Oklahoma residents face an array of criminally enforceable rules and regulations covering ordinary business and personal conduct. These rules often place individuals in legal jeopardy for unknowingly engaging in seemingly innocuous, but nonetheless illegal, conduct.
- Oklahoma’s criminal code contains 1,232 sections—compared with 114 in the Model Penal Code—and more than 272,000 words.
- Oklahoma has created, on average, 26 crimes annually over the last six years; 91% of these fell outside the penal code.
- Over the last six years, lawmakers have added crimes to 21 different statutory titles covering areas ranging from professions and occupations to schools. Many of these statutes also use regulatory catchall provisions.
James R. Copland is a senior fellow and director of legal policy at the Manhattan Institute. Rafael Mangual is the project manager for legal policy.