Oklahoma is one of a small number of states that do not classify felonies into different categories. For example, some states have felony categories such as Class A, B, and C. In those states a Class A felony might be the most serious type while a Class C felony might be the least serious.
In Oklahoma, a felony is any crime punishable by death or imprisonment in a state prison.
For information about misdemeanors, see Oklahoma Misdemeanor Crimes by Class and Sentences.
In states where felonies are classified by category, each category of offense has a maximum penalty associated with it. For example, in a state with Class A, B, and C felonies, a Class A felony might have a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and $500,000 in fines, while a Class C felony might have a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and $100,000 in fines.
Because Oklahoma doesn't have different felony categories, each felony has its own penalties associated with it. For example, someone convicted of arson faces a fine of up to $25,000 and no more than 35 years in prison. On the other hand, someone convicted of the unlawful delivery of goods faces up to $1,000 in fines and no more than five years in prison.
In addition to the potential penalties outlined under each felony law, Oklahoma also imposes additional penalties for repeat felony offenders. For example, someone convicted of a second offense of forcible sodomy faces a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, while someone convicted of a first offense of for forcible sodomy faces up to 20 years in prison.
Some crimes in Oklahoma are covered under the state's “85 percent rule,” a sentencing guideline that requires people convicted of such crimes to serve at least 85 percent of their prison sentences before becoming eligible for parole. For example, someone convicted of criminal sodomy and sentenced to a 20-year prison term would have to serve 17 years in prison before being eligible for early release.
There are a number of crimes that the 85 percent rule applies to, including but not limited to:
The following list of felonies represents a small number of felony crimes identified in Oklahoma.
In any criminal case, prosecutors have to file criminal charges within a specific amount of time. Each state has laws that determine how long prosecutors have file charges, known as the statutes of limitations.
The Oklahoma statute of limitations establishes different time limits for different types of crimes. For example, there is no time limit for murder charges, but other crimes have 12, seven, five, or three-year limits. For a more detailed explanation of the Oklahoma law and how it works, you can read Oklahoma Criminal Statute of Limitations.
Being charged with a felony offense in Oklahoma is a very serious situation, as the state has some of the more stringent sentencing consequences in the country. Being able to protect your rights during the criminal justice process requires that you talk to a criminal defense lawyer who has experience representing clients in local courts. You should talk to a lawyer as soon as you suspect that you are being investigated for crime, and immediately upon being approached by investigators. If you wait too long you might unwittingly damage your ability to successfully defend yourself against the charges.