Oklahoma criminal charges generally fall into two categories: misdemeanors and felonies. The difference between the two crimes is night and day. The primary difference is the range of punishment. For Oklahoma felonies you can face anywhere from one year to life sentences in prison. The fines costs and probation fees are also more for an Oklahoma felony conviction.
Process For Oklahoma Felonies:
Once you’ve been arrested for any Oklahoma felonies you’ll be given a chance to bond out of jail. The bond you face is determined by the severity of the crime. At this time you’ll also be given a court date. This is your initial arraignment. At your arraignment your felony criminal defense attorney will enter a plea of not guilty for you. At this hearing we’ll also get a copy of the information. This is the charging document and it contains the criminal charges you’ve been charged with. Shortly after this, and before your next court appearance, we’ll get a copy of the discovery. The discovery is a detailed explanation of facts leading up to your arrest and witness statements.
The next court appearance in an Oklahoma felonies charge is the preliminary hearing The preliminary hearing is important. Its where the government has the burden of proving that a crime was committed and that it was probably you that committed it. The burden of proof is low in a preliminary hearing. All the government needs show is that there a good probability that you’ve committed the crime. If they meet their burden you get bound over for jury trial.
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Oklahoma Felony Jury Trial:
Unlike a misdemeanor jury trial a felony jury trial impanels more people. At the jury trial the State of Oklahoma has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that you’re guilty of the Oklahoma felonies they’ve charged you with. Like any other trial you have certain constitutional guarantees. One of those is the right to remain silent. You never have to prove your innocence by testifying. Its the State that has to prove your guilty and they must prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. You also have the right to question State witnesses and to call your own.
Expunging Oklahoma Felonies:
Not all felony convictions can be expunged from your Oklahoma criminal arrest record. Generally speaking those that involve violence will not be expunged. But, many other Oklahoma felonies can be expunged. A difference between expunging an Oklahoma misdemeanor and a felony is that to seal an Oklahoma criminal record that includes a felony you’ll also need a governors pardon. This is just one more step to getting your criminal record sealed. For information on sealing Oklahoma criminal felonies call.