Frequently Asked Questions

Jump to your desired practice area to review the available answers by clicking from the list below:

Family Law Questions

If my child was born out of wedlock, do I have to go to court to establish paternity?

Yes. Under Oklahoma law, the mother of the child is presumed to have full custody, leaving the burden of proof to fall upon the father to establish their parental rights.

What constitutes legal grounds for a divorce?

Under Oklahoma state law, you must prove in a court of law that you have reasonable grounds for getting a divorce. These grounds include personal incompatibility, spousal abandonment, and situations involving adultery.

What determines who gets what in a divorce proceeding?

The court will decide how the property and debts acquired through your marriage will be distributed between the two parties (marital property), as well as oversee the return of property and items owned by the individual parties (separate property). The judge over the proceedings is responsible for setting the terms regarding the alimony, based on the circumstances surrounding the divorce proceedings.

How difficult is it to legally change my name?

Individuals wishing to change their name in Oklahoma must submit a petition to their local court and obtain a hearing date. In most cases, a written notice of the hearing must be published in a newspaper at least 10 days prior, but exceptions do exist for these requirements.

Estate Planning Questions

What is the difference between an estate plan and a will?

An estate plan is a comprehensive plan of which a will is typically a part of. An estate plan allows you to dictate your wishes for your assets and heirs in the event of disability, serious injury, or situations where you are not able to make decisions for yourself.

What is a special needs trust?

A special needs trust is a legal arrangement that allows for physically or mentally challenged individuals to receive financial support and assets that are placed within the trust. These provisions are then transferred to the individual without interfering with or reducing the benefits they receive through federal provisions or public assistance means.

Can a will be contested?

The short answer is yes, but it is a difficult process. Individuals wishing to contest the will must be able to prove that the will is invalid. Some examples of this would be the discovery of a second will that overrides the first or a will that is not legally executed.

Employment Law Questions

If Oklahoma is a right to work state, how can I recover for wrongful termination?

While Oklahoma is a right to work state, that status has nothing to do with termination. Right to work policies are about forced union joining, which doesn’t deal with termination directly. Oklahoma is an at-will employment state, which means employees can be fired with no warning, but they must have legal cause. You can mount a successful case if you were fired for illegal reasons that prohibit termination, or due to a violation of public policy or your constitutional rights.

Do I have to go to the EEOC to lodge a discrimination complaint?

Yes. You will need to go to either the EEOC or the Oklahoma Civil Rights Enforcement Office and file a claim within 180 days, or within 300 days in certain circumstances.

How do I prove a whistleblower retaliation claim?

You need to prove three things: 1) that you performed a legally protected activity, 2) that your employer knew you performed this activity, and that 3) the retaliation was directly in relation to your performing of a protected activity.

Personal Injury Questions

How do I know if my injury is covered?

Generally speaking, injuries that occur while you are performing work-related duties on the clock are covered, so long as external circumstances are not present, such as being under the influence of substances or the injury being the result of a pre-existing condition has worsened due to natural causes and not a shift or increase in the job duties themselves.

How long do I have to file a personal injury claim?

The current statute of limitations in Oklahoma for personal injury claims is two years. Claims filed after that time frame can still be tried, but stand a high risk of being dismissed.

Civil & Business Litigation Questions

What is the average statute of limitations?

The length of the statute of limitations varies according to the specifics of your situation. Generally, the statute of limitations is 5 years for a written contract, 3 years for an oral contract, 2 years for a negligent type of tort claim, and one year for an intentional tort claim.

What is the difference between a tort claim and a lawsuit?

A lawsuit is a formal case that is tried in a court of law, while a tort is a claim that is filed with the intent to find an agreement or settlement outside of a courtroom.

How do I reinstate my driver’s license after a DUI conviction?

Although your specific circumstances may require further conditions, the following will be needed to reinstate your Driver’s License:

  • You will be ordered to complete a Drug and Alcohol Assessment
  • You will be ordered to attend and complete a Victim Impact Panel (VIP) course
  • You will be ordered to attend and complete a DUI School program
  • You will need to pay your DPS Driver’s License Reinstatement Fee

Additionally, some cases of DUI arrest obligate the court in its discretion to order that you install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) prior to having your Driver’s License reinstated. Whether you must install an IID or “blow-n-go” will depend on if you had any previous Driver’s License suspensions when these suspensions transpired, the date of your DUI arrest(s), the alcohol content of your blood or breath concerning your most recent DUI arrest, and whether you elected to authorize the arresting officer to test your blood alcohol content at the time of your arrest.

What is the difference between a deferred sentence and a suspended sentence?

A Deferred Sentence is not a conviction; however, this sentence is not a conviction only if you complete the conditions of your Deferred Sentence. A Suspended Sentence occurs after you enter a plea of guilty or no contest; however, unlike a Deferred Sentence, a Suspended Sentence is a conviction of the crime you pled to. The following is an explanation of these sentence options and their differences:


A Deferred Sentence is not a conviction of your sentence. When entering a plea of guilty or no contest, if the judge in his discretion accepts your plea, a Deferred Sentence “defers” or “postpones” the sentence you would have received for a set period of time. While serving your Deferred Sentence (probation), the court will require that you complete the rules and conditions of your Deferred Sentence (probation).  

These often include: (1) paying fines, fees, and court costs; (2) paying restitution; (3) attending and complete classes (VIP-Victims Impact Panel of Oklahoma; BIP-Batterers Intervention Program; Drug And Alcohol Assessment, DUI School, etc.); (4) completing community service hours; (5) NOT possessing or using drugs or alcohol; (6) NOT possessing guns or being in the presence of another possessing a gun; (7) and NOT committing any new crimes.

Completion of your Deferred Sentence means that your plea of guilty or not guilty will be withdrawn and your case dismissed. Upon completion, your public record will be expunged. However, your law enforcement record will not be expunged. This requires a separate civil court process that our firm can represent and assist you with.


A Suspended Sentence is a conviction sentence which allows you to avoid jail or prison time because the judge in his discretion has decided to suspend the jail or prison time and instead requires you to obey and complete the rules and conditions of your probation. (See rules and conditions listed above under “Deferred Sentence”). 

If you do not follow the rules and conditions, your Suspended Sentence may be revoked in full, meaning you would be required to serve the entire amount of jail or prison time you plead to if revoked. Also, unlike a Deferred Sentence, if revoked, you will not be required to serve the max range of sentencing for the crime you have convicted. Instead, you would only be required to serve the jail or prison time you pled to when sentenced by the judge.

What happens if I am arrested for a misdemeanor?

While each situation is different, the general process is as follows:

  1. After arrest, you should receive an individual bond amount determination before a judge so that you may post bail if you are still detained (sitting in jail). You have a right to an attorney at this bond determination hearing. You should also be provided a copy of your charge and State’s Probable Cause Affidavit at this time.
  2. You will attend your Arraignment Hearing/Disposition Docket and receive a court date to address your alleged charge. (In some Oklahoma counties, bond and arraignment hearings are held at the same time).
  3. You and your attorney will show up at the court date you received during Arraignment. At this time, the State is compelled to provide you with a copy of your charging document. This document includes the specific statutory charge the State has decided to pursue against you. At this hearing, you can choose to plead not guilty, no contest, guilty, or choose to take your misdemeanor case to trial. 
  4. If you opt for a trial, this will be the next step. However, prior to trial, or if you and your attorney decide to enter plea negotiations with the State, the court should permit you some time to decide how to go forward with your case. This may mean your attorney negotiating down the rules and conditions of the sentence the State intends to bring against you. Another scenario that might occur arises when the State refuses to negotiate. At this time, you have the choice to enter a blind plea before the judge; this judge will decide your sentence after hearing arguments from your attorney and the State’s attorney. Additionally, you can still also, at this time, choose to take your case to trial.

Cannabis Law Questions

What are the requirements for obtaining a commercial license for a medical marijuana business?

All applicants for a commercial license intended for a medical marijuana establishment must be at least 25 years of age, be able to provide proof of Oklahoma residency, and be considered in good standing with the state government.

How long does OMMA have to process a commercial license?

All medical marijuana business applications and renewals are processed within 90 business days, provided that all of the information is accurate and up to date. If there are any errors with your paperwork, you will have to correct them within 30 calendar days to avoid starting the process over from scratch.

Why do I need multiple licenses for one business?

The amount of licenses required for a medical marijuana business depend on the scope of your business. If you perform more actions than just dispensing medical marijuana to the public, such as growing or processing marijuana plants, you will need additional licenses to cover each of those actions.

Why do I need multiple licenses for one business?

The amount of licenses required for a medical marijuana business depend on the scope of your business. If you perform more actions than just dispensing medical marijuana to the public, such as growing or processing marijuana plants, you will need additional licenses to cover each of those actions.

Administrative Law Questions

Can I file a suit against the government?

Yes, but you will first have to go through the tort claim process before this step can be taken.

Education Law Questions

What is the difference between an IEP and a 504?

An IEP plan covers students who meet the criteria for special educational needs. A 504 is for students who need accommodations in order to thrive but don’t meet the criteria an IEP requires.

What rights does the McKinney-Vento Act provide?

The McKinney-Vento Act ensures that children who are homeless or in a transitory living situation are not prevented from enrolling in or attending school and obtaining an education.

What constitutes a case of school negligence?

A case can be made for school negligence when a duty of care is established or acknowledged by educational providers or institutions, but is then ignored or modified, resulting in a direct damage or negative consequence on the well-being of the child.