If you’ve been arrested and you face criminal charges of any description, there’s no time like the present to seek out and appoint a Tulsa criminal defense lawyer. Criminal cases can proceed quickly – even the longest trials will begin with an initial court appearance, where a judge will determine custody arrangements and bond payments.
With the correct legal representation, that could represent your first opportunity to have charges dropped or the case dismissed.
It’s never too late to contact a reputable law office in Tulsa, OK, but it’s never too early either.
At Palmer Law, we have represented Oklahoma residents in hundreds of cases, spanning everything from violent crimes to drug charges, and much more besides.
Contacting our team comes with absolutely no obligation and starts with a free consultation. If you need a first-class attorney to uphold your rights and freedoms, we’re ready to help. Reach out to the Palmer Law office today at 405-877-7112.
I’m Innocent – Do I Need a Tulsa Criminal Defense Lawyer?
One of the biggest mistakes anyone can make following their arrest in Tulsa, OK, is to assume that innocence alone is enough to ensure they avoid a lengthy and potentially very costly court experience.
Every lawyer has full respect for the justice system, but wrongful convictions do exist. There are typically over a hundred exonerations in the US every year, and that is just in cases where individuals can prove they were wrongly convicted.
It’s a small portion of total annual convictions but significant enough that it should never be left to chance.
The state will appoint a lawyer whose job it is to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. They boast extensive legal training and experience across a range of practice areas, and they’re more concerned with evidence and witness statements than a profession of innocence.
Even if you’re adamant that you’re not guilty, it makes a lot of sense to appoint a criminal defense lawyer of your own that is more than a match for the skills and experience employed by the state. Not only will you have the best chance of your innocence being proven beyond a reasonable doubt, but you’ll have far less to deal with as the case proceeds.
Common Cases for Tulsa Criminal Defense Lawyers
While criminal offenses are often broken down into infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies under federal law, there are hundreds of potential charges that could be levied against you. That’s why a Tulsa criminal defense lawyer should boast a broad range of skills and experience to ensure a robust defense that covers all bases.
Essentially, it’s vital to appoint a criminal defense lawyer based on their experience and how they can help you, not merely on their office location and its proximity to your home.
Lawyers from the Palmer Law office are vastly experienced in all manner of criminal cases. We inherently understand when it’s time for a plea bargain or an ideal opportunity to have a case dismissed.
We discuss the specifics of each case with clients as part of our free consultations, but some of our most common defenses include:
Legal cases involving drugs can be difficult to navigate, from simple possession cases to larger operations. Some cases boast dozens of witnesses and pieces of evidence, while others never even make it to court due to a lack of either.
No matter the scale and nature of the case, it’s never best to take a chance. A Tulsa, OK criminal defense lawyer from Palmer Law will help you understand the process and next steps, and side with you at every stage to ensure you have the best defense possible against any and all accusations.
Violent crimes are always prosecuted aggressively, primarily due to their nature and potential threat to the wider public. They cover a range of different charges, including various forms of assault, such as aggravated assault and assault with a deadly weapon.
These charges can be difficult to navigate without the help of an attorney. A simple assault is a violent crime, but it is a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of $500 and up to 30 days in jail under Oklahoma law.
Meanwhile, assault with a deadly weapon also falls into the same category but can be punished with life imprisonment, even on a first offense.
White Collar Crimes
Tulsa, OK, is home to many thriving businesses, which can also make it a target for various white-collar crimes. This category covers offenses including misappropriation of property or funds, health care fraud, and embezzlement.
It’s vital to remember that just because a crime took place in a professional setting, that doesn’t mean any kind of leniency in front of a judge and jury. As such, these crimes require the assistance of a reputable criminal defense lawyer just as much as any other.
Probation in Tulsa, OK, is usually a result of a deferred or suspended sentence. In cases where probation is violated, a District Attorney may file either a Motion to Accelerate for deferred sentences or a Motion to Revoke in cases of suspended sentences.
While most probation violation cases already have a conviction and sentence in place, it is always worth carrying out a free consultation with a lawyer. Proactively consulting a legal professional looks good on any record, and your Tulsa criminal defense lawyer may be able to demonstrate that your probation conditions were not, in fact, breached.
As with most categories listed here, sex crimes can refer to a number of different offenses, some of which overlap with crimes involving violence. Rape cases, forcible sodomy, and sexual battery all qualify in this manner, and these cases are, understandably, pursued just as aggressively as violent ones.
If you have been arrested for any reason at all, our Tulsa criminal defense lawyer is standing by to help. Our expertise spans far beyond the specific crimes outlined above, and an attorney from Palmer Law can help you traverse the legal landscape across all areas. From personal injury cases and automobile accidents to family law, child support, and child abuse, our broad legal expertise is at your disposal.
We’ll also ensure your legal and constitutional rights are respected. For example, even if you’re the accused in a case, if you yourself have suffered personal injury and associated medical bills, we will guide you through the process of putting it right.
Understanding the Oklahoma Court Systems
The Oklahoma court system is much like any other throughout the US, with one critical exception. The state is also home to dozens of tribal governments and 22 tribal courts.
Our law office works across the three different federal court formats in Oklahoma. They include the Court of Civil Appeals, Court of Criminal Appeals, and the State Supreme Court.
Crimes that make it to federal court often rank among the most serious and require the best possible legal representation. Not every lawyer is cut out for federal cases, but we are pleased to say that all of our lawyers at Palmer Law are fully capable and experienced in defending clients throughout the federal system.
The state court is reserved for less serious offenses, although that’s no reason not to appoint an equally competent lawyer.
Palmer Law is licensed to work in every county in the state, so if you face criminal charges anywhere at all, not only in Tulsa, OK, but in the surrounding areas, we are ready to provide all the help and support you need.
The tribal law of Oklahoma is unlike anything else across the US, and Palmer Law has vast experience with the various tribes and their unique legal systems.
In most cases, we can represent clients throughout the tribal court system. Where that’s not possible, we will happily refer you to someone that can, having worked closely within the system for many years and boasting a network of law professionals commensurate with that experience.
While our experience mostly spans the state and federal court systems, our lawyers boast extensive experience with tribal law and the systems that enforce it throughout Oklahoma.
How Your Tulsa Criminal Defense Lawyer Will Help
A criminal case in Tulsa, OK can involve a long and arduous process with multiple court visits and numerous opportunities to seek legal assistance. From drug crimes to domestic violence and everything else in between, criminal offenses often end up in state and federal courts.
Fortunately, the earlier you appoint a criminal defense lawyer, the sooner they will be able to get to grips with your criminal charges, while determining which legal services you require. It all starts with a free consultation with a representative of our law firm and then proceeds as outlined below.
A Free Consultation
Appointing legal counsel from Palmer Law begins with a free consultation, usually carried out by phone with a team member from our law offices. This preliminary conversion establishes the nature of the case and anything pertinent to the upcoming defense. Your Tulsa criminal defense lawyers will outline their initial expectations and the legal services they can provide.
Our law firm will then enable the accused to decide how to proceed with their legal matter, primarily revolving around whether they wish to use a criminal defense lawyer from our law office for legal help.
A Detailed Investigation
If you decide to work with our criminal defense law firm following the free consultation, we will commence work on your case. No two criminal cases in Tulsa, OK are exactly the same, but no matter your legal issues, we’ll look into the evidence, witnesses, and anything else that can help clients facing criminal charges avoid a conviction.
Initial Court Appearance
Once arrested for any criminal offense, an individual in Tulsa County is entitled to bond or an initial appearance before a judge. Under criminal law, it is the responsibility of law enforcement officers to ensure that arrestees can see a judge quickly so that they are not kept in custody for any longer than necessary.
In municipal and state courts, if a bond has not been set by the time of the initial appearance, a judge will determine it at this stage. In some cases, there may be no bond, and the accused may leave detention immediately on the understanding that they must return on their allocated court date.
The federal court system differs slightly, but it is still possible to be released until the official court date.
Preliminary Hearing Conference (Felony Charges)
Preliminary conferences do not apply in misdemeanor cases. However, for felony accusations, most counties in Oklahoma hold some kind of consultation prior to the hearing itself.
Here, state attorneys and the defendant, along with their legal representation, get together to decide whether a plea agreement can be reached. If a plea bargain is deemed unsuitable, the case usually moves on to the full hearing. However, in some cases, the case may be dismissed altogether at this stage.
In cases where an agreement is reached, the case moves immediately to trial, skipping the initial hearing, arraignment, and motions hearing.
The Preliminary Hearing
The burden of proof in any criminal case rests on the state. First, they must establish that a crime was committed. Then, they need to determine that the defendant was responsible for the crime. This initial hearing establishes whether there is a case.
It may see additional charges being levied against the accused, but could just as easily see the case being dismissed entirely if there is significant doubt surrounding the crime and the defendant’s guilt.
Once again, these hearings are exclusive to felony charges and do not apply to misdemeanors. Individuals can waive their right to this primary hearing, but it is rarely advisable, especially as it is a critical part of the defense line for any experienced Tulsa criminal defense lawyer.
This step applies both to felonies and misdemeanors. However, in the case of the former, arraignment is not required at this stage unless the defendant waived their right to a primary hearing or that same hearing already established probable cause.
For those facing misdemeanor criminal charges, this is the first opportunity to plead guilty or not guilty.
Just before a case goes to a jury trial, a defendant and their criminal defense lawyers may file motions with the court. This might be a motion to dismiss the case entirely, or a motion for discovery where the state’s attorney hands over evidence.
Filing motions is best left to an experienced criminal defense attorney as they will have the know-how to understand the judge’s likely view of the application.
If the case is not dismissed at this stage of proceedings, it moves on to trial.
Criminal attorneys really come into their own at the trial stage and it is highly inadvisable to enter one without having appointed a full-service law firm to oversee your best interests. In most cases, you will already have worked with criminal defense attorneys of your choice throughout this process. Nevertheless, this is where a legal team comes into its own.
Under Oklahoma law, those accused of a misdemeanor have the right to a trial in front of a jury of between six and eight of their peers. In felony cases, this number rises to twelve.
The state’s attorney presents evidence and witnesses first. Your Tulsa criminal defense lawyer will then have the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses following each testimony and provide defensive evidence.
There are various opportunities for a case to be dismissed throughout the trial, such as insufficient evidence or technicalities. If the case goes to the jury, it is up to them to decide whether the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
A not-guilty verdict ends the case immediately. A guilty verdict proceeds to sentencing, which varies depending on whether the accused has a previous criminal record.
With no prior convictions, the jury works out both the verdict and appropriate sentencing in the same sitting. If the accused has a previous felony criminal conviction, the guilty or not guilty verdicts from the jury come out in the same way, but sentencing is reserved for a second hearing.
Sentencing the Guilty Party
In the vast majority of criminal cases, a judge must defer to the jury for the total sentence. However, they can decide on a full or partial suspended sentence.
An individual may continue to retain legal representation at this point and is advised to do so if they intend to appeal their criminal convictions.
A criminal defense attorney can shine once more during the appeals stage. Anyone found guilty of a criminal offense through the court system receives an automatic right of appeal, but the context changes.
No longer is the burden on the state to prove that an individual is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. That responsibility now shifts to the criminal defense lawyers and their client, who must prove beyond the same reasonable doubt that they are not guilty.
A Tulsa defense attorney is provided by the state in the first instance where a defendant cannot afford the legal fees. However, anything beyond first phase appeals requires the defendant to appoint their own criminal defense lawyer from a law firm. Again, in most cases that reach this stage, the defendant will have already appointed criminal defense lawyers to assist with their legal problems, and will often retain the same lawyer throughout.
Receive Professional Legal Help from a Tulsa Area Criminal Defense Lawyer
Cases move fast following an arrest and individuals accused of a crime in Tulsa and surrounding communities should make a point of appointing criminal defense lawyers as quickly as possible.
As outlined above, it is the responsibility of law enforcement to get the accused in front of a judge as quickly as possible to determine bond and custody arrangements.
That’s why our Tulsa criminal defense lawyers are standing by now to help in your case. At Palmer Law, we boast many decades of combined experience practicing criminal law in Tulsa, OK, and we’re fully versed in related practice areas too.
No matter the charges faced, we’re here to represent you, defend you, and ensure your rights are respected throughout the course of your legal issues.