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Video Transcribed: How will the COVID-19 pandemic impact my Oklahoma criminal cases?
If you have a pending criminal case in Oklahoma then odds are pretty good that if you’re out of custody that case is going to be continued.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court issued guidance last week that continued all jury trials in the state through May 15th. That’s a pretty good indicator that any and all criminal matters that are in the normal course of business are going to be delayed for that time.
Now if you have an arraignment or are in custody, the courts are still processing those cases at least in Tulsa County, and it really is a county by county situation. Each County is putting out its own guidance and their own instructions about how the situation should be handled.
In Tulsa County, for instance, arraignments and pleadings are being done on special dockets, that are set aside, that are open only to defendants and their defense attorney, and the state, and are special settings specifically designed to get cases off the docket.
So if an offer has been extended by the state, and your attorney has reviewed discovery and recommended that you accept the offer, those pleas can go through right now. Also, arraignments are happening and bond settings are happening and generally speaking, the operative word right now is that anyone that’s in custody for a nonviolent offense is likely to get a personal recognizance bond, which means they’re let out with a zero dollar bond.
Now, if you are in custody, the situation can be a little different, especially if you’re facing violent charges. At this point, it might be difficult for you to get out even with the COVID-19 pandemic. So be safe, be careful.
The word that I’m hearing from Tulsa Police Department right now is that nonviolent felony or misdemeanor cases are being put on a hold right now, and they’re not being filed. So if you’re currently under investigation for a nonviolent offense, odds are very good that that investigation is not going to produce a criminal information until sometime in late May or early June.
If you have a criminal issue in Oklahoma and you need an attorney, reach out to our office in Tulsa, Oklahoma, we can be reached at (918) 932-2800, and we’re looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks.