To combat the increased use of Meth, the Oklahoma legislature has taken steps to set penalties for meth use, distribution, and manufacturing.
Here’s what you need to know…
Meth use has risen so much in Oklahoma that in 2016, methamphetamine was the leading source of overdose deaths in the state, according to a report from the nonprofit journalism website Oklahoma Watch.
The report states that 952 died of drug overdoses in 2015. Of those overdose deaths, crystal meth was a factor in 328 of them. Worth noting is that most of the crystal meth being used in Oklahoma comes from Mexican drug cartels. Clandestine, at-home meth labs have decreased drastically over the past several years, in part because of stricter laws enacted to make it harder to get the ingredients used to make meth in these kinds of labs.
What are the laws regarding possession of methamphetamine in Oklahoma?
There are four subsets of laws regarding crystal meth in Oklahoma. These include:
- Methamphetamine possession – As of July 2017, simple possession of methamphetamine is considered a misdemeanor. It is punishable by a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
- Methamphetamine distribution – Unlike drug trafficking laws in Oklahoma, there is no minimum amount of crystal meth you must possess in order for you to be charged with possession with intent to distribute. What does this mean? It means that if police believe the amount you have is more than what they consider for personal use, you can be charged with possession with intent to distribute.
- Methamphetamine manufacturing – If you are found guilty of manufacturing meth in Oklahoma, the first conviction could land you with up to seven years in prison. If you have a previous criminal record, that sentence could end up being for life. The minimum fine for manufacturing less than 50 grams of methamphetamine is $50,000. If you are convicted of producing more than 50 grams of methamphetamine, you are facing a 20-year minimum prison sentence. You would have to complete at least 85 percent of your prison sentence before being considered for parole. If it is your second offense, you could be sentenced to double the prison sentence of your first conviction.
- Methamphetamine trafficking – The punishment for trafficking is 4 years to life, and you must serve 50% of your sentence before being eligible for enhanced credits. The fine depends on how much crystal meth you were convicted of trafficking. If it’s 20 grams or more, the fine can be anywhere between $25,000 to $250,000. If it’s 200 grams or more, the fine can be anywhere between $50,000 to $500,000. It’s important to note that if you are found guilty of trafficking near a school or a public park (within 2,000 feet), those fines and prison sentences can double.
Methamphetamine charges are a serious matter in Oklahoma. Even with the modification of methamphetamine possession laws that took effect in July 2017, Oklahoma’s drug laws are among the harshest in the United States. You need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney to handle your case.
If you or someone you love has been charged with methamphetamine possession, manufacturing, or distribution, contact Jacqui Ford’s office today for a consultation.