Criminal Law in Tulsa County
In Oklahoma, courts follow a similar procedure for misdemeanors and felonies. Each county, however, may operate slightly differently. Here’s a primer of how criminal process works in Tulsa County.
It Starts in the District Attorney’s Office
Every case goes through the Tulsa County District Attorney’s office. In 2016, the office of the District Attorney filed over 7,000 felony cases and more than 6,000 cases—a busy department, to say the least.
Due to the high volume of cases, the district of Tulsa County has customized certain steps to make the process more efficient.
Criminal Process Rules in Tulsa County
Tulsa County is in the Fourteenth Judicial District, which consists of Tulsa and Pawnee counties. Each district has their own criminal process. A few areas that might differ from one county to the next include Criminal Bond Indexes, Pretrial Release Programs, Initial Arraignment Court Dates, and Failure to Appear and Pay.
One example of a unique step in Tulsa County’s criminal process is the Criminal Traffic Bond Index which was developed by judges to save time. Some charges are assigned a pre-set bond that will be set at Tulsa County Jail.
Preliminary Hearings and Dockets
The time and location of preliminary hearings depend on the assigned docket for the case and whether a public defender or private attorney is representing the defendant. Below is a list of the schedule for the location for each hearing for each docket.
- Tulsa County Criminal Docket A: Courtroom 344. Mondays for private attorneys, Wednesdays for public defenders.
- Tulsa County Criminal Docket B: Courtroom 347. Mondays for private attorneys, Wednesdays for public defenders.
- Tulsa County Criminal Docket C: Courtroom 344. Mondays for private attorneys, Thursdays for public defenders.
- Tulsa County Criminal Docket D: Courtroom 347. Tuesdays for private attorneys, Thursdays for public defenders.
- Tulsa County Criminal Docket E: Courtroom 344. Tuesdays for private attorneys, Fridays for public defenders.
- Tulsa County Criminal Docket F: Courtroom 347. Tuesdays for private attorneys, Fridays for public defenders.
District Felony Judges
Another unique aspect to Tulsa County criminal procedure is the way defendants in felony cases are assigned to judges. There are only six judges who handle felony cases. Cases are randomly assigned to one of six felony dockets. In the situation of misdemeanors and felony cases, there is a specific docket known as FDV or “Family Domestic Docket.”
All the felony court judges are on the 4th, 5th and 7th floors of the Tulsa County Courthouse. The 4th floor is only for felonies at a district court level.
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