Violent Felony Penalties in Oklahoma

Oklahoma enforces heavy penalties for violent crimes. Many violent crimes require a person convicted to serve at least 85 percent of his or her sentence before having even the possibility of being paroled. While misdemeanors and non-violent felonies can be cleared from one's criminal record under the right circumstances, violent felonies cannot be expunged from one's record. Also, certain violent crimes require a convicted person to register as a violent offender or as a sex offender--often for life. Mandatory minimums, lifetime registration, and an inability to clear one's record are but a few of the penalties violent felons face. Other collateral consequences include loss of firearms rights, loss of certain professional licenses, and loss of voting rights. So, what are these crimes that are punished more severely as "violent felonies?" Oklahoma law explicitly defines its "85 Percent Crimes" and inexpugnable violent felonies. Eighty-Five Percent Crimes In the Oklahoma Criminal Code, 21 violent crimes are listed in Section 13.1 as offenses for which a person convicted must serve a prescribed length of the sentence before achieving parole eligibility. According to the statute, anyone convicted of one of these crimes "shall be required to serve not less than eighty-five percent (85%) of any sentence of imprisonment imposed by the judicial system prior to becoming eligible for consideration for parole. Persons convicted of these offenses shall not be eligible for earned credits or any other type of credits which have the effect of reducing the length of the sentence to less than eighty-five percent (85%) of the sentence imposed." These designated "85 Percent Crimes" are as follows:

  1. First degree murder
  2. Second degree murder
  3. First degree manslaughter
  4. Poisoning with intent to kill
  5. Shooting with intent to kill; use of a vehicle to facilitate use of a firearm, crossbow or other weapon; assault, battery, or assault and battery with a deadly weapon or by other means likely to produce death or great bodily harm
  6. Assault with intent to kill
  7. Conjoint robbery
  8. Robbery with a dangerous weapon
  9. First degree robbery
  10. First degree rape
  11. First degree arson
  12. First degree burglary
  13. Bombing
  14. Child abuse, neglect, sexual exploitation, or sexual abuse
  15. Forcible sodomy
  16. Child pornography
  17. Child prostitution
  18. Lewd molestation of a child
  19. Nursing home abuse
  20. Aggravated drug trafficking
  21. Aggravated assault and battery upon any person defending another person from assault and battery
Many of these crimes carry the possibility of life in prison. For the purposes of calculating parole eligibility, a life sentence is defined as 45 years. If a person is serving a life sentence for an 85 percent crime, he or she may not petition the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board for parole until at least 38 years and 3 months have been served in prison. Violent Felonies The above offenses are those which mandate 85 percent of a prison sentence be served. However, there are several additional felonies designated as violent felonies that are not eligible for expungement. The state's prison code defines "nonviolent offenses" as any offense which is not a violent felony listed in 57 O.S. 571. These inexpugnable violent felonies include the following:
  • assault, battery, or assault and battery with a dangerous or deadly weapon;
  • aggravated assault and battery on a police officer, sheriff, highway patrolman, or any other officer of the law;
  • poisoning with intent to kill;
  • shooting with intent to kill;
  • assault with intent to kill;
  • assault with intent to commit a felony;
  • assaults while masked or disguised;
  • murder in the first degree;
  • murder in the second degree;
  • manslaughter in the first degree;
  • manslaughter in the second degree;
  • kidnapping;
  • burglary in the first degree;
  • burglary with explosives;
  • kidnapping for extortion;
  • maiming;
  • robbery;
  • robbery in the first degree;
  • robbery in the second degree;
  • armed robbery;
  • robbery by two (2) or more persons;
  • robbery with dangerous weapon or imitation firearm;
  • child abuse;
  • wiring any equipment, vehicle or structure with explosives;
  • forcible sodomy;
  • rape in the first degree;
  • rape in the second degree;
  • rape by instrumentation;
  • lewd or indecent proposition or lewd or indecent act with a child;
  • use of a firearm or offensive weapon to commit or attempt to commit a felony;
  • pointing firearms;
  • rioting;
  • inciting to riot;
  • arson in the first degree;
  • injuring or burning public buildings;
  • sabotage;
  • criminal syndicalism;
  • extortion;
  • obtaining signature by extortion;
  • seizure of a bus, discharging firearm or hurling missile at bus;
  • mistreatment of a mental patient; or
  • using a vehicle to facilitate the discharge of a weapon
Some of the above offenses may not seem violent. For example, extortion can be carried out through threat of embarrassment or scandal without any physical violence. Second degree rape, or statutory rape, is not forcible or violent; rather, it is carried out with a person who is unable to provide legal consent even if he or she gives verbal consent. However, these crimes are deemed egregious felonies by the state of Oklahoma, and record of these offenses cannot be sealed or stricken.

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