Despite some much-needed changes via criminal justice reform legislation and ballot initiatives in recent years, our state is still among the strictest in the nation when it comes to prosecuting drug charges. If you’ve been charged with a drug offense in Oklahoma, it’s imperative to know what you’re up against.
Aside from potential imprisonment and excessive fines, drug offenses can also create long-term effects on your public record and career path. For example, a conviction for a drug offense can appear on background checks and lead to issues with getting hired for a particular job position, securing a loan, or obtaining certain professional licenses.
Types of Drug Offenses in Oklahoma
Like every state, drug charges in Oklahoma can come in many different forms. Some of the more common examples include:
- Possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS)
- Possession with intent to distribute
- Possession of controlled dangerous substance proceeds
- Trafficking controlled dangerous substances
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
- Possession of prescription drugs
- Maintaining a dwelling with the intent to manufacture
- Conspiracy to distribute a controlled dangerous substance
Keep in mind that while certain ballot initiatives such State Question 780 and State Question 788 — along with the implementation of legislation such as SB 649 and SB 793 — have downgraded or even eliminated some drug charges, those who are charged with drug felonies are still facing an uphill battle in a state court system known for its heavy-handedness towards offenders.
What About Drug Proceeds and Civil Asset Forfeiture?
One of the more overlooked drug offenses in Oklahoma involves what’s often known as drug proceeds.
According to Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes:
“It is unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally to receive or acquire proceeds and to conceal such proceeds, or engage in transactions involving proceeds, known to be derived from any violation of the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Act.” (63 O.S. § 2-503.1)
In simpler terms, this means it is illegal to purchase goods with supposed proceeds from the sale of drugs. If law enforcement claims probable cause in suspecting this has been done, they can seize the goods or property in question. This is a form of civil asset forfeiture — a practice widely abused within the criminal justice system. It is not hard to find countless stories of law enforcement seizing everything from cars, to homes, to tens of thousands of dollars in cash, simply because they “believe” the property to be somehow involved in the sale of drugs. And once the property has been seized, it can be extremely challenging to get it back without having expert legal representation on your side.
What are my legal options for a drug offense in Oklahoma?
When facing drug charges in Oklahoma, your legal options are somewhat simple. You can seek to have the charges dismissed, enter a plea deal, or go to trial. In some cases, participating in drug court and seeking professional treatment may be part of a plea agreement in place of a standard jail or prison sentence. Furthermore, if you’ve had property seized under the guise of supposedly being purchased with drug proceeds, you may be in store for a long legal fight to get it back — even if the other charges are dropped.
Regardless of the type or severity of the drug charges you or a loved one may be facing, seeking legal representation from a proven, competent law firm specializing in drug offenses is absolutely essential for fighting the charges purposefully and successfully.
The lawyers at Overman Legal Group are experienced in handling drug charges ranging from simple possession to more serious drug-related charges. Our team will aggressively seek the best possible resolution while navigating the complexities of the justice system to mitigate any long-term effects resulting from being charged.
Our dedicated, award-winning attorneys will exhaust every resource on your behalf to secure a favorable outcome in your case.