This Ensures All Relevant Evidence Is Shown
Video Transcript: What is an Allen Hearing? My name is Brian L. Jackson. I am a Tulsa attorney with Wirth Law Office, and today we’re going to talk about what an Allen Hearing is in the context of a criminal proceeding.
Now, one of the things that you need to understand about criminal cases is you are entitled as the defendant under the constitution to see all the evidence the state has against you, and also to be given copies of any evidence that the state might be in possession of that would be exculpatory.
In other words, tends to prove that you might not have done what you’re accused of, as well as evidence that would go towards issues like the credibility of any witnesses against you, any procedural defects, any problems with the cops who arrested you. All of those things are discoverable.
Now, one of the things that we do in criminal procedure in Oklahoma is we actually have a hearing that, is where the state will come into court and basically say, “We’ve turned over all our evidence.” That’s called an Allen Hearing. And the point of the Allen Hearing is, it is a opportunity to find out do we have all the evidence from the state or not? And it’s to avoid surprises. We don’t do trial by ambush in criminal court. And the idea is if the state has evidence that they haven’t turned over at the Allen Hearing, you have a good argument for keeping it out of court. That’s the major purpose of the Allen hearing. But you can also use it to address if there are Brady issues as well, which is if there is exculpatory or potentially exculpatory evidence that hasn’t been turned over.
That’s essentially the purpose of an Allen Hearing. And what you can expect at an Allen hearing is, basically you and your attorney will show up. And the prosecutor’s either going to announce that they have all the evidence or they’re going to announce they don’t, and your attorney will either. Or that they’ve turned all the evidence over or they haven’t, and your attorney’s going to announce either that they have all the evidence or there’s something missing. And if there’s something missing, typically the court will set a second Allen Hearing and you go back, and then it becomes, “Okay, evidence please.” That’s the purpose of the Allen Hearing.
And if you have questions about that or you’re facing criminal charges, you need a good lawyer. One place you can find a good Oklahoma criminal defense lawyer is at makelaweasy.com.