Oklahoma has become notorious for its severe penalties for drug offenses including possession, manufacturing, and distribution or trafficking of illegal drugs. Even a minor drug charge, such as a first offense possession of marijuana charge, carries the possibility of a year in jail if convicted. Fortunately, in many first offense drug convictions, a skilled Oklahoma drug crime lawyer can negotiate for a deferred sentence or suspended sentence which allows the defendant to avoid incarceration if he or she successfully complies with the terms of probation. Still, Oklahoma drug laws offer a wide range of possible sentences depending on the circumstances of the drug offense. In fact, a second conviction of marijuana possession is a felony that carries a possible sentence of 2 to 10 years in prison. Oklahoma's drug sentencing is among the harshest in the nation, with mandatory minimums and penalties that can include:
- Hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines
- Life in prison without the possibility of parole
- In parole-eligible cases, a mandatory minimum of 50% of the sentence must be served before parole
- Years of probation and drug testing
- Loss of the right to possess a firearm
- Patricia Marilyn Spottedcrow, 25 - fined $2,740 and serving 10 years in prison for a $31 drug sale to an undercover agent
- Darlene Burgess Lorenz, 49 at the time of her conviction - fined more than $120,000 and sentenced to two life terms plus 600 years for manufacturing methamphetamine and possessing firearms. Her sentence was commuted, and she was released after nine years and sentenced to 30 years of probation.
- Franklin Thompson, 25 at the time of his conviction - 60 years in prison for possession of 7 grams of crack cocaine, about $700 worth. Thompson will not be eligible for parole until he has served at least 30 years, half of his sentence. In most states, possession of that amount of crack carries only a five year sentence.