Category: Blog

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.

New Oklahoma Laws In 2016 Part IX – Revenge Porn Is Now Illegal

SB 1257 makes it illegal to disseminate private sexual images of a person without that person’s consent. In short, “revenge porn” is now illegal in Oklahoma. It’s a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and fined up to $1,000.Note that the victim has to be at least 18 years old. If the victim is under 18, then other laws are implicated and the punishment is way worse. And, the distribution is not just limited to online postings. You can also be found guilty if you hand a photograph to someone else.

21 OS § 1040.13bhttp://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=478179

SB 1257 – http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/cf_pdf/2015-16%20ENR/SB/SB1257%20ENR.PDF

If you’ve been accused of distributing private sexual images without the other’s consent (revenge porn), don’t panic! Call Urbanic.

405-633-3420

Free Case Evaluation

 

Weed-banner

New Oklahoma laws in 2016 Part VIII – Easier to charge domestic violence as a felony

SB 1491 in Oklahoma makes it easier to charge someone accused of domestic violence with a felony. Previously, it took three or more separate instances of domestic assault within one year to be charged with a felony (unless the type of violence committed warranted a felony charge). Now, someone with two or more instances of domestic assault can be charged with a felony. There’s no requirement that the instances happen within any time period. This law went into effect November 1, 2016.

The text of SB 1491: http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/cf_pdf/2015-16%20ENR/SB/SB1491%20ENR.PDF.

Affected statute – 21 OS § 644.1: http://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=455315.

Article discussing this bill: http://www.newson6.com/story/31561057/oklahoma-lawmakers-hope-to-stiffen-punishment-for-domestic-violence.

If you’ve been charged with domestic assault & battery (domestic violence) in Oklahoma, call Frank Urbanic at 405-633-3420!

New Oklahoma laws in 2016 Part VII – Collection of DNA for felony arrests

If you’re arrested for a felony in Oklahoma, your DNA will now be taken. Simple as that!

Although I’m not a fan of the government having more information on us, I know that the collection of DNA in this manner has exonerated many people who have been wrongly convicted. So, I hope this law helps more people than it harms by the intrusion into our liberty.

The enacted legislation: HB 2275.

The primary statute: 22 OS § 210.

If you or anyone you know has been arrested —

Don’t panic! Call Urbanic.

405-633-3420

Map-banner

New Oklahoma laws in 2016 Part VI – No longer illegal to drive without insurance card

Before November 1, 2016, it was illegal to drive without an insurance card in Oklahoma–even if you had car insurance. You were subject to up to a $250 fine and imprisonment for no more than 30 days. HB 2473 changed all that. Those penalties applied equally to people who had insurance but no card and people with no insurance. Now, those penalties only apply to people driving without insurance. The officer now has to use an online verification system to check someone’s car insurance status, and the officer must be able to verify that you have insurance through that system for you to not get cited.

HB 2473 can be found here.

The law is codified in 47 OS § 7-600.2 here.

Here’s a news article on the new law

If you have been pulled over for any reason and arrested or issued a  ticket, call attorney Frank Urbanic at 405-633-3420.

New Oklahoma laws in 2016 Part V – Threshold for property crimes to be charged as a felony raised to $1,000

HB 2751 raises the threshold for property crimes to be charged as a felony to $1,000. It includes charges for the following theft crimes: embezzlement, bogus check, taking by false pretenses, receiving or concealing stolen property, forged or counterfeited instrument, larceny, and shoplifting (third and subsequent offense).

Grand larceny will be defined as the unlawful taking of property valued at over $1,000. Petit larceny is property taken that is valued at $1,000 or less.

Succinctly: it’s a felony if you steal over $1,000 worth of stuff.

I think this will greatly cut down on the amount of cases charged as felonies, so this is a good bill. No telling the last time this threshold was moved, so it makes sense to move it every once in a while to account for inflation.

Although what would have been charged as a felony will now be charged as a misdemeanor, it’s still not a good thing to have a theft conviction on your record. Theft is a crime of moral turpitude, which puts it a category of crimes that is worse than the other category. It will be more difficult–if not impossible–to get a job where you’re dealing with money if you have a conviction for a crime of moral turpitude on your record.

The text of HB 2751 can be found here. It goes into effect November 1, 2016.

This bill amends numerous sections in Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes.

If you’ve been charge with a theft crime in Oklahoma–

Don’t panic! Call Urbanic.

405-633-3420

New Oklahoma laws in 2016 Part IV – Reduction of mandatory minimums for drug offenses

HB 2479 reduces the mandatory minimum sentences for first and second felony drug possessions and lowers the maximum sentence for all felony drug possession charges.

The previous minimum for first-time possession of Schedule I and II drugs (except marijuana) was two years. On November 1, 2016, there will be no mandatory minimum for first-time possession of those drugs. A second violation for possession of those substances changes from 4–20 years to a maximum of ten years. This bill added the following category: a third or subsequent violation for possession of those substances will be 4–15 years. The fine for the third or subsequent violation will be up to $10,000.  The fine of up to $5,000 remains the same for the first possession conviction, and the fine of $10,000 remains the same for the second possession conviction.

Punishment for possession of a Schedule III, IV, or IV substance and marijuana during any probationary term or within 10 years following the completion of the execution of the execution of any sentence or deferred judgement for a drug violation changes from 2–10 years to 1–5 years.

And, in one subsection, it changes the spelling of marihuana to marijuana.

The entire text of the bill can be found here: http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/cf_pdf/2015-16%20ENR/hB/HB2479%20ENR.PDF.

If you or anyone you know has been charged with a drug crime in Oklahoma, call The Urbanic Law Firm at 405-633-3420.

New Oklahoma Laws in 2016 Part III – Expungement Reform

On November 1, 2016, a variety of new measures will go into effect that make it easier for people to expunge their criminal records. HB 2397 makes the following changes to 22 OS 18:

  • You are now eligible to expunge a misdemeanor that was dismissed following successful completion of a deferred sentence if you have previous misdemeanor convictions.
  • Nonviolent felony offenses that have been dismissed after successful completion of a deferred sentence can be expunged in five years instead of ten.
  • Misdemeanor convictions where you were sentenced to a fine only of less than $501.00 are eligible for immediate expungement
  • If you were convicted of a misdemeanor offense and you were sentenced to a term of imprisonment, received a suspended sentence, or fined greater than $500.00, then you can expunge that conviction five years (instead of ten) after the end of the last misdemeanor sentence.
  • If you have been convicted of no more than two nonviolent felony offenses, received a full pardon for b both nonviolent felony offenses, have no felony or misdemeanor charges pending, and at least 20 years have passed since the last misdemeanor or felony conviction then you can have those two felony convictions expunged.
  • The definition of expungement now includes any public civil records involving actions brought by and against the State of Oklahoma arising from the same arrest, transaction, or occurrence. This will be helpful with DPS license revocation proceedings.

The full text of the bill can be found here: http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/cf_pdf/2015-16%20ENR/hB/HB2397%20ENR.PDF.

The list of violent felonies is in 21 OS 13.1: http://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=104306.

If you need a criminal defense attorney or help with an expungement call The Urbanic Law Firm at 405-633-3420.

New Oklahoma laws in 2016 Part II – Discretion to file misdemeanor charges under certain circumstances

HB 2472 gives prosecutors discretion to file charges for non-85% crimes as misdemeanors instead of felonies. Eighty-five percent crimes are considered to be particularly bad crimes. They include murder, first-degree rape, and child molestation. They are found in 21 OS 13.1: http://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=104306.

So, this new law means that any felony not listed in 21 OS 13.1 can be charged as a misdemeanor. This is a huge deal because there are a ton of ways that someone can get charged with a felony in Oklahoma. This will prevent our prisons and courts from becoming clogged up with people who are accused of crimes that are technically felonies but are not on the heinous end of the spectrum. I think if prosecutors take advantage of this new law then we will see people get out of the system much more quickly.

Being a convicted felon sucks, and it will damage someone for life. This law requires the prosecutor to use their discretion when deciding whether or not to file a felony as a misdemeanor by looking into the nature of the criminal offense and the age, background and criminal history of the person who committed the criminal offense–among other things. This will be particularly helpful to young people and people who committed crimes where nobody was hurt.

The entire text of the bill can be found here: http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/cf_pdf/2015-16%20ENR/hB/HB2472%20ENR.PDF. It will be codified in 22 OS 234. This law goes into effect November 1, 2016

If you or anyone you know has been arrested in Oklahoma for any crime —

Don’t panic! Call Urbanic. 405-633-3420

New Oklahoma laws in 2016 Part I – DUI prosecutions by municipalities

This is the first of a five-part series discussing new laws related to criminal defense that go into effect November 1, 2016.

This post discusses HB 3146, which affects the ability of some cities to charge individuals with DUI. When this bill goes into effect, only the cities of Oklahoma City and Tulsa will be able to charge someone with a DUI. A DUI arrest in every other city will have to be prosecuted by the county.

The bill requires cities without a court of record to pass that individual along to the county for prosecution. Only Tulsa and Oklahoma City have courts of record, so they are the only cities that will still be able to prosecute DUIs. This bill was passed because people were racking up DUIs in municipalities and never getting charged with a felony. In Oklahoma, the second DUI is supposed to be charged as a felony.

This bill also creates a database that would inform officers and prosecutors about a person’s drunken driving arrest record.

Here is the entire text of the law: http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/cf_pdf/2015-16%20ENR/hB/HB3146%20ENR.PDF.

Article discussing the bill: http://newsok.com/article/5483573.

If you have been arrested for DUI in Oklahoma —

Don’t panic! Call Urbanic. 405-633-3420