There is a brand new statute taking effect November 1, 2016, that will give prosecutors the ability to file charges as misdemeanors rather than felonies so long as they consider the appropriate factor. The primary factor is that the charges being filed aren't crimes listed in 21 O.S. 13.1 that mandate that the defendant serve at least 85% of his sentence. These "85 percent crimes" are very serious offenses such as Murder, First Degree Manslaughter, Assault With Intent to kill, etc. This new law, if used appropriately, will minimize the damage done to defendants committing minor offenses. Fewer people's lives can be ruined, and the taxpayer costs can go down as a result of fewer people being imprisoned.
The new statute, 22 O.S. 234, provides that:
When determining the appropriate charge for a person accused of committing a criminal offense, the district attorney shall have the discretion to file the charge as a misdemeanor offense rather than a felony offense after considering the following factors:
1. The criminal offense for which the person has been arrested is not listed as a criminal offense in Section 13.1 of Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes;
2. The nature of the criminal offense;
3. The age, background and criminal history of the person who committed the criminal offense;
4. The character and rehabilitation needs of the person who committed the criminal offense; and
5. Whether it is in the best interests of justice to file the charge as a misdemeanor offense rather than a felony offense.
Here is a link to the new statute:
Here is a complete list of "85 percent" crimes: