There Are Different Levels of Probation In Oklahoma
Video Transcribed: You’re on Oklahoma felony probation, but you still like firearms. Well, you might want to hang around for the rest of this video. My name is Ryan Cannonie, I am the Tahlequah Criminal Defense Attorney for the Wirth Law Office in Tahlequah. A lot of people know is that convicted felons cannot own or possess firearms.
Well, it goes further than that. It turns out if you are on felony probation in Oklahoma, you also cannot possess, have in a vehicle, or reside in a home with a firearm. Kind of a weird question there is, well, if you’re on felony probation, then how are you not a convicted felon?
Well, in Oklahoma, we have kind of some different levels of probation. If you’re convicted, but you’re not in prison, you were probably going to be on what’s called a suspended sentence. This is also referred to as paper time.
It means that you have so many years on a sentence, you have to do everything according to certain rules. And if you do that at the end, you’re off probation, but you still have a felony conviction on your record. If you don’t follow the rules, then you’re probably going to get sent to prison.
Now, below that, you have what’s called a defer. Now a defer means you went in, you entered a plea of no contest or guilty, but instead of sentencing you right then, and make you a convicted felon, and by the way, these are all in felony offenses.
I guess I should’ve said that. Instead of making you a convicted felon, the judge deferred the finding and sentencing till a certain date. That means if you’ve got a five-year deferment, then you entered your plea on whatever day it was, five years later is when the judge will make their decision.
Now, in that kind of time in between that, if you violate your rules, the prosecutor or the state can file some motions for the judge to make that decision earlier. If you get through that whole time period without any problems, without breaking any rules, no new charges, then you can get your case dismissed and you can go about your life, get it expunged at a later date. And everything’s sunshine and rainbows.
But, if during that time period, if you have a firearm in your vehicle, if you are in possession of one, if you have one in your house, then that’s another charge. And in fact, it’s another felony charge. It’s just like if a person was a convicted felon in possession of firearms. And the thing about that is most of the time, you’re only going to get one chance at a felony deferred.
So if you’re charged with a new crime, let’s say you have a firearm in the vehicle in the back seat, driving around, get pulled over and get charged with it, not only are you probably going to get a felony conviction out of that offense, you’re deferred is probably going to be changed to a felony as well.
So now all of a sudden you’re a two-time convicted felon when you were getting ready to get everything expunged and dismissed at a certain date. The other thing about this that people forget about is it’s really kind of on you to know about the firearm.
Now you have to know it’s present there, but just getting in a car and not asking about it is not really going to fly in most courts. You really should ask people when you get in their car, you know, “You don’t have any guns in here, right?” Make sure if you stay at your parents’ house, that if they have guns, if they’re not in, you’re not staying there or they’re not in that, the guns aren’t in the house.
I’ve heard a lot of people will say, “Well, the prosecutor or my probation officer told me as long as they’re in a gun safe in the house, it’s fine.” And that’s not really true. The statute doesn’t give all these exceptions for if they’re in a Tupperware container versus they’re in a steel gun safe. It’s if you’re residing in a house if you’re in a car, a passenger or driver of a car with one if you’re actually in possession of it.
So before you take any chances with becoming a convicted felon, you might want to either give us a call or kind of pump the brakes on staying with a person who might have a firearm in their house.
But if you have other questions, give us a call. We can talk you through it. If you have charges for this and want to know if there’s anything that can be done, there is. There are requirements the state has to make to prove that you were in possession of that or in a vehicle or residing. And we can go over those with you. So give us a call, go to our website, Tahlequahattorney.com. Let us know.