At the end of May, Governor Kevin Stitt signed HB 1269, which is a criminal justice reform measure that applies State Question 780 retroactively. In addition, the new law would allow individuals with specific types of felonies to obtain an expungement.
State Question 780 changes certain non-violent drug and theft crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, which would be punishable by a maximum one-year jail sentence and a $1,000. Lawmakers on both sides believe the reform will ease prison overcrowding and save the state prison system money by reducing the number of prisoners and duration of imprisonment.
In the past, drug possession and theft of property worth more than $500 were considered felony offenses. While drug possession is now a misdemeanor, the threshold for a felony theft crime was raised to $1,000.
Individuals who have been previously convicted of a felony offense often experience hardship after release. Having a permanent criminal with a felony conviction can make it extremely difficult to obtain employment, find housing, apply for loans and childcare assistance, and take advantage of other opportunities in life—despite being completely rehabilitated and remaining crime free.
HB 1269 could benefit approximately 60,000 Oklahoma residents.
If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Norman or interested in expunging your criminal record, contact the Law Offices of Keith J. Nedwick, P.C. today at (866) 590-8173 and schedule a meeting today.