Challenging Municipal Court Charges in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Sometimes Oklahomans are charged with drug or driving under the influence crimes in municipal court, instead of state court. Challenging municipal criminal charges can be a little different than state criminal charges.
Why Is Municipal Court Different?
Municipal court is different mostly because municipal court judges follow different laws than state court judges. Some major cities in Oklahoma have a different set of laws covering violations such as disturbing the peace, drug possession, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or drunk and disorderly. Sometimes the penalties for violating these laws are lighter than in state court.
Was I Charged in State or Municipal Court?
Municipal courts cover major city areas such as Tulsa and Oklahoma City. After you are arrested, you will have a first court appearance when you will find out which charges the district attorney is making against you. If the court appearance takes place in a municipal court, you have been charged under the municipal ordinances. If the court appearance takes place in a state court or “district” court, you have been charged under state law.
Sometimes, the police will let you go and tell you to appear in court on a different day. You need to attend court then or risk having the judge issue a warrant for your arrest. Go to the courthouse listed on the notice the police or court gives you.
Are There Defenses to Municipal Court Charges?
There are many potential defenses available for municipal court charges. For example, in a DUI case your attorney may challenge the breathalyzer test results. In a drug possession case your attorney may be able to argue that you did not know you had drugs or that it was legal for you to have them because of your prescription. The defenses that will apply depend on the facts and circumstances of your case. Even though you may think of municipal court charges as minor, you do need an attorney to uphold your rights because many of these charges have serious consequences.
Can My Attorney Get Me a Plea Deal?
Every case is different, and attorneys cannot promise results in your case. By hiring a knowledgeable, experienced attorney, you have the best chances of negotiating a plea deal or plea bargain. The prosecutor may offer a suspended or reduced sentence, or offer to reduce the seriousness of the charges in exchange for a plea. Your attorney will negotiate with the prosecutor at the Conference Docket to attempt to resolve your case without a trial.
If you are facing municipal DUI or drug charges, seek out an attorney who knows the Oklahoma criminal law system inside and out. Clint Patterson, Esq., of Patterson Law Firm, a former Tulsa prosecutor now using his trial experience and expert-level knowledge of DUI science to defend drivers, has the experience and the insight to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your case. To schedule a case evaluation, visit Patterson Law Firm online or call Clint’s office at (918) 550-9175.