Tulsa Attorney BlogWhat’s Your Right to Speedy Trial in Muscogee (Creek) Tribal Court?

US Supreme Court Rules in Favor of McGirt


Video Transcribed:  What is your right to a speedy trial in the Muscogee Creek Nation Tribal Court? I’m Tulsa Attorney, James Wirth and we’re about to talk about the right to a speedy trial in Muscogee Creek Nation.

All right. So with the McGirt decision for the United States Supreme Court that said that the Muscogee Creek Reservation was never disestablished, there’s way more reservation land now, which means there’s way more jurisdiction for the tribe. And there’s way more cases going to tribal court, and we’re about to see more and more of that.

So that brings us to looking at some of the differences between state court and tribal court regarding your rights, because a lot of the rights are under US Constitution, are under Federal Law or under State Law. But all those things are not necessarily applicable to the tribe.

However, when it comes to a speedy trial, the tribe actually has its own statute that is very specific. And in some way, it’s a more favorable to being in state court.

So if you are arrested for a crime in the Muscogee Creek Nation, you’re being prosecuted there, from the point of arraignment, if you are in custody, you are entitled to a speedy trial within 90 days.

By state standards at this point, that’s pretty darn fast. In state court, if you don’t have your trial after a year, they start looking into it for a potential of speedy trial, but even then it’s going to be allowed to go on longer.

Tribal court, pretty clear cut. The statute says, and the code says, if you’re in custody, you got to have your speedy trial within 90 days. Of course, if you’re a defendant, you can waive that right to a speedy trial in order to get a date further out to prepare, but that is your right to give up.

Now, what about if you’re out of custody? Well, if you’re out of custody, it gives the tribe a little bit more time to get a trial and panel, but it’s only six months or 180 days.

So if you’re out of custody, you’ve got 180 days speedy trial right. Again, though, that of course can be waived by the defendant.

But if you stand strong and you do not agree to any continuances and you demand your right to a speedy trial, then they’ve got to get you that trial within 180 days.

Which at the current moment in the pandemic, that may be difficult because getting jury trials together with your right to jury trial, that can be tough to in panel at this point.

So it’s always good to know your rights, but if you’re dealing with a specific circumstances, you’re going to want to talk to a Tulsa criminal attorney about your specifics. If you want to talk to someone in my office, go to makelaweasy.com.


"Make law easy!"