A felony conviction can destroy families, lives, and careers. For this reason, we treat felony charges as if each one carries the possibility of a life sentence.
In the State of Oklahoma a felony is a “crime that is punishable by imprisonment in the Penitentiary” (O.S. Title 21 § 5). A felony conviction can destroy families, lives, and careers. For this reason, we treat felony charges as if each one carries the possibility of a life sentence.
Felony convictions are far reaching. In Oklahoma a “felon” cannot vote during sentence, sit on a jury, run for public office within 15 years of completing sentence, be state employed, bear arms, and in many instances, cannot have a driver’s license. A “felon” may never become a corporate director, bank officer, executor or administrator of an estate, liquor dealer, funeral director, surveyor, physical therapist, chiropractor, official shorthand reporter, realtor, or bondsman.
A “felon” may as well forget about pursuing the professions of law, architecture, accounting, engineering, medicine, dentistry, electrologist, pharmacy, psychology, veterinary science, real estate appraisal, occupational therapy, marriage and domestic counseling, osteopathy, nursing, and cosmetology, as well as employment in such fields as a pawnbroker, polygraph examiner, security guard, or in the security alarm industry.
In the State of Oklahoma the felony process begins with the arraignment. It is at arraignment that you are presented with the “information,” a document filed by the state describing the crime for which the Defendant is charged. It is at this time that the court will read the “information,” enter a plea of not guilty, address your right to counsel, and set bond.
The next time you are scheduled for a court appearance would be the “preliminary hearing conference.” This court date is a setting that allows your attorney and the District Attorney’s Office the chance to discuss the case and exchange “discovery.” This is also an opportunity for you to meet with your attorney and review the State’s case and evidence.
The “preliminary hearing” would be the next scheduled appearance in the process. A “preliminary hearing” is a constitutional right in Oklahoma, and a process in which the State must show that “probable cause” is sufficient enough for the defendant to stand trial for the crime for which they are charged.
Remember, a preliminary hearing is not a trial. A preliminary hearing is an important opportunity for the defense to get a closer look at the State’s case, and an attempt for the State to convince the court that a basis exists for the matter to continue to trial. If the State does not meet its burden, the case is dismissed. However, if the State is successful, a “District Court Arraignment” will be set.
At “District Court Arraignment” you will notice a different judge and possibly different courtroom. This new Judge is the “Trial Judge” and you will either enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. If the plea entered is not guilty, the matter will then be set upon a “sounding docket” and set for trial.
At Wagner & Lynch Law, not only do we explain this process to you and your rights, but we stand by your side along the way while helping you to understand and make decisions that best suit your individual situation. We believe it is our duty to be your counsel, your confidant, your defender. That said, the client is always the person directly affected and shall make the final decision in his or her defense. We will defend you, we will be your advocate.