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AFCF Enhancement and Prior Offenses

Posted by E. W. Childers | Aug 20, 2019 | 0 Comments

 

Particular Enhancement Schemes

Some statutes (like the DUI Statutes) have their own enhancement system for repeat offenders. If they do, then generally those particular enhancement systems will apply if all the prior offenses are in the same scheme as the new offense. For example: Joe in got a DUI in Noble, Oklahoma. He had no prior offenses so that DUI was a misdemeanor. However, Joe soon followed that up with another DUI in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma. Because his prior was a DUI his newer DUI was charged as a felony. This is a crime-specific enhancement scheme. There are a slew of other ones for offenses like drug-trafficking.

General Enhancement Scheme

A person who has been convicted of a prior felony in any jurisdiction (depending on adequate proof being available) has a different sentencing range if convicted for a new felony.  In Oklahoma this is governed by Section 51.1 of Title 22 of the Oklahoma Statutes.

If the new (second) conviction is for:

  • A violent offense that has a possibility of imprisonment of more than five years then the range of punishment available to the Court is ten (10) years to life in prison.
  • A non-violent offense that has a possibility of imprisonment of more than five years then the range of punishment available to the Court is twice the minimum to life in prison.
  • A non-violent offense that has a possibility of imprisonment of more than five years has no minimum sentence will have a range of punishment from two (2) years to life in prison.
  • A non-violent offense that has a maximum punishment of less than five years or less will have a range of punishment from zero to ten (10) years imprisonment.
  • If the new conviction is for petit larceny then the range of punishment is from zero to five (5) years imprisonment.
If the new (third or more) conviction is for:
  • A violent offense then the range of punishment is from twenty (20) years to life in prison.
  • A non-violent offense, if committed within 10 years of completion of any sentence for a prior felony, will have a range of punishment of three times the minimum sentence to life in prison, unless the new crime has no minimum punishment, in such circumstance it will have a range of punishment from four (4) years to life in prison.

Notably, Murder in the First Degree is not enhanceable. They can only give you so much Death or Life without the Possibility of Parole.

Prosecutorial Discretion  

The District Attorney has the option of seeking enhancement of a current charge.  If they do not seek the enhancement then it does not apply.  This is a frequent point in an agreed plea.  For instance, on a second offense in exchange for a plea of guilty the State might waive enhancement leaving the range of punishment at its first time offender level. During a preliminary hearing the District Attorney is obligated to adequately prove the existence of a prior conviction.  Your attorney will have to scrutinize the former conviction in order to determine whether it can be successfully challenged.
 

Former Deferred Judgement

A former deferred judgment does not count for enhancement purposes, however, if the case in which a deferment was ordered is still open then that case could be accelerated to a conviction and then used to enhance the new charge's range of punishment.  Be aware that deferred judgments do count for some purposes especially in a DUI context.

If you have an AFCF charge you are in a serious situation and you need the help of competent counsel right away.  Call a criminal defense lawyer at (405) 310-9890 for a free consulation.

About the Author

E. W. Childers

I am a husband, father, Army veteran, and attorney here in Norman, Oklahoma. I've been practicing law throughout Central Oklahoma since 2006 shortly after I graduated from the OU College of Law. In my practice I have emphasized Family Law, Criminal Defense, and Personal Injury. I like to help peo...

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