New Amendment Changes Oklahoma Definition of Violent Crime

In June, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed into law a number of bills that passed the state legislature and will take effect in November. Among those is Senate Bill 412, which significantly expands the number of criminal offenses included as "violent crimes." The distinction between violent offenses and nonviolent offenses is important, because those convicted of violent crimes are more likely to serve mandatory minimum sentences (as in "85 Percent Crimes"), may be more likely to have to register as a violent offender pursuant to the Mary Rippy Violent Crime Offenders Registration Act, and are far less likely to become eligible for record expungement.

Currently, 57 O.S. § 571 lists 42 crimes which are not nonviolent offenses. Effective November 1, 2015, the list of violent crimes will expand to include 51 offenses.

The 42 crimes presently defined as violent offenses include the following:

  • assault, battery, or assault and battery with a dangerous or deadly weapon;  
  • aggravated assault and battery on a police officer, sheriff, highway patrolman, or any other officer of the law;  
  • poisoning with intent to kill;  
  • shooting with intent to kill;  
  • assault with intent to kill;  
  • assault with intent to commit a felony;  
  • assaults while masked or disguised;  
  • murder in the first degree;  
  • murder in the second degree;  
  • manslaughter in the first degree;  
  • manslaughter in the second degree;  
  • kidnapping;  
  • burglary in the first degree;  
  • burglary with explosives;  
  • kidnapping for extortion;  
  • maiming;  
  • robbery;  
  • robbery in the first degree;  
  • robbery in the second degree;  
  • armed robbery;  
  • robbery by two (2) or more persons;  
  • robbery with dangerous weapon or imitation firearm;  
  • child abuse;  
  • wiring any equipment, vehicle or structure with explosives;  
  • forcible sodomy;  
  • rape in the first degree;  
  • rape in the second degree;  
  • rape by instrumentation;  
  • lewd or indecent proposition or lewd or indecent act with a child;  
  • use of a firearm or offensive weapon to commit or attempt to commit a felony;  
  • pointing firearms;  
  • rioting;  
  • inciting to riot;  
  • arson in the first degree;  
  • injuring or burning public buildings;  
  • sabotage;  
  • criminal syndicalism;  
  • extortion;  
  • obtaining signature by extortion;  
  • seizure of a bus, discharging firearm or hurling missile at bus;  
  • mistreatment of a mental patient; or  
  • using a vehicle to facilitate the discharge of a weapon  

When the amendment becomes effective in November, state law will also include the following offenses as violent crimes:

  • shooting with intent to kill, assault, battery, or assault and battery with a deadly weapon or by other means likely to produce death or great bodily harm
  • bombing offenses
  • child pornography or aggravated child pornography
  • child prostitution
  • abuse of a vulnerable adult who is a resident of a nursing facility;
  • aggravated drug trafficking
  • aggravated assault and battery upon any person defending another person from assault and battery;
  • human trafficking
  • terrorism crimes

Not all of the above listed violent crimes are 85 percent crimes. Those that are (listed here) require a person convicted to serve 85 percent of his or her sentence before becoming eligible for parole. Likewise, not every listed violent crime requires a person to register as an Oklahoma Violent Crime Offender. Crimes mandating violent offender registration include first and second degree murder; first degree manslaughter; shooting or discharging a firearm with intent to kill, use of a vehicle to facilitate the intentional discharge of a firearm, crossbow or other weapon, Assault, Battery, or Assault and Battery with a Deadly Weapon or by other means likely to produce death or great bodily harm; assault with intent to kill; bombing; and any similar crime for which a person was convicted in another state.

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