How Long Is A Life Sentence And Can I Apply For Parole In Oklahoma?

Life Sentence

A Life Sentence in Oklahoma doesn’t always mean that the person will spend the remainder of their life in prison. You are subject to sentencing in Oklahoma after you are found guilty of a crime through a trial or by pleading guilty. As part of a criminal trial, in addition to deciding whether a person is innocent or guilty, a jury will also recommend a sentence if guilt is established.

After the trial or plea agreement hearing, a judge will decide the actual sentence you receive. The judge determines the sentence based on statutory guidelines and what the jury recommends. In almost every case in Oklahoma, the judge directly applies the jury’s sentence recommendation. This is fairly unique to Oklahoma, as it is one of the few states where the jury offers sentence recommendations.

What Is A Life Sentence In Oklahoma?

A life sentence in Oklahoma is considered 45 years in prison. In Oklahoma, several classes of crimes may result in a life sentence, including first-degree murder and first-degree robbery.

In Oklahoma, not all life sentences are the same. There is a type of life sentence called life without the possibility of parole (LWOP). An LWOP means there is no option for you to request parole at any stage of serving your sentence. The only way to avoid spending the rest of your life in prison is to get your conviction vacated, or your sentence commuted.

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How Does Parole Work In Oklahoma?

If you receive a life prison sentence, you might not have to serve the entire length of your sentence. You might instead be able to serve some of your life sentence back in the community through a parole program. Parole allows you to be released from prison early if you follow the plan and terms established for your release. Getting parole doesn’t mean your sentence is over. It just allows you to continue to serve your sentence outside of prison.

What Is The 85% Rule For Parole In Oklahoma?

To qualify for parole, you must serve a specific portion of your sentence. In Oklahoma, there is something called the 85% rule that applies to more serious crimes. This rule means that you have to serve 85% of your sentence before being eligible for parole. Because a life sentence in Oklahoma is considered 45 years, applying the 85% rule means you would have to serve 38.25 years before qualifying for parole.

The 85% rule doesn’t guarantee that you will automatically get parole. It only means that after serving 85% of your sentence, you can request a parole hearing. You also may have received a life sentence that doesn’t fall under the 85% rule.

Tulsa Criminal Defense Lawyers

If you have been charged with a crime that carries a life sentence, it is vital that you reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney who can assist you with your defense strategy. A seasoned Tulsa criminal defense lawyer will be able to work out a plan for your case for the best possible outcome. If you have already received a life sentence, a criminal defense attorney can look at your case to see if there is any possibility to get your conviction vacated or potentially have it set for a review. For a free consultation call us at 918.743.2233 or send us an email with your questions.

Tulsa's Local Criminal Defense Lawyers

Law ScaleAre you looking for Tulsa attorneys who will fight aggressively for you? Our team of criminal defense attorneys have the experience needed in Oklahoma law to secure the outcome you deserve.

Call us today for a free consultation 918-743-2233 or contact us online.