Enhanced punishment for Oklahoma felony offenses.

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Most enhancements for Oklahoma felonies are controlled by Title 21 O.S. Section 51.1. This is a very important statute for anyone facing felony charges that have prior criminal convictions. This statute can be confusing and is often misinterpreted. The basic function of this statute is to increase the punishment for felony offenses if the individual charged with that felony has served a previous felony sentence in the previous ten (10) years.

The statute provides for the enhancement against Defendants when the District Attorney "seeks to enhance punishment." The reason this is important is because the provisions of this statute are waive-able, meaning the District Attorney can agree not to enhance the punishment. This is often times an important aspect of plea negotiations when defendants have prior felony convictions.

When the District Attorney files an information alleging a criminal offense, the prior felony convictions are alleged on the "Second Page". (These offense are almost never on the second (2nd) page of the information because the witnesses and defendant personal identifiers are listed on the second and often times third (3rd) page of the information. Regardless, the allegations are always referred to as the "Second Page")

Important Aspects of Oklahoma Criminal Enhancements (Title 21 O.S. Section 51.1)

  • Allows for enhancement of sentence for those facing criminal charges alleging they committed a new offense within 10 years of the completion of a previous sentence. (Not the sentencing date, the completion of th probation or discharge of the prison sentence.)

  • If the offense is an eighty-five (85) percent crime (a crime listed in Title 57 O.S. Section 571) and the offense carries a term exceeding 5 years in prison (all 85% crimes do) than the enhanced or minimum sentence becomes ten (10) years to life. If the defendant has two (2) prior felony convictions the punishment is enhanced to twenty (20) to life.

  • If the defendant is subsequently convicted of a felony, that for the first offense would be punishable by any term exceeding 5 years in prison, than the range of punishment is twice the minimum sentence to Life. Of the offense does not carry a minimum sentence than the range of punishment is from two (2) years to life.

  • If the defendant is convicted of any offense that carries a term of 5 years or less upon first conviction, the punishments enhanced to a term not exceeding ten (10) years.

  • If the defendant is convicted of a felony offense (within 10 years) after having two (2) felony offenses than the punishment is three times the minimum. If the statute has no minimum sentence for a first time conviction than the minimum sentence is four (4) years to life.

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