It's important to stay informed when laws are changed, updated, dismissed, or implemented. And as of early this year, 2017, a pretty big change has been made to the drug possession laws in Oklahoma. It was a mess, as it was voted, then fought, then finally implemented, but eventually, the people's voices were heard. What is pretty crazy about this change of the previous possession laws, is that it will be taking Oklahoma from one of the states with some of the harshest drug possession punishments, to being a state with some of the leanest drug possession punishments.
The harsh consequences for Oklahoma before were as follows… It was a felony to be caught with any Schedule I or II substances, excluding marijuana; a felony to be caught for a second time with marijuana or any Schedule II, IV, or V substances; a felony to be caught with any controlled substance while in the presence of a child that is under the age of 12; and a felony to be caught with any controlled substances within 1000 feet of a school, church, playground, etc. With these sorts of harsh consequences, it was likely you would want to have your Norman, OK drug lawyer on speed dial.
As of now though, these laws are no longer in effect, whereas the consequences of all the above were previously considered a felony, they are now only charged as a misdemeanor. These are big changes, but they are necessary changes, as per what the people and many officials believe. Oklahoma has the second highest incarceration rate nationwide, and for women, the highest. The hopes of these changes in law, are that the tax payer's money won't be going towards putting nonviolent or non-dangerous people behind bars, who we believe, don't have any business being there.
As the people made their voices heard in that of the voting of these new misdemeanor punishments being implemented as the new laws, a couple politicians tried to step in and change the law earlier this year before it could be put into action; but through a whirlwind of worry, eventually those bills were passed on. Most of Oklahoma is now happy to hear, the laws have been put into to place, and the people have won their battle.
The new laws as of July, 1st 2017, are as follows:
- First offense of simple possession (including methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, and marijuana) is a misdemeanor
- Subsequent offenses possession are a misdemeanor
- Sale, distribution, or trafficking of substances is a felony
If you or a loved one have been convicted of a drug-related crime, you may be looking for a drug possession lawyer in Oklahoma City. There's no need to panic, because here at Worden Law, we are a dedicated team of experts who are ready to stand up for you and your rights. Please, don't hesitate to contact us today, and let us help you get your life back on track!