Understanding Criminal Discovery
When facing criminal charges in the state of Oklahoma, one of the key questions defendants often have is how long it takes to obtain criminal discovery. This refers to the process of obtaining evidence and information related to the case. However, there can be instances where attorneys or district attorneys may delay or not provide discovery in a timely manner, causing frustration and uncertainty for defendants. To shed some light on the matter, let’s explore the rules and timeline for criminal discovery in Oklahoma.
The Main Statute: Section 22, Section 2002, Subsection D
Oklahoma has a main statute, Section 22, Section 2002, Subsection D, that outlines the timing and entitlements of criminal discovery. According to this statute, motions for discovery can be made at the time of the district court arraignment or thereafter. However, requests for police reports may be subject to the provisions of Section 258 of the same title. It’s important to note that requests made under Section 258 are at the discretion of the district attorney.
The statute further states that all discovery issues, except as otherwise provided, must be completed at least 10 days prior to trial. The court has the authority to specify the time, place, and manner of making discovery, as well as impose any just terms and conditions.
Distinguishing Felony and Misdemeanor Cases
It’s essential to understand that there are differences in the timing of discovery requests between felony and misdemeanor cases in Oklahoma. For felony cases, formal discovery requests can be made at district court arraignment or thereafter. Arraignment in felony cases typically follows a preliminary hearing and binding over process. On the other hand, for misdemeanor cases, the initial arraignment serves as the main appearance, and discovery motions can be made soon after.
Preliminary Hearing Discovery: Section 258
Section 258 of the statute specifically addresses preliminary hearing discovery. Before the preliminary hearing, defendants can request police reports. However, it’s important to note that the district attorney has discretion in providing this information prior to the preliminary hearing. If the district attorney chooses not to provide the reports at least five days before the preliminary hearing, defendants and their attorneys have more leeway in conducting discovery during the preliminary hearing itself.
Deadlines and Proactive Steps
According to Oklahoma law, all discovery issues must be resolved at least 10 days before the trial. However, this doesn’t guarantee the defendants any discovery until that point. To expedite the process and ensure adequate preparation time, defendants and their attorneys can take proactive steps. These include requesting the formal charges and related information, such as the complaint and arrest warrant affidavit, from the court clerk. For felony cases, defendants can also submit a request for preliminary hearing discovery under Section 258. Additionally, it’s advisable to set deadlines for discovery and schedule an Allen hearing to ensure timely receipt of all necessary information.
Seeking Legal Advice and Scheduling a Consultation
If you have further questions about discovery timelines for criminal cases in Oklahoma or any other legal matters, it’s best to consult with an attorney privately to receive personalized legal advice. To schedule a free consultation with an attorney at our office, please visit MakeLawEasy.com. We are here to assist you and provide the guidance you need.