § 10-111.1

Arrested in Oklahoma for elder abuse? Call Oklahoma elder abuse lawyer Frank Urbanic in OKC at 405-633-3420.

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Duty to Report Abuse or Neglect of Child-2018 Oklahoma Laws #24

This change in law added new responsibilities for teachers and midwives in the reporting of child abuse.

New Teacher Responsibilities

oklahoma child abuseEvery teacher of any child under the age 18 having reason to believe that a child under the age of 18 is a victim of abuse or neglect must report the matter immediately to the Department of Human Services. Reports must be made to the Department’s hotline. Any allegation of abuse or neglect reported in any manner to a county office must immediately be referred to the hotline by the Department. However, in actions for custody by abandonment, there will be no reporting requirement. Every teacher of a student age 18 or older having reason to believe that a student age 18 or older is a victim of abuse or neglect must report the matter immediately to local law enforcement.

New Midwife Responsibilities

Every physician, surgeon, or other health care professional including doctors of medicine, licensed osteopathic physicians, residents and interns, or any other health care professional, or midwife involved in the prenatal care of expectant mothers or the delivery or care of infants must promptly report to the Department instances in which an infant tests positive for alcohol or a controlled dangerous substance. This includes infants who are diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Every physician, surgeon, other health care professional, or midwife making a report of abuse or neglect as required or examining a child to determine the likelihood of abuse or neglect and every hospital or related institution in which the child was examined or treated must provide, upon request, copies of the results of the examination or copies of the examination on which the report was based and any other clinical notes, x-rays, photographs, and other previous or current records relevant to the case to law enforcement officers conducting a criminal investigation into the case and to employees of the Department of Human Services conducting an investigation of alleged abuse or neglect in the case.

Penalty For Failure to Report Child Abuse or Neglect

It’s a misdemeanor to knowingly and willfully fail to promptly report suspected child abuse or neglect or  interferes with the prompt reporting of suspected child abuse or neglect. HB 3104 and HB 2259 amended 10A O.S. § 1-2-101. HB 3104 went into effect May 1, 2018. HB 2259 went into effect November 1, 2018. Sources: HB 3104, HB 2259, & 10A O.S. § 1-2-101

Arrested in Oklahoma for child abuse? Call Oklahoma child abuse lawyer Frank Urbanic in OKC at 405-633-3420.

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Community Service in Lieu of Fines-2018 Oklahoma Laws #23

Oklahoma Municipal court jailThis change in law allows someone to perform community service in lieu of fines. This is only in municipal courts of record. The defendant must be without means to pay the fine or costs, and no undue hardship must result from the performance of community service. The fine or costs will be paid off at a rate of not less than the current federal minimum wage.

The remainder of the affected section of law stayed the same. It covers the imprisonment for nonpayment of fines and costs for someone unable to pay in municipal courts of record.

Anyone convicted in a municipal criminal court of record of a violation of any ordinance of the city and sentenced to pay a fine and costs, who is financially able but refuses or neglects to pay such fine and costs, will be imprisoned in the jail, farm, or workhouse of the city, in the discretion of the court, for one ( day for each $25 of the fine and cost assessed. This is commonly called “sitting out” the fine. Someone may also sit out the fine for $50 per day if he or she performs useful labor. If the defendant is indigent, the municipal judge may direct the total amount due to be entered upon the court minutes and to be certified to the district court in the county where the situs of the municipal government is located. It will then be entered upon the district court judgment docket and have the full force and effect of a district court judgment. After that, the same remedies will be available for the enforcement of the judgment as are available to any other judgment creditor. 

SB 340 amended 11 O.S. § 28-124. The change went into effect November 1, 2018.

Sources: SB 340 & 11 O.S. § 28-124

Arrested in Oklahoma? Call Oklahoma criminal defense lawyer Frank Urbanic in OKC at 405-633-3420.

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Restraints on Pregnant Inmates-2018 Oklahoma Laws #22

This legislation created a new section of law that covers what type of restraints may be used on pregnant inmates. A violation of this new law is a misdemeanor.

When Restraints May Be Used

pregnant oklahoma inmateAll penal institutions, detention centers, and county jails must use the least restrictive restraints necessary when the facility has actual or constructive knowledge that an inmate is pregnant. The presumption is that no restraints of any kind may be used, unless otherwise directed by the physician in charge:

  1. When transporting an inmate who is in labor;
  2. During any phase of labor;
  3. While the inmate is delivering her baby; or
  4. While the inmate is recuperating from the delivery of her baby, unless there are compelling grounds to believe that the inmate presents an immediate and serious threat of harm to herself, staff, or others or is a substantial flight risk and cannot be reasonably contained by other means.

Prior to labor, if it’s necessary to ensure the safety of the inmate, staff or others, only the least restrictive restraints necessary may be used. They must be used in a way that mitigates adverse clinical consequences. Consultation with medical staff is required prior to application of restraints. Written approval from the warden of a penal institution, director of a detention center, or sheriff of a county jail is required, unless there are compelling grounds to believe that the inmate presents an immediate and serious threat of harm to herself, staff, or others or is a substantial flight risk and can’t be reasonably contained by other means. Correctional officers must be available and will be required to remove restraints upon request from medical personnel.  

Prohibited Restraints

The following restraints and control techniques are prohibited:

  1. Abdominal restraints;
  2. Four-point restraints or placing the pregnant inmate in a facedown position;
  3. Leg and ankle restraints that may increase the risk of forward falls; and
  4. Any kind of chain restraints where the inmate is linked to any other inmate.

In general, the least restrictive restraints necessary must be a frontal wrist restraint which, if used, must be applied in such a way that the pregnant inmate is able to protect herself and the fetus in the event of a forward fall.

Privacy and Notice of Restraints

To maintain privacy, when appropriate, correctional officers will be positioned outside the room of the inmate, unless requested by the physician in charge. Any female inmate confined in a penal institution, detention center, or county jail must receive notice in writing (in a language and manner understandable to the inmate) about the requirements of this law upon admission to the penal institution, detention center, or county jail. The inmate must receive this same notice again when the inmate is known to be pregnant. The warden, director, or sheriff must publish notice of the requirements of this section in prominent locations where medical care is provided to female inmates. All penal institutions, detention centers and county jails must ensure that pregnant inmates have access to one of the following during delivery:

  1. A family member or a friend who has previously been approved on the visitors list of the penal institution, detention center, or county jail;
  2. A member of the clergy; or
  3. A doula; provided, during delivery the doula services are furnished by a certified doula without charge to the penal institution, detention center, or county jail. In such a case, the inmate must make arrangements for the doula services and must notify the penal institution, detention center, or county jail of such request in advance.

A “certified doula” is an individual who has received a certification to perform doula services from a nationally recognized childbirth education association. “Doula services” means continuous emotional and physical support throughout labor and birth and intermittently during the prenatal and postpartum periods.  

Penalty For Violation of Prisoner Restraint Law

It’s a misdemeanor for any correctional officer or county detention officer to use restraints on a pregnant inmate as prohibited by the provisions of this law. The maximum punishment in the county jail is one year, and the maximum fine is $1,000.

HB 3393 created 57 O.S. § 4.2. It went into effect November 1, 2018.

Sources: HB 3393 and 57 O.S. § 4.2

Charged with prisoner abuse in Oklahoma? Call Oklahoma criminal defense lawyer Frank Urbanic in OKC at 405-633-3420.

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Stalking With GPS-2018 Oklahoma Laws #21

oklahoma stalking lawThis legislation changed the definition of “stalking.” Under Oklahoma’s law, it’s illegal to willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follow or harass someone in a manner that:

  1. Would cause a reasonable person or a member of the immediate family of that person to feel frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested; and
  2. Actually causes the person being followed or harassed to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested.

“Harasses” means a pattern or course of conduct directed toward another individual that includes, but is not limited to, repeated or continuing unconsented contact, that would cause a reasonable person to suffer emotional distress, and that actually causes emotional distress to the victim. Part of the definition of “unconsented contact” includes “following or appearing within the sight of that individual.” This legislation expanded on the definition of “following” to include:

  • the tracking of the movement or location of an individual through the use of GPS device or other monitoring device by a person, or person who acts on behalf of another, without the consent of the individual whose movement or location is being tracked. Note that this doesn’t apply to the lawful use of a GPS device or other monitoring device or to the use by a new or used motor vehicle dealer or other motor vehicle creditor of a GPS device or other monitoring device, including a device containing technology used to remotely disable the ignition of a motor vehicle, in connection with lawful action after default of the terms of a motor vehicle credit sale, loan or lease, and with the express written consent of the owner or lessee of the motor vehicle.

This law came about because an Oklahoma legislator was being secretly tracked by GPS. It’s believed that the secret GPS tracker was placed on his vehicle by someone in the wind industry due to his outspoken criticism of tax incentives for wind farms. This will limit–if not eliminate–the ability of private investigators to place GPS trackers on the vehicles of people they are following.

HB 3260 modified 21 O.S. § 1173. It went into effect on May 1, 2018.

Sources: HB 3260 and 21 O.S. § 1173; Article on this legislation from The Oklahoman

Charged with stalking in Oklahoma? Call Oklahoma criminal defense lawyer Frank Urbanic in OKC at 405-633-3420.

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Drug Court Eligibility Expanded-2018 Oklahoma Laws #20

oklahoma drug court participantThe eligibility for drug court expanded under this legislation. HB 2881 amended 22 O.S. §§ 471.2-471.4. The changes went into effect on November 1, 2018. The opportunity for review of an offender for a drug court program may now happen at any time prior to the disposition of the case and sentencing of the offender. This includes sentencing on a petition to revoke a suspended sentence or any probation violation. Previously, the initial opportunity for review of an offender had to occur within four days after the arrest. Now, admission to a drug court program within the previous five years won’t make an offender ineligible for consideration into a new program. The drug court investigation now may be conducted before or after the initial hearing for consideration but must happen before the hearing for final determination of eligibility for the drug court program. Previously, the investigation had to be conducted after the initial hearing for consideration. I don’t believe these changes will have a big impact in Oklahoma. On July 1, 2017, all simple possession of drug crimes were reclassified from felonies to misdemeanors. Therefore, as time goes on, less and less people will be eligible for the primary drug court. Some counties have established misdemeanor drug courts. However, the penalties for a misdemeanor are far less significant than those for a felony. It’s likely that many people would rather just take a misdemeanor conviction rather than going through the pain of participating in misdemeanor drug court. Sources: HB 2881 and 22 O.S. §§ 471.2, 471.3, & 471.4

Interested in participating in an Oklahoma drug court? Call Oklahoma drug court lawyer Frank Urbanic in OKC at 405-633-3420.

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