In Oklahoma law, there are two main categories of crimes: misdemeanors and felonies. The distinction is important in the courtroom because the classification of a crime greatly impacts the penalties a convicted person could face. You might already know that a felony is more serious than a misdemeanor, but do you know why? If you’ve recently been charged with a crime, you’ll likely want more details about the categories of crimes. No need to fear because our knowledgeable law firm has all the answers you’ll need! Continue reading this blog to learn more about misdemeanors vs. felonies, and reach out to an Oklahoma City Felony Defense Lawyer today for individualized legal counseling.
HOW IS A MISDEMEANOR DIFFERENT FROM A FELONY?
The simple answer is that felonies are more severe crimes than misdemeanors. The biggest difference between the two is the possible jail time you could receive. When found guilty of a misdemeanor, you could be penalized with incarceration for no longer than a year. Meanwhile, after being found guilty of a felony, you’ll get at least one year of incarceration (and possibly even longer).
WHAT ARE EXAMPLES OF MISDEMEANORS IN OKC?
There are many different misdemeanors with a wide range of penalties. Most misdemeanors have fewer consequences. Also, depending on the offense you may be eligible for a misdemeanor diversion program to limit the penalties you’ll face. In a diversion program, the offender might pay fees, provide restitution, undergo behavioral health or substance abuse treatment, perform community service, and more. After completing a diversion program, an offender’s charges can be dropped.
Some of the most common misdemeanor offenses include:
- Drug possession
- Simple assault
- Reckless driving
- Falsely reporting a crime
- Obstructing emergency medical providers
- Petit larceny
- Breaking and entering
- First-offense DUI
WHAT CRIMES ARE CONSIDERED FELONIES?
It’s important to note that some misdemeanors can become felonies depending on the circumstances. For example, a DUI is a misdemeanor if it’s your first offense, but a second DUI is automatically considered a felony in Oklahoma. Another example is drug possession. You can get a misdemeanor for simply owning illegal drugs, but you could get a felony if there’s evidence that you were planning to sell or distribute illegal drugs.
Some of the most common felony offenses include:
- Sexual assault
- Aggravated assault
- Drug possession with intent to distribute
- Domestic abuse
- Second-offense DUI or repeat DUI offenses
Have you recently been charged with a misdemeanor or felony? Do you need a dedicated criminal defense attorney to fight for you? Thankfully, Jones Law Firm is here to provide all the help you’ll need. Contact our highly effective team today for an initial consultation.