Are There Any Alternative Programs Available For First Time Offenders In Oklahoma?

OffendersA defendant charged with theft, burglary, or robbery may plead to a deferred or suspended sentence. Deferred and suspended sentences consist of probation. The defendant receives an immediate conviction upon pleading to a suspended sentence. There is no immediate conviction when pleading to a deferred sentence. If the defendant successfully completes a deferred sentence, then the case will be dismissed.

Probation typically consists of restitution and classes. It’s recommended that defendants get started on classes immediately. Prosecutors typically want to see the defendant attend classes that promote the cessation of behavior that brought on the charges. Taking the classes early can often help improve the plea offer.

Restitution will always be a part of any type of sentence, whether it’s deferred or not. If you took the property and still have it, then you must give it back or pay for it. Returning the items and/or paying restitution early can also help improve the plea offer.

There are other options available to younger offenders. These include being deemed a Youthful Offender and Regimented Inmate Discipline.

Youthful Offender

Oklahoma’s Youthful Offender (YO) Act allows teenagers charged with serious crimes the opportunity for release into the community if they complete a treatment program. Robbery and burglary are on the list of serious crimes that allow a juvenile to be eligible for YO status. Typical treatment includes therapy, continuing education, and not getting charged with new offenses. A juvenile 13–17 years old could be considered a YO.

A YO will begin his or her sentence as a juvenile in the juvenile system. The YO may then be transferred to the adult system when they turn 18. The YO can stay in the juvenile system until he or she is 20. If the YO is successful with their treatment program, then he or she could get released from custody when they turn 21. If the YO is not successful in the treatment program, then he or she will serve out the remainder of their sentence in the adult system.

SOURCE: 10A O.S. §§ 2-5-201–2-5-301

Regimented Inmate Discipline

Regimented Inmate Discipline (RID) is a deferred sentencing option for young adults who are neither youthful offenders nor juveniles. The defendant must be 18–21 years old at the time of their plea. RID is structured as a “boot camp” environment. It can last 180 days–one year. Some counties have an out-of-custody RID program.

The defendant must be accused of a non-violent felony to be eligible for RID, so a defendant charged with First Degree Robbery or First Degree Burglary would not be eligible for RID. Upon successful completion of RID, the court may defer the sentence, suspend the sentence, impose a sentence in the Department of Corrections, impose community sentencing, or dismiss the charges.

SOURCE: 22 O.S. §§ 996.1–996.3

For more information on Alternative Programs For First Time Offenders, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (405) 633-3420 today.

Current as of November 20, 2017