Muskogee County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Muskogee County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Muskogee County.
Jury by Trial Right
The US Constitution (Article 3 along with the 6th Amendment) ensures an accused defendant the right to a jury trial. This applies to crimes that have a $500 fine or a potential sentence of six months in jail (aka Serious Crimes). This right to trial by jury can also be waived by a defendant.
Where will Muskogee County criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Muskogee County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Muskogee County.
Muskogee County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Muskogee County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Muskogee County Criminal Court and the judge will read the charges that were filed against the defendant. The judge will also read the rights the defendant has and ask the defendant if they understand both the charges filed against them and their rights as a defendant in the case. In Muskogee County a plea of Guilty, Not Guilty or No Contest may be entered. In a guilty or no contest plea the sentencing of the defendant may take place at the same arraignment hearing or a later date may be scheduled for sentencing. For a not guilty plea, a date will be set for a trial.
A Plea Agreement, sometimes known as a Plea Bargain is an agreement between the prosecution and the defendant, where the defendant pleads guilty or no contest often in exchange for a lesser charge or lighter recommended sentence. A large majority of criminal cases end in a plea agreement. In Muskogee County you can inform your attorney to negotiate with the prosecution to attempt to come to a plea agreement, but this is dependent upon the charge severity and also the prosecutors willingness to accept a plea deal.
Burden of Proof
The burden of proof is always on the prosecution in a criminal trial. In other words, the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. The defense must only prove that there is a reasonable possibility that the defendant did NOT commit the crime. If the prosecution cannot prove that the defendant committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, the jury will be instructed to find the defendant not-guilty.
Prosecutor in Muskogee County
In Muskogee County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Muskogee County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Oklahoma. For the most part, the prosecutor in Muskogee County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
Sentencing in Muskogee County
In Muskogee County if the defendant is found guilty (by trial or plea), the defendant will be sentenced. This sometimes occurrs immediately after being found guilty, but can also take place at a later date. In most instances, a judge will impose the sentence that is requested by the prosecution, but they also have the descretion to impose a different sentence.
Can I appeal a guilty verdict?
If found guilty, a defendant may decide to appeal his case to an appelate court. The appellate court will not retry the case, they will examine the proceedings in the lower court to make sure they were done in a legal manner. The appellate court can either uphold the original conviction, or determine that due to errors made in the original trial, that there must be a retrial, resentencing or a complete dismissal of the charges.
The Right to Counsel
The Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U.s. Constitution give defendants in criminal cases the right to counsel/attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed to represent you. Like other rights a defendant has, this one can be waived as well and alternatively you can choose to represent yourself.
Jury Deliberations in Muskogee County
In Muskogee County, jury deliberations will take place in a jury trial after the prosecution and defense have presented their cases and rested. At this point, the judge will provide a list of instructions to the jury about what they are allowed and not allowed to do and what verdict options are available for them to decide. The jury will be sent to a private room to discuss the evidence presented in the case and attempt to reach a unaminous decision. When a unaminous decision is reached, the jury will inform the judge that they have reached a verdict and will return to the courtroom for the verdict to be read allowed. In the event that the jury cannot reach a unanimous verdict, the jury results in a deadlock and a mistrial is declared.
Required Court Appearances in Muskogee County
Any required court appearances in Muskogee County Criminal Court must be attended by the defendant. Failure to appear in court at your required date and time may result in the judge issuing an arrest warrant.
Where can I get help for my Muskogee County criminal case?
The 6th amendment of the United States Constitution provides a criminal defendant with the right to an attorney. As read in the miranda rights, this means that if a defendant cannot afford to hire a private attorney a legal attorney will be appointed to the defendant to represent him at no cost to the defendant. This is often a public defender. In addition, the court clerk for Muskogee County will also be able to provide general information about a specific criminal case. The clerk can only provide information and is not an attorney so they cannot provide legal advice, only a licensed attorney can provide legal advice about what the best options for are for your particular case.
Muskogee County Criminal Court Locations
Muskogee County District Court
Address: 200 State Street, PO Box 1350, Muskogee, OK 74402
Phone: 918-682-7873 Fax: 918-684-1696
Boynton Municipal Court
Address: 301 Seaman, Boynton, OK 74422
Braggs Municipal Court
Address: 109 Patrick Avenue, Braggs, OK 74423
Fort Gibson Municipal Court
Address: 200 West Poplar Street, Fort Gibson, OK 74434
Haskell Municipal Court
Address: 109 South Broadway, Haskell, OK 74436
Muskogee Municipal Court
Address: 112 South 3rd Street, PO Box 1927, Muskogee, OK 74401
Phone: 918-680-3101 Fax: 918-680-3190
Porum Municipal Court
Address: 105 Arkansas Place, Porum, OK 74455
Warner Municipal Court
Address: 211 8th Street, Warner, OK 74469
Webber Falls Municipal Court
Address: 101 Commercial Street, Webbers Falls, OK 74470