It’s Really Important To Get a Good Lawyer
Video Transcribed: I am Brian Jackson, I am a Lawyer in Tulsa. Today, I want to talk to you about your jury trial right in municipal court. I want to start by talking about the two different types of municipal courts in Oklahoma. Here’s what’s called courts of record and courts not of record.
And today I really want to focus this discussion on courts, not of record, and when you have a right to a jury trial. Now, in a court not of record in Oklahoma, the law is that you have a right to a jury trial any time you’re dealing with a municipal ordinance violation where there is a potential fine of $500 or more or where it carries any period of incarceration.
If you are dealing with one of those two situations, and really this is where it’s important to have good representation, but if you’re dealing with either of those two situations, you have a right to a jury trial, and this is a right you should not wave.
Generally speaking, it’s a good idea if you’re planning to challenge a ticket in municipal court, if it is a jury trial issue, then you should exercise your right to a jury trial. In many cases, that’s advantageous over having it tried to the bench, which is having the judge decide guilt or innocence, and it’s an important Constitutional right. How do you know if a particular ordinance does or doesn’t carry a fight of greater than $500 and or jail time?
Well, typically, most municipal courts will advise you of the potential penalty when you are read the charge, but in the event that you were not aware of whether or not it would meet that threshold, this is where it’s really important to get a good lawyer.
And the last thing I do want to say on this topic, if you are planning to challenge a ticket and you are going to demand a jury trial, you should definitely have a lawyer to represent you at jury trial. Jury trials are complicated and the rules of evidence in Oklahoma do apply, and if you are not a seasoned trial attorney then you take a pretty good gamble by going to a jury trial without a lawyer.
And as I said, since these are situations that carry either a significant fine or potential jail time your liberty is at issue, so by all means get a good lawyer. If you need help with a municipal ticket or you have any other legal questions, you should go to makelaweasy.com.