It is very difficult for someone who committed any type of robbery or burglary to enter a diversion program. For example, drug court does not allow someone charged with a violent crime to enroll in the program. A robbery or burglary charge would have to be amended to something not as bad to even allow somebody to be eligible for drug court. However, that is very difficult because these are considered violent crimes. Prosecutors are not typically willing to accommodate people whom they feel have committed acts of violence. It is possible to get a deferred or suspended sentence on these charges. However, that would, in the vast majority of cases, likely only apply to a first-time offender.
Prosecutors will likely not be willing to offer a deferred or suspended sentence for these crimes, so another way to get a deferred or suspended sentence would be through a blind plea.
A blind plea is essentially where the defendant throws himself or herself on the mercy of the court. Think of it like a mini trial. The defendant admits guilt and asks the judge for mercy. The prosecutor puts on their case as to why the defendant should receive the punishment they think the defendant deserves. Then, the defense has the opportunity to tell the court what they think the punishment should be. As defense attorneys, we hope that the judge sees our point of view better than the prosecutor’s. This is a good time to present mitigating evidence that we may not have otherwise been able to bring up in trial, so it’s a good idea to know a lot about the client’s background and the good things they’ve done.
For instance, we can talk about the client’s military service and their upbringing. Maybe they lived in a foster home and had a lot of negative influences, or maybe their parents were drug addicts. These are things that a defense attorney can use to humanize the client and hopefully get the judge to feel sympathy. A blind plea is a good thing to do when the offer from the prosecutor is bad, you don’t think that going to a jury trial would yield a better outcome, and going to the judge might give you a better outcome than the previous two options.
Oklahoma refers to some crimes as “85% crimes.” These crimes are listed in 21 O.S. § 13.1. They are considered the worst types of crimes that can be committed. Individuals convicted of these crimes are not eligible to earn any credits that have the effect of reducing the length of the sentence to less than 85% of the sentence imposed. If you’re convicted of Burglary in the First Degree or Robbery in the First Degree, then you will have to serve a minimum of 85% of your sentence.
For more information on Robbery/Burglary Conviction In Oklahoma, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (405) 633-3420 today.