I. Oklahoma Misdemeanors
Criminal charges generally fall into two categories. They’re either Oklahoma misdemeanors or felonies. The difference between the two is huge. The first difference is the time in jail you could potentially face. For a misdemeanor charge, the maximum jail term is limited to one year in the county jail. Another difference is the fines and costs are generally less for Oklahoma misdemeanors.
II. Misdemeanor Arrest Process in Oklahoma:
Once you’ve been arrested and charged with a misdemeanor you’ll be given a court date. This is the date you and your attorney show to the court and plead you not guilty. This is when the State gives us a copy of the charging document. This document contains the exact crime and its statutory reference. Sometimes the State also provides an exact narrative of the facts leading up to your arrest together with a witness statement. If not we’ll get it before the next court date.
Once you’re arraigned the court sets another date called a conference date. At this court appearance, the prosecutor and your criminal defense attorney meet and discuss the strength and weaknesses of the state’s case. This is also when the State offers to settle your case. If the offer is accepted we’ll settle it otherwise we set it for a jury trial.
III. Oklahoma Misdemeanors Jury Trial:
The misdemeanor and felony jury trials are similar. The primary difference is the number of jurors that are used on the jury. For Oklahoma misdemeanors, the number is less than in a felony jury trial. As with any other trial you have certain rights afforded you by the constitution. Some of those include the right to question the State’s witnesses and to call your own witnesses. Your lawyer also can subpoena witnesses and ask them questions related to the crime you’ve been charged with.
IV. Expunging Misdemeanors in Oklahoma
This is another difference between a felony and an Oklahoma misdemeanors convictions. A misdemeanor is much easier to expunge because if you’re convicted, unlike a felony, a misdemeanor expungement doesn’t require you also to get a Governor’s pardon. The rules for expunging your Oklahoma criminal record are always changing. For the latest on sealing Oklahoma criminal records call our office.
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