What Is A Judicial Sentence Review In Oklahoma?

Judicial Sentence Review In Oklahoma

A judicial review of a sentence in Oklahoma occurs when a sentence is reviewed within 60 months of being imposed. This is also known as a sentence modification. During the review, the court may direct another sentence to be imposed if they believe that the best interest of the public will not be jeopardized. A deferred sentence may not be imposed. The statute that covers a judicial sentence review in Oklahoma is 22 O.S. § 982a.

When Is Someone Eligible For A Sentence Modification In Oklahoma?

Any application for sentence modification that is filed and ruled upon beyond 12 months of the initial sentence being imposed must be approved by the prosecutor, and the prosecutor must provide written notice to any victims.

A judicial sentence modification does not apply to sentences imposed pursuant to a plea agreement or jury verdict without the consent of the prosecutor. Additionally, a judicial sentence modification does not apply to convicted felons who have been in confinement in any state or federal prison system for any previous felony conviction during the ten-year period preceding the date that the sentence the defendant is trying to modify was imposed. The date of the hearing—not the date of the motion—triggers the time limitations.

Succinctly, a judicial sentence review must occur within 60 months of the sentence being imposed. If the review occurs within 12 months of the sentence’s imposition, then no approval is needed by the prosecutor unless the sentence was imposed pursuant to a plea agreement or jury verdict. Blind pleas typically are most likely to undergo a judicial sentence review because they do not require the approval of the prosecutor during the first 12 months. A sentence imposed pursuant to a plea agreement or jury verdict will always require the prosecutor’s approval—regardless of whether the review occurs within 12 months of the sentence’s imposition.

The court imposing sentence may modify the sentence of any offender who was originally sentenced for a drug charge and ordered to complete the Drug Offender Work Camp at the Bill Johnson Correctional Facility and direct that another sentence be imposed if the court is satisfied that the best interests of the public will not be jeopardized. However, the court cannot impose a deferred sentence. An application for sentence modification of any offender who was originally sentenced for a drug charge and ordered to complete the Drug Offender Work Camp at the Bill Johnson Correctional Facility may be filed and ruled upon beyond the initial sixty-month time period provided for above.

How Does Someone Get A Sentence Modification In Oklahoma?

For purposes of judicial review, upon court order or written request from the sentencing judge, the Department of Corrections must provide the court imposing sentence or revocation of probation with a report to include a summary of the assessed needs of the offender, any progress made by the offender in addressing his or her assessed needs, and any other information the Department can supply on the offender. The court must consider those reports when modifying the sentence or revocation of probation. The court allows the Department of Corrections at least 20 days after receipt of a request or order from the court to prepare the required reports.

If the court considers modification of the sentence or revocation of probation, a hearing will occur after receipt of the reports mentioned above. The clerk of the court imposing sentence or revocation of probation will give notice of the judicial review hearing to the Department of Corrections, the offender, the legal counsel of the offender, and the district attorney of the county in which the offender was convicted upon receipt of the reports. Such notice will be mailed at least 21 days prior to the hearing date and will include a copy of the report and any other written information to be considered at the judicial review hearing. Due to the 21-day notice requirement, a defendant must file for judicial review no less than 22 days before the one-year anniversary of the sentence.

If an appeal is taken from the original sentence or from a revocation of probation that results in a modification of the sentence or modification to the revocation of probation of the offender, such sentence may be further modified in the manner described in above within 60 months after the receipt by the clerk of the district court of the mandate from the Supreme Court or the Court of Criminal Appeals. The trial court can modify the sentence within one year even while the matter is on appeal. However, the trial court must give written notice to the appellate court and file the order of modification in the appeal.

Source: 22 O.S. § 982a

For more information on a Sentence Modification In Oklahoma, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Call (405) 633-3420 to speak with an attorney.