HB 2753 modifies 22 OS § 471.2 and 22 OS § 988.2 to expand drug court and community sentencing eligibility to include persons recommended for drug court after a Mental Health and Substance Abuse Assessment and Evaluation.
The following are now the basic requirements to enter drug court in Oklahoma:
1. The offender’s arrest or charge does not involve a crime of violence against any person, unless there is a specific treatment program in the jurisdiction designed to address domestic violence and the offense is related to domestic violence and substance abuse;
2. The offender has no prior felony conviction in this state or another state for a violent offense within the last ten (10) years, except as may be allowed in a domestic violence treatment program authorized by the drug court program. It shall be sufficient for this paragraph that a criminal history records name search was conducted and indicated no apparent violent offense;
3. The offender’s arrest or charge does not involve a violation of the Trafficking In Illegal Drugs Act;
4. The offender has committed a felony offense; and
5. The offender:
a. admits to having a substance abuse addiction,
b. appears to have a substance abuse addiction,
c. is known to have a substance abuse addiction,
d. the arrest or charge is based upon an offense eligible for the drug court program, or
f. is a person who has had an assessment authorized by Section 3-704 of Title 43A of the Oklahoma Statutes and the assessment recommends the drug court program.
Note that a felony offense is required to be eligible for drug court. In July 2017, all simple possession drug charges become misdemeanors–regardless of drug and regardless of how many times someone has been arrested for drug possession.
Now, a way to become eligible for community sentencing is to have an assessment authorized by Section 3-704 of Title 43A of the Oklahoma Statutes with the assessment recommending the drug court program.
This bill also modified 22 OS § 471.1 to imply that drug court need not be in lieu of incarceration.
This law went into effect November 1, 2016.