New Oklahoma Law Reinstates Drug Possession Felony
I’m Tulsa attorney James Wirth. Drug possession is once again considered a felony offense in Oklahoma thanks to the new four-strikes law, House Bill 2153. The law, which was passed and signed off by the governor, goes into effect on November 1st, 2023. This new legislation undoes some of the criminal justice reform that was part of State Question 780 back in 2016.
Before State Question 780, possession of controlled and dangerous substances drugs like cocaine, heroin, meth, crack, and PCP was a felony offense with potential jail time in the penitentiary for a first offense conviction. However, State Question 780 made all drug possession a misdemeanor. With the new four strikes law, possession of CDS (excluding marijuana) is still a misdemeanor for the first three convictions, but it becomes a felony offense with a punishment of one to five years and a fine up to $5,000 on the fourth conviction.
The Option for Reduced Charges
Despite the new law, Oklahoma has an interesting provision that offers a chance for defendants to avoid a felony conviction on their record. With the consent of the defendant, a substance abuse assessment and evaluation can be completed along with a diversion program for up to three years. Upon successfully completing these requirements, the felony charge can be changed to a misdemeanor.
Seeking Legal Advice
If you are dealing with drug possession charges in Oklahoma, it is important to seek legal advice to understand the specifics of your circumstances. At my office, we can provide you with the legal guidance and representation you need. To schedule a consultation and speak with a criminal defense lawyer in Oklahoma, visit us online at makelaweasy.com.