Oklahoma Parole Rules
An Oklahoma inmate becomes eligible for parole after completing one third of his or her sentence. Offenders who are convicted of violations which are considered “violent offences” under the Oklahoma Statutes are required to have a two-stage parole hearing. The first stage of the parole hearing consists of the Probation and Parole Board reviewing a report on the inmate which outlines:
- District Attorney’s version of the offense
- Offender’s version of the offense
- The alleged victim’s version of the offense
- Chronology of other felony convictions
- Concurrent, consecutive cases or detainers
- Substance abuse history and treatment
- Mental health history and treatment
- Work performance
- Risk assessment
- Documented violent behavior
- Undocumented felony convictions
- Evaluation of previous adult community supervision
- Evaluation of alternative release programs
- Institutional transfers
- Mental health analysis
- Physical health analysis
- Disciplinary record
- Program needs and participation
- Parole plan
- Personal information
- Investigator recommendation
After reviewing the report, the Probation and Parole Board will decide whether or not the inmate may proceed to the second stage of the parole proceedings. In the event that the inmate is allowed to proceed to the second stage, his or her case will be set on the next month’s docket, where it will be heard and decided. It is highly advised for a defendant to meet with an Oklahoma parole attorney for this process.
Monthly parole docket meetings are open to the public; furthermore, the district attorney, victims/survivors, representatives of the victim, supporters of the inmate, and inmate’s counsel are encouraged to attend. The following time restrictions on argument are strictly followed during the inmate’s second-stage parole hearing:
- Inmate/Inmate’s Attorney: two (2) minutes
- Victims/Survivors: five (5) minutes (however, only 1 Allowed to Speak)
- District Attorney: there is no time limit on the DA’s argument
During the two (2) minutes before the Board, the inmate’s attorney must be able to quickly articulate the following:
- Circumstances of the Crime
- Inmate’s acceptance of responsibility for the crime
- Inmate’s Progress since incarceration for the crime
- That the inmate has a plan for when he is paroled
- That the inmate is not a risk to re-offend
There must be a majority vote by the Probation and Parole Board to qualify the inmate for parole. Furthermore, the Probation and Parole Board may condition the inmate’s parole on certain stipulations or conditions that must be completed either prior to or after release. Often times these requirements consist of counseling or treatment programs.
When the Pardon and Parole Board is finished with the file, which usually takes 60-90 days, the file is forwarded to the Governor’s Office for final approval. The Governor has thirty (30) days after receipt of the file to make a final decision. If no action is taken by the Governor within the allotted thirty (30) day time frame, then the recommendation for parole shall be deemed granted. It should be noted that the thirty (30) day time limit is not applicable to inmates convicted of a crime listed in Title 57 of the Oklahoma Statutes, section 332.16(B).
The 20 Plus Deadly Sins: 85% Crimes
A person convicted of the following crimes must serve eighty-five percent (85%) of the sentence before he or she is eligible for parole; moreover, he or she may not get earned credits which would reduce the sentence below eighty-five percent (85%):
- First Degree Murder (21 O.S. § 701.9)
- Second Degree Murder (21 O.S. § 701.8)
- First Degree Manslaughter (21 O.S. § 711)
- Poisoning with Intent to Kill (21 O.S. § 651)
- Shooting with Intent to Kill (21 O.S. § 652)
- Drive-by Shooting (21 O.S. § 652)
- Assault & Battery With Deadly Weapon (21 O.S. § 652)
- Assault & Battery With Intent to Kill (21 O.S. § 653)
- Conjoint Robbery (21 O.S. § 800)
- Robbery with Dangerous Weapon (21 O.S. § 801)
- First Degree Robbery (21 O.S. § 797)
- First Degree Rape (21 O.S. § 1115)
- First Degree Arson (21 O.S. § 1401)
- First Degree Burglary (21 O.S. § 1436)
- Bombing (21 O.S. § 1767.1)
- Crime Against Children (21 O.S. § 843.5)
- Forcible Sodomy (21 O.S. § 888)
- Child Pornography (21 O.S. §§ 1021.2, 1021.3, 1024.1)
- Child Prostitution (21 O.S. § 1030)
- Lewd Molestation of Child (21 O.S. § 1123)
- Abuse of Vulnerable Adult who is resident of nursing facility (43A O.S. § 10-103)
- Aggravated Assault and/or Battery when the victim is defending another (21 O.S. §646)
- Aggravated Trafficking of Controlled Dangerous Substance (63 O.S. § 2-415)
- Aggravated Manufacturing of Controlled Dangerous Substance (63 O.S. § 2-401(G))
- Distributing, Possessing with Intent to Distribute, or Transporting with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance within 2,000 Feet of School, Recreation Center, Public Park, Public Housing Project or Child Care Facility (63 O.S. § 2-401(F))
- Manufacturing, Attempting to Manufacture, or Possession of Precursor with Intent to Manufacture a Controlled Dangerous Substance within 2,000 Feet of School, Recreation Center, Public Park, Public Housing Project or Child Care Facility
- Abuse/Neglect by Caretaker of Nursing Home Resident (21 O.S. § 843.1)
Commutation of Sentence
Commutation is actually different from parole; commutation changes the length of a sentence. As such, it is possible to have a sentence commuted from a life-sentence to a set term of years. Sentences can also be commuted to "time served," ending the sentence and releasing the inmate unconditionally. There is no special process to apply for a commutation. The Parole Board can consider someone for a commutation at the time of his or her regular parole consideration.
What is the main difference between a pardon, parole, and a commutation?
Paroles, commutations and pardons must be approved by the members of the Pardon and Parole Board before being presented to the Governor for consideration.
Not all paroles and commutations result in release from prison. Inmates may be paroled or commuted from one sentence to a consecutive sentence and not released from prison.
Parole Attorney in Oklahoma
Those who are currently incarcerated cannot apply for a pardon and a pardon will not release you from prison. Only those who have discharged all their
sentences, completed parole, or served at least five years under supervision and have no pending charges may apply for a pardon.
If you or a loved one has been convicted and incarcerated in Oklahoma, you may be eligible for parole or commutation. You need an experienced Oklahoma parole attorney, and you need one right now. Call the Law Offices of Adam R. Banner, P.C., and retain an accomplished attorney ready to fight for your rights. Call us today at (405) 778-4800 for a free consultation.