New Oklahoma Laws to Take Effect November 1, 2012

A number of Oklahoma laws passed earlier in the year will go into effect on November 1, just a few days from now. Perhaps the most attention-getting change is the fact that Oklahoma will become one of thirteen licensed open-carry states. This means that individuals with a proper permit or license will be able to openly carry their handguns or firearms if they so choose. However, changes to Oklahoma gun laws are not the only changes to the Oklahoma statutes. Traffic laws, alcohol laws, public health laws, school laws, and criminal laws will all see changes beginning in November.

Following are some of the changes and additions to the Oklahoma criminal statutes, effective November 1, 2012:

HB 2329 enacts a new law to be codified at 21 O.S. § 1406 which prohibits a person who has been convicted, or pled guilty or no contest to, a charge of arson, from ‘working or volunteering as a firefighter’ in Oklahoma.

HB 2433 amends 21 O.S. § 1533 in two ways:

  1. Using a motor vehicle which looks like an Oklahoma Highway Patrol car is punishable by jail of up to one year and/or a fine of $500.00.
  2. Clarifies that a sentence of imprisonment for false personation of a public officer of law enforcement officer is to be served in the custody of the Department of Corrections, instead of county jail.
HB 2302 amends 21 O.S.  § 741  to expand the definition of kidnapping.  The definition now reads:  ‘Any person who, without lawful authority, seizes, confines, inveigles, or decoys, kidnaps, abducts, or carries away another’ to cause them to be confined; to cause them to be sent out of state: or to cause them to be sold as a slave.
HB 3009 amends 21 O.S.  § 701.7, which defines murder first degree.  The list of potential victims  is expanded to include a ‘corrections employee’, with ‘law enforcement officer’ and ‘correctional officer’.
SB 987  also amends 21 O.S. § 701.7 to expand the definition of murder first degree to include a homicide which occurs during the
‘distributing or dispensing synthetic controlled substances’, or ‘manufacturing or attempting to manufacture a controlled dangerous substance’.  This amendment provides a definition of ‘synthetic controlled substance’.

HB 2518 amends 21 O.S.  § 748  (Human Trafficking) in two ways:

  1. The definition of ‘human trafficking for commercial  sex’ now includes ‘recruiting, enticing, harboring, maintaining, transporting, providing, purchasing or obtaining, by any means, a minor for purposes of engaging the minor in a commercial sex act’.
  2. Provides that the ‘consent of the minor’ shall not be considered a defense to any criminal charge under this statute.

SB 285  amends 21 O.S. § 1024.1, related to child porn investigations.  The definition is expanded to ‘any visual depiction or individual image stored or contained in any format on any medium’ as a way to prepare for future technological innovations. Each visual image, including multiple copies of the same image, is to be ‘counted as a separate item.’

Oklahoma will also see significant changes to expungement laws, which we detailed on the blog this summer.  Find out about changes to Oklahoma expungement law here.

To find out more about how these changes may affect you, or to find a criminal defense attorney in Oklahoma, please visit our website at http://www.oklahoma-criminal-defense.com/.

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