Common Questions & Concerns About Criminal Defense in Oklahoma
Q: Can prior charges have a significant impact on my case?
A: If you were charged with a crime, but weren't convicted (meaning you were found not guilty) then that charge should not impact your current situation. However, prior convictions (meaning you were found guilty) can affect the outcome of your current charges. It really just depends on how the past conviction and current charge relate to one another. For example, if you were convicted of drug possession in the past and you're now facing another drug charge, it may be a felony instead of a misdemeanor.
Q: What's the difference between bail and bond?
A: Bail is the amount of money you pay to get out of jail. By posting bail, you're basically promising to appear in court. Bond refers to the conditions of your freedom. In other words, it's what you have to do or not do to stay out of jail between posting bail and appearing in court. For example, if you were charged with burglary your bond may be that you have to be on house arrest until your court date. These conditions should be noted and established at the time you post bail, which is why it's common to hear the phrase "bail-bonds" used together.
Q: What happens if I don't go to court?
A: Failing to appear in court will land you in hot water with the bail bondsmen who got you out of jail and the justice system at large. A warrant will be issued for your arrest. It's a crime not to appear in court and it's punishable by up to two years in prison as well as up to $5,000 in fines.
Q: How do I know if there's a warrant out for my arrest?
A: You can visit OSCN.net to see if you have a warrant. Keep in mind, however, that the warrant isn't considered active until the judge signs it. If a warrant has been issued, but you have a court date, then the warrant won't be activated unless you skip court.
Q: Can I appeal if I feel like I'm wrongfully convicted or sentenced?
A: Yes, but with good reason. There are several factors that could be considered a good reason to appeal your case. Things like having an unreliable jury, legal errors, false evidence, new evidence, withholding information, and other factors can be good reasons to appeal.