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Criminal Defense Attorneys Serving Canadian County, Oklahoma

The number of criminal arrests in the state of Oklahoma has steadily decreased over the last ten years from a high of 149,685 in 2011 to just over 92,000 in 2020. However, that’s still nearly 100,000 people a year who are facing criminal charges, according to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.  

Just because these people have been charged with a crime doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily be convicted of one. If you’ve recently been arrested, you need to do everything in your power to fight your charges and ensure your rights are protected. Central to making this happen is working with a competent criminal defense attorney.  

Whether you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor or felony, from DUIs to drug trafficking, we are The Handley Law Center are prepared to fight for you. To learn more about your options for defense, contact us today. We’re located in Canadian County, Oklahoma but can serve those throughout Oklahoma, including Custer County, Blaine County, Kingfisher County, and Caddo County. 

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Criminal Charges in Oklahoma  

There are two levels of criminal charges that you can face: misdemeanors and felonies. Although misdemeanor crimes tend to be less serious and carry fewer penalties, they both need to be handled seriously and by a professional. Also, it’s important to understand that some crimes may move between these designations. For instance, drug charges in Oklahoma may only be a misdemeanor for possession, while drug trafficking will be a felony. 


The main difference between a misdemeanor conviction and a felony conviction is that misdemeanors carry jail sentences of under a year. However, within the broad category of misdemeanors, you’ll find different sentencing guidelines for each crime.  

Because the state organizes misdemeanors on a crime-by-crime basis, there are no distinct categories or classifications that you may find in other states. Some common examples of misdemeanors in the state include (but are not limited to) the following: 

  • Petty theft 

  • Prostitution 

  • Assault 

  • Reckless driving 

  • Stalking 

  • Simple drug possession 

For a simple assault charge, you could face a fine of $500 and up to 30 days in jail, while an assault and battery charge could bring 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Misdemeanors may also result in probation. If this is the case for you, it’s extremely important that you follow all rules regarding this, as probation violations can land you in jail and with an additional criminal charge. 


Broadly speaking, a felony is any crime that’s punishable with more than a year in jail. And, like misdemeanors, Oklahoma doesn’t use a system of classification to designate different levels of felony crimes. Instead, each crime has its own specific penalties.  

There is a wide range of offenses that are punishable as a felony, which includes:  

  • Homicide (murder) 

  • Armed robbery 

  • Rape 

  • Kidnapping 

  • Possession of child pornography 

  • Drug trafficking 

  • A second DUI offense (typically, first DUI charges in Oklahoma will be considered misdemeanors, but subsequent convictions will be felonies) 

The penalties you’ll face are also quite broad. For example, if you’re convicted of second-degree rape, you may face one to five years in prison, while a murder conviction could result to life in prison or even the death penalty.  

Oklahoma Criminal Court Process

Any time you’re involved in a criminal court proceeding, you should have a qualified and experienced attorney representing your best interests and your rights. You may think about working with a public defender, but most people find it more beneficial to work with a private attorney. Your attorney can help you better understand this process, keep you informed of your choices, and help you know what to expect the entire time. The process generally goes as follows: 

  1. At first, you’ll be arrested and booked for a crime, where you’ll likely be taken to jail.  

  1. Shortly after, you’ll attend your arraignment, where a judge may choose to set bail for you. Here, you’ll be formally informed of the charges against you.  

  1. Next, you and your attorney will begin preparing for your preliminary hearing, where evidence will be brought forward by both the prosecution and defense. You may decide to pursue a plea deal. If no plea deal is agreed upon, your case will then go to trial. 

The Appeals Process  

If you don’t agree with the verdict that the judge or jury decided upon, you may have standing to make an appeal. You can only do this under certain circumstances. It’s not enough to simply not like or disagree with the verdict; you have to show that either 1) a mistake was made in the court proceedings, or 2) there was a crucial piece of evidence that wasn’t previously known that could have affected the verdict.  

The appeals process is very complicated, and your attorney should be able to give you realistic advice as to whether this is a viable option considering your case. 

You may also wish to seek expungement in Oklahoma, where you formally request your court or arrest record is sealed and will no longer show up on your permanent record. Again, your attorney is the best person to consult about this option, but expungement is most common for those who were acquitted, whose charges were dismissed, or whose conviction was overturned.  

Criminal Defense Attorneys Serving Canadian County, Oklahoma

For help with all your criminal defense concerns, reach out to our team of attorneys at The Handley Law Center in Canadian County, Oklahoma. We also serve those throughout the state, including Custer County, Blaine County, Kingfisher County, and Caddo County. Don’t face this alone.