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Oklahoma County Set to Implement Community Service Fee for Felony Offenders

Beginning this week, individuals convicted of felonies in Oklahoma County District Court will contribute to a revolving fund aimed to support the cleanup of trash, graffiti and overgrowth from public property in Oklahoma. The new community service program was approved on Wednesday by the county’s board of commissioners, and is intended as a funding mechanism …

Beginning this week, individuals convicted of felonies in Oklahoma County District Court will contribute to a revolving fund aimed to support the cleanup of trash, graffiti and overgrowth from public property in Oklahoma. The new community service program was approved on Wednesday by the county’s board of commissioners, and is intended as a funding mechanism for cleaning up public property in the area. Although community service programs like this new one developed in Oklahoma can help keep first-time and low-level offenders out of jail, the consequences associated with a felony conviction in Oklahoma can still be severe. If you are facing felony charges in Oklahoma City, contact our experienced criminal defense attorneys at Oklahoma Legal Center today. With the help of a qualified criminal defense lawyer, you can protect your legal rights and build a strong defense.

Oklahoma’s New SHINE Community Service Program

The SHINE program – Start Helping Impacted Neighborhoods Everywhere – was halted last year after it was determined that it could not legally be supported by county highway funds. Instead, Oklahoma County District 2 Commissioner Brian Maughan says, new legislation passed this spring allows for the program to be funded through court penalties and assessment procedures. The community service fee measure can also now be adopted by counties across the state of Oklahoma. “You know everybody thought it was a good program, there was just a lot of debate about how it was going to be paid for,” Maughan said earlier this week. “I think we’ve found a consensus now that this is a good way and a sustainable way.” The fee convicted felons will be required to pay ranges from $25 to $250, and will be based on the judge’s discretion. The fee will be paid by all felony offenders, although only first-time offenders and certain non-violent offenders will be eligible to participate in the program.

In Oklahoma County, the fees for the new community service program will be collected in a revolving fund, and the money will be used to pay for cleanup equipment and labor costs. According to Maughan, the main benefits of the program are that low-level offenders will have another alternative to jail time, overcrowding in the county jail will be alleviated, and municipalities will be able to avoid the high costs of housing inmates at the county jail. The program has reportedly enrolled 8,900 Oklahoma offenders since it first began in April 2010, which represents more than 140,000 manpower hours. “And we anticipate now through the municipal cooperation that we’re actually going to have quite a bit of additional manpower sent our way, and our work crew size will increase,” said Maughan.

Contact Our Criminal Defense Attorneys Today

If you have been charged with a felony offense in Oklahoma, the consequences associated with a conviction can be long-term and life-changing. Your first course of action after being charged with a crime in Oklahoma should be to enlist the help of a qualified criminal defense attorney. Here at Oklahoma Legal Center, our team of skilled criminal defense lawyers will work to have your charges reduced to a lesser offense or dismissed altogether. We have the kind of expertise you want on your side when facing a felony conviction in Oklahoma. Contact our criminal defense attorneys at Oklahoma Legal Center today, and ensure that your case is presented in a professional and effective manner.

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