Tulsa Attorney BlogCriminal Investigation: Stage #1 of an Oklahoma Misdemeanor Case

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Video Transcribed: Step one in Oklahoma misdemeanor case, the investigation. All right, I’m Tulsa attorney James Wirth, and we’re about to talk about the investigation stage. And the first stage in a misdemeanor case in Oklahoma.

All right, so most of the time in a misdemeanor case there’s not much of an investigation period. So if you get pulled over for a DUI, usually arrested on the spot and then you’ve already got a court case going, not much of a time to do investigation.

But other times there is, and that’s what this is talking about. For instance, it could be an investigation regarding an allegation of embezzlement. That’s something that’s usually investigated for a while.

There may be questions, you may be called in if you’re accused. And asked to come in and talk to an officer, there could be other people around you that are being contacted. That’s the case that’s in the investigation stage, where you don’t know if there’s going to be criminal charges yet.

You just know that there’s an investigation going on and you may be targeted. So, unlike the other stages, during this stage, you are not entitled to a public defender. So, if you want representation you’re going to have to hire one.

And that’s something my office does on a regular basis. We call it pre-filing investigation representation. And that’s, what I’m going to talk to you about. Here’s exactly what we do in that stage. So, normally this starts off with somebody getting a call from a detective. Sometimes, like I said, that’s embezzlement.

Sometimes it’s somebody left their car, maybe it’s a hit and run, and they’re trying to find out who the driver was. Those are common ones that we see and they contact, they’re saying they’re getting a call from a detective, what should they do? Most of the time our recommendation is going to be don’t talk to the detective.

Sometimes they’re just trying to get you to incriminate yourself to build their case so that they have one or to make their case stronger and easier. Other times they may just be trying to mark your name off the list so that they can move on to the next person. But here’s the thing, with detectives, you never really know for sure.

Because it’s their job to build these cases. And they’re allowed to lie, mislead and do all kinds of things to get you to incriminate yourself. So, talk to an attorney, they’re going to have a better idea after hearing your circumstances, what the likelihood is that they’re trying to get you to incriminate yourself or the likelihood that they’re trying to rule you out.

And based on that, we would make recommendations of whether to have that meeting and then we’d be present for the meeting to make sure that we can call it off at any moment.

But most of the time our recommendation is going to be don’t have that meeting. But what do you do instead? Well, you have your lawyer talk to them. All communication goes through the lawyer, once we provide notice of representation.

We put up a wall between you and law enforcement so that everything has to go through us. And then we can disseminate the information that we want to make sure that the detective is aware of, but allow them also to ask questions through us so that we can provide the information that we want from them and try to get the information that they want without incriminating you in that.

Another part of that is we want to look at mitigation. So we want to mitigate, reduce the chances that criminal charges are filed. And we do that not only by providing information from them, but doing the legal research and the problems with their case so that we can demonstrate to the detective.

And so the detective has to put it in their report when they send it over to a prosecutor, to show the defense side of it. Which decreases the chances that the prosecutor says, “Hey, let’s file it.” Lastly, as part of our service, what we do is we use a service so that we get notification if a new case is filed in your name.

So that we can find out before you’re likely to get picked up by a warrant. So we’re able to prepare, get a bail bondsman put in place to get warrants taken care of. And so there aren’t as much surprises. So that’s what we do during the investigation stage. If you hire us as your attorney, but obviously this is something you can do on your own.

Most of the time you don’t want to talk to law enforcement, incriminate yourself, but every case is unique, so you’re definitely, even if you don’t want to hire an attorney, you do want to consult with one. If you’d like to talk to somebody at my office, go to makelaweasy.com.

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