Tulsa Attorney BlogWhat is a Burks Notice in Oklahoma Criminal Law?

You Must to Give the Advanced Notice to the Defendant

Video Transcribed: What is a Burks notice in the state of Oklahoma? I’m a criminal defense attorney Tulsa, OK, James Wirth, We’re talking about Burks notices and that is relevant to criminal defense in the state of Oklahoma when the state is charging a defendant with the crime and at the trial, they wish to enter into evidence, indications that other crimes were committed, they are required under Burks to provide notice of that to the defendant at the earlier of 10 days prior to trial or at the pretrial hearing.

And that needs to be provided in order to give an opportunity for the defense to file a motion in limine to see whether that evidence is admissible and to give fair notice so that those allegations can be investigated by the defense prior to trial. So there are a few things that the state must do in order to get that evidence in.

So first off, the general rule is that evidence of other crimes is not relevant to the guilt of somebody on a crime, and therefore it is not admissible because it’s not relevant. And it’s also highly prejudicial, and therefore not admissible generally speaking.

But there are exceptions to that, and that’s where Burks comes in. And in order to meet the requirement of Burks, as I said, you have to give the advanced notice to the defendant, but also there has to be a visible connection between the offense charged and the offense sought to be proved. There has to be some sort of link or similarity so that it is relevant to proving guilt.

There also must be a showing by the state that the evidence of other crimes is necessary to support the state’s burden of proof and that it’s not merely cumulative. This isn’t the state piling on trying to show how bad of a guy this is so that the jury will be inflamed and punish them for other offenses rather than what he’s actually been charged with.

It also can’t be subterfuge just to show that the person is deserving of punishment. And also, must be clear and convincing evidence that the defendant is actually guilty of these other allegations, even though the person was not charged or convicted of them.

So that’s the requirements. 10 days advance notice to give the defense an opportunity to investigate them, perhaps file a motion in limine to show that they should not be admissible and they should be excluded. And that is provided under Burks v. State. That’s an Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals Case from 1979.

The case number is 1979 OK CR 10. If you’ve got questions about the admissibility of prejudicial evidence like that in a case, you’re going to want to talk to an attorney about your specific circumstances. To talk to somebody in my office, you can go online to makelaweasy.com.

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