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Video Transcribed: The three options every defendant has to resolve their criminal case in Oklahoma. I’m Tulsa attorney James Wirth, and I’m about to tell you about the three options to get your case resolved.
All right, so every case going on in Oklahoma, there’s a lot of different things, particular to different ones, but there’s three universal ones, and those are universal ways that cases get resolved, and that are in the control of the defendant, not the state, not necessarily the judge; they’re in control of the defendant.
Before we get to that though, there’s the one that is out of the control of the defendant, and that is dismissal. Lot of times we want dismissal in cases, and we will argue with prosecutors that they can’t meet their case, all about the defenses, convinced them to dismiss it. We’ve got a lot of cases dismissed that way, but I’d say that the majority do not get dismissed that way.
Sometimes we file motions for deficits in the case, maybe they’re speedy trial violations, we get them dismissed that way, then it’s up to the judge whether our motions are granted. So those are ways that are up to the DA, whether they’ll dismiss, whether it’s up to the judge, whether they’ll order dismissal, based on legal grounds that we come up with in our motions.
And then there’s the three that are up to the defendant. And the first one of those is plea deal. The defendant always has the option of accepting a plea deal, or not accepting a plea deal. Your attorney’s going to negotiate with the state show the strengths of the defense’s case, the weaknesses in the state’s case, and use as much leverage in mitigation we have to get the best possible plea offer.
But under any circumstances, we’re either going to get some plea offer, or in a very rare case, they might just say, “No plea offer”, which means the plea offer’s essentially the maximum sentence, but the defendant always has the option of accepting that. That’s within the defendant’s control, yes or no to the plea deal. So that’s option one, always in the defendant’s control.
Option two that’s always in the defendant’s control: blind plea. That is, the defendant has the choice to say, “You know what? I don’t think the prosecutor is being fair in negotiations. I don’t want to negotiate with the prosecutor anymore.
We’re going to go behind the prosecutor’s back, and we’re going to go straight to the judge, and we’re going to enter a no contest or a guilty plea. Essentially that means that you’re admitting guilt or allowing the court to find you guilty, and you’re going to argue sentence with the judge.
That gives the judge the power and authority, to a sentence you anywhere within the range of punishment, but it’s your option as the defendant to decide whether to do that, and that option can’t be taken away from you. It’s your choice whether you want to do a blind plea or not.
I don’t want to do a blind plea before the judge, because I don’t think I’m going to get a fair sentence, or because I’m not guilty, and I don’t think the state can prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt”.
So you can say no to those two and you can say yes to a jury trial, and that jury trial can not be taken away from you. That is your option to force it to a jury trial, to force the state to prove your guilt on every of every offense, beyond a reasonable doubt. And that can’t be taken away from you. That is a constitutional right that you have.
So those are the three options that are not in the control of the DA, not in the control of the judge; they’re in your control. Do you accept a plea deal? Do you do a blind plea, or do you go to trial and force the state to try to prove their case? Those are the three ways that cases get resolved, and they’re all within your control. If you have questions about your case, want to talk to somebody at my office, the Wirth Law Office about your case, go to makelaweasy.com.