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Oklahoma Criminal Conviction Reversed in “Double Jeopardy” Ruling

Earlier this month, an Oklahoma appellate court reversed a lower-court decision, ruling that convicting the defendant in the case would violate both state and federal double jeopardy laws. The criminal case in question involved an Oklahoma man who was sentenced to life in prison on a conviction for making lewd or indecent proposals to a …

Earlier this month, an Oklahoma appellate court reversed a lower-court decision, ruling that convicting the defendant in the case would violate both state and federal double jeopardy laws. The criminal case in question involved an Oklahoma man who was sentenced to life in prison on a conviction for making lewd or indecent proposals to a child, and sentenced to another ten years on a conviction for using a computer system for the purpose of committing a felony. According to Oklahoma state and federal double jeopardy laws, it is unlawful for a defendant to be tried again on the same or similar charges following a legitimate acquittal or conviction. If you are facing charges for a criminal offense in Oklahoma, contact our experienced criminal defense attorneys at Oklahoma Legal Center for legal representation in your case.

“Plain Error” Explained

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals found reason for its reversal in Chapter 1 Section 11 of Oklahoma’s statutory title on crimes and punishments, which states the following: “In no case can a criminal act or omission be punished under more than one section of law.” According to the court, since the man was also convicted of soliciting a child using a computer, being convicted of using a computer to commit a felony would fall under double jeopardy. In most cases, once a final judgment has been issued in lower court, a defendant’s opportunity to have that judgment overturned on appeal is somewhat limited, and mistakes that an appeals court finds to be less than “plain error” might not be heard on appeal unless the issue was raised during trial. Plain error, however, is a principal that allows an appeals court to reverse a judgment and order a new trial because of a serious mistake in the proceedings, even when no objection was made at the time the error occurred.

Contact Our Criminal Defense Lawyers for Help

In the Oklahoma criminal case reversal, the appeals court not only looked at whether there was a “plain error,” but also considered whether that mistake affected the outcome of the trial, indicating that it did, in fact, do so. In other words, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals found errors in the defendant’s trial that were so egregious as to warrant a review and reversal of the lower court’s decision. Cases like this shed light on the importance of familiarity with Oklahoma criminal laws and enlisting the legal expertise of a criminal defense lawyer after being charged with a criminal offense in Oklahoma. Contact Oklahoma Legal Center today if you have been arrested for a crime in Oklahoma, and our criminal defense attorneys will work diligently to have your charges reduced or dismissed altogether.

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