Possession of drugs in Oklahoma is referred to “Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS).” Possession of a small amount of drugs is often referred to as “simple” possession. When someone is charged with simple possession, the belief is that they possessed drugs only for personal use. The person caught with drugs didn’t have an intent to distribute nor were they trafficking. The primary statute covering possession of drugs in Oklahoma is 63 OS § 2‑402.
Section 2-402 changed on November 1, 2016, and it changed again on July 1, 2017. It is important to understand when each change to § 2-402 went into effect because the version that will be applied to determine punishment will be the version in effect on the date the offense happened. The changes are not retroactive. This can lead to clearly unjust results. Consider the following example. Defendant gets arrested for possession of meth on June 30, 2017. It’s a felony to possess it on that date. The next day, on July 1, 2017, that same offense becomes a misdemeanor. Had Defendant been arrested just the next day, he would have been charged with just a misdemeanor. Prosecutors do have the ability to charge that offense as a misdemeanor under another statute, but it is up to their discretion whether to use it.
Current Penalties For Possession Of A CDS In Oklahoma (Starting July 1, 2017)
The unlawful (simple) possession of any CDS is a misdemeanor. The maximum time in jail is one year, and the maximum fine is $1,000. There will be no difference in the maximum penalty based on how many times someone has violated that statute. So, for example, someone could get caught with possession of a small amount of meth 20 times, and that individual would be charged with a misdemeanor for each of those 20 cases. Possession in the presence of a child or near a school is no longer be taken into consideration.
Penalties For Possession Of A CDS In Oklahoma (November 1, 2016 – to July 1, 2017)
Possession of any Schedule I or II substance, except marijuana, was a felony, and you could spend up to five years in the Department of Corrections and pay a $5,000 fine. A second violation of that law can get you up to 10 years in the Department of Corrections and a $10,000 fine. A subsequent violation of that section involving Schedule I or II drugs, except marijuana, carries a punishment ranging from 4–15 years in the Department of Corrections and a $10,000 fine.
Possession of any Schedule III, IV, or V substance, including marijuana, was a misdemeanor for the first offense. You could spend up to one year in county jail and be fined up to $1,000.
Possession of a Schedule III, IV, or V substance, including marijuana, during the period of any court-imposed probationary term or within ten years of the date following the completion or execution of any sentence or deferred judgment and it is a second or a subsequent violation was a felony. You could spend between one to five years in the Department of Corrections and pay a fine of up to $5,000.
Possession of any CDS within 1,000 feet of a school or in the presence of a child under 12 was a felony. For a first offense, the imprisonment was a term that is not more than twice the amount authorized by the appropriate and respective part of the statute. Also, you must serve a minimum of 50% of that sentence before you become eligible for good time credit. If you have a second or subsequent offense of possessing drugs within 1,000 feet of a school or in the presence of a child aged 12 or younger (during the period this statute was valid), then you must serve a minimum of 90% of your sentence before being eligible to earn good time credits. The fine can be up to $10,000.
Penalties For Possession Of A CDS Prior to November 1, 2016
The law covering simple possession that was superseded on November 1, 2016 had harsher penalties than the law that superseded it. The law that went into effect on November 1, 2016 removed some mandatory minimums and reduced some maximums.
For more information on Penalties For Drug Possession, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (405) 633-3420 today.
63 OS § 2-402 (Superseded 11/1/16)
63 OS § 2-402 (Superseded 7/1/2017)
63 OS § 2-402 (Effective 7/1/2017)