A criminal conviction can change your life forever. Whether you are facing state or federal charges, a conviction can lead to unfathomable financial costs and hardship and, if sentenced to jail or prison, it could cost you your freedom. And it doesn't stop there -- a conviction can follow you long after you serve your sentence, costing you employment and housing opportunities and leaving you with a lifelong social stigma.
Mounting a successful defense starts with hiring an experienced Oklahoma criminal defense attorney. An Oklahoma defense attorney will be able to review the facts of your case to identify the strongest defenses possible. Your attorney will also strive to ensure that your rights are not violated during the arrest or at your trial. The criminal defense attorneys at the Worden Law Firm understand what's at stake for you and how the cards can feel stacked against you from day one. Contact the Worden Law Firm today to discuss your defense options.
Oklahoma Criminal Defense Attorney
The experienced criminal defense attorneys at the Worden Law Firm have a track record of defending the accused in a variety of criminal cases. Additionally, they are experienced in helping their clients expunge their criminal records, as well as obtain or defend against Oklahoma protective orders.
Felonies are the most serious type of criminal charge. Most felonies carry at least a year in prison, with the most serious crimes carrying potential life sentences. Most states identify different tiers of felonies, like a 1st Degree Felony or a Class A Felony. Oklahoma does not classify felonies. Because there are no tiers to attach potential sentences to, Oklahoma law sets out a specific punishment range for each felony. Some common Oklahoma felonies include:
- Commercial gambling
- Assault with a dangerous weapon
- Aiding suicide
- Assisting the escape of a prisoner
- Drug possession with intent to distribute
- 2nd or Subsequent DWI
When it comes to the severity of a criminal charge, misdemeanors are a step down from felonies. That doesn't mean they aren't serious. Many misdemeanor convictions carry hefty fines and up to a year in jail. Like felonies, Oklahoma law does not classify misdemeanors. This means that each individual misdemeanor has its own punishment range. A misdemeanor conviction can lead to incarceration in county jail, a fine, or both. Some common misdemeanors include:
- Public intoxication
- Drug possession
- Unlawful assembly
- DWI 1st Offense
We all make mistakes. If your mistake is serious enough, it can result in a criminal conviction that can follow you for the rest of your life. Thankfully, Oklahoma law provides ways to erase your criminal history in some circumstances. This process is known as expungement. There are two different forms of expungement under Oklahoma law. Expungement isn't available in every case, so it is imperative you discuss your options with an experienced Oklahoma criminal defense attorney.
With an expunged record, the public will not be able to find your criminal history through a background check. This will open doors for you regarding employment and even housing. It can also make other options available to you, like obtaining professional licenses or restoring your right to own firearms.
The first type of expungement under Oklahoma law is known as a Section 18 Expungement. Known as “full expungement,” a Section 18 expungement is the more comprehensive of the two methods. This type of expungement will seal your public records so that there is no record of your arrest or conviction. The second type of expungement is a Section 991(c) expungement.
These expungements are typically used in conjunction with a plea bargain. If you fulfill the terms of the plea agreement, the court records will reflect that your case was dismissed. But with a Section 18 expungement, the public will be able to see that there had been a case against you.
In some cases, the victims of domestic violence or abuse need court intervention to ensure their safety. If the judge believes the victims are in danger, the court can issue a protective order. Also known as a restraining order, a protective order can also protect victims of stalking and harassment. A protection order bars your abuser from making contact with you or being anywhere near you.
There are two types of protective orders in Oklahoma. Law enforcement can issue temporary restraining orders when called to the scene of a domestic disturbance or other crime. These temporary orders go into effect immediately and last until the issue can be taken up by a judge. If the judge agrees that you are at risk, he can make the temporary order permanent.
It is technically possible to obtain a restraining order without the help of an experienced attorney. However, there are technical hurdles that a restraining order must get over for it be considered by the court. Even a minor mistake could require you to start over. To ensure your protective order request is heard as soon as possible, it is important to hire an attorney with experience in protective order hearings.
If you have been served with a protective order, contacting an attorney immediately is even more important. Your instinct may be to immediately reach out to the other party and try to explain your side of the story. This is a mistake, as that contact violates a protective order and can land you in jail. If you need guidance on Oklahoma protective orders, the Worden Law Firm is ready to discuss your options with you.
Hiring the Right Oklahoma Criminal Defense Attorney
At the Worden Law Firm, we know that the outcome of your criminal case can greatly affect your life, your livelihood, and your freedom. Whether you have been charged with a crime, want to have an old conviction removed from your record, or need a protective order, the Worden Law Firm is ready to guide you through the process. To discuss your case, contact the Worden Law Firm today for your free consultation.