On November 1, 2021, more than 356 new laws took effect in Oklahoma. The laws update existing statutes, create new ones, and do everything from naming a state pet to rewriting the rules for power of attorney.
At Nichols Dixon, we are committed to staying up to date on all Oklahoma laws, especially those that affect our clients. Keep reading to learn more about the most important updates.
Family Law Updates
Some of the most important new laws in Oklahoma impact our family law practice. For example, SB 198 made changes to the Oklahoma Guardianship and Conservatorship Act, adding alternatives to guardianship. The new language emphasizes the “least restrictive alternative” and “supported decision making,” meaning the way guardianships unfold may change.
If you are the legal guardian of a child, senior, or vulnerable adult, call your lawyer to find out how these changes may affect you.
Also under our family law practice area, SB 200 has expanded protections for victims of domestic abuse, sexual violence, and stalking. Under SB 200, tenants with a protective order or police report can terminate their lease without penalty within 30 days of the domestic violence incident. Future landlords may not deny tenancy to those who broke their leases due to domestic violence.
This is one of many ways a protective order can benefit you. If you have been the victim of domestic abuse or sexual violence, be sure to speak with local law enforcement and an attorney near you.
Estate Planning and Probate Updates
HB 2229 has rewritten many of the rules regarding durable power of attorney (POA). Although existing POA documents will remain valid, they may not work as well in judicial court proceedings. This means the person you chose to handle your healthcare decisions may be unable to do so when the time comes.
If you have an existing estate plan, consider updating your POA documents or drafting advance directives for your healthcare providers. If you haven’t created an estate plan yet, now is a perfect time.
Otherwise, this significant change in the law could impact your end-of-life wishes – and the person you chose to carry them out.
Updates Affecting Drug Crimes and Criminal Defense
Medical marijuana is expanding in Oklahoma, and local patients and dispensaries have more rights than ever before. Now, dispensaries can offer cannabis samples, and medical marijuana patients can “touch and sniff various cannabis strains at dispensaries,” according to The Oklahoman.
This law may help clarify misunderstandings for both dispensaries and medical marijuana patients.
Meanwhile, authorities are cracking down on “doxxing,” or publishing personal information with the intent to threaten, intimidate, or harass. One could be charged with a misdemeanor if doxxing causes a law enforcement officer or public official to fear death or serious bodily injury.
State, tribal, and federal officials will also be working together to solve missing persons and homicide cases involving Native Americans thanks to Ida’s Law.
Oklahoma’s permissive gun laws will also be expanding under SB 646, which allows liquor stores to regulate weapons on their property and gives bar employees the right to carry a firearm at work with the business owner’s permission.
If you are charged with a drug crime, doxxing misdemeanor, murder, or gun crime, contact an informed criminal defense attorney immediately.
Where Can I Find Oklahoma Laws?
You can find Oklahoma laws by viewing the Oklahoma Statues from the Oklahoma State Legislature. These statutes were last updated on November 3, 2021. You can also find prompt, nonpartisan, confidential, and accurate information using the Law and Legislative Reference of the Oklahoma Department of Libraries.
Of course, navigating new and existing laws can be difficult, and everyday people cannot always read “legalese.” Attorneys are educated and trained to help clients like you understand the law and protect their rights.
If you need legal help, please do not hesitate to contact Nichols Dixon at (405) 294-1511 or contact us online.