Oklahoma Drug Possession Laws
Oklahoma has been named one of the “5 worst states to get busted with pot”, Oklahoma lawmakers here have taken a conservative stance against drugs and see them as a gateway to other more violent crime. They’ve used this false perception to justify some of the harshest drug possession laws in the country.
States notorious for handling possession charges with a heavy hand are often criticized for deeming simple possession a felony. In Oklahoma, the extreme nature of possession penalties are taken a step further.
A few years ago, one defendant was sentenced to 12 years in prison after trying to sell $39 worth of pot to an undercover agent. Public backlash has been vocal in the case of Patricia Marilyn Spottedcow, but hasn’t served to lessen the severity of her punishment. In another, similarly tragic case, paraplegic Jimmy Montgomery was sentenced to life in prison when cops found two ounces of medical marijuana (not legal in OK) in his wheelchair. Though his sentenced was eventually reduced to 10 years and he was released on medical parole, he would lose his leg due to an infection that developed while in prison.
There are too many stories like this to relay them all. The bottom line is Oklahoma is notorious for strict drug laws.
Marijuana Possession Laws in Oklahoma
The charge and subsequent penalty you face for marijuana possession in Oklahoma depends on whether or not you’ve been charged with such an offense before. If not, you are fortunate in that a first-offense marijuana possession charge is classified as a misdemeanor and carries only up to one year in jail.
However, if you have other drug charges on your record, you will face felony charges for marijuana possession. A second or subsequent offense carries 2 to 10 years in prison and fines reaching $5,000.
Possession of other Controlled Substances
The vast majority of other controlled substances are classified as either Schedule I or II drugs. These include things like: cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines. They are penalized more severely than pot.
A first offense possession of a Schedule I or II substance carries felony charges and 2 to 5 years in prison with $5,000 in fines. If this is your second possession charge, you can face 4 to 20 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
Other drugs, including some more popular prescription drugs, are classified as Schedule III, IV, or even V substance. A first offense possession charge of these substances, like marijuana, carries up to one year in jail and fines reaching $1,000. A second or subsequent offense, however, carries felony charges along with 2 to 10 years in prison and fines reaching $5,000.
Possession with Intent to Distribute
It’s important to note that if the prosecution can gather evidence that you may have been planning to sell drugs, your situation becomes far more grave. Like Jimmy Montgomery, it may be that you keep a larger amount of personal pot and have absolutely no intentions on selling it. But if the prosecutor thinks you have enough to share, you could be sentenced to life in prison.
Drug possession charges, no matter where you live, are a serious matter. But in the state of Oklahoma, even casual pot users are treated like horrific criminals. An experience lawyer can make a huge difference when facing charges that are prosecuted this serious. Please call for a consultation.