Arrested in Tulsa? Here’s What You Need to Know

Arrested in Tulsa? Here’s What You Need to Know

Being arrested can be an intimidating and even scary experience. One minute you’re living your day-to-day life. The next, you find yourself dealing with a long, confusing process involving a mess of police and lawyers. It isn’t something anyone wants to experience, but it isn’t the end of the world. Here’s what you need to know when you’re arrested in Tulsa.

1. Arrest

During an arrest, you’ll be detained, read your rights, and brought to the police station to be booked. However, thanks to the Constitution, you can’t just be apprehended for no reason. There are two ways an arrest can take place: with probable cause or a warrant.

If you’re arrested in Tulsa on probable cause, it means the officer has knowledge that leads them to believe you’ve committed a crime or are going to commit a crime. Maybe they saw you commit a crime, or you have evidence of a crime in your possession. They can also detain you for questioning, during which you might incriminate yourself.

You can also be arrested if you’re under investigation and the state gathers enough evidence to issue a warrant for your arrest. If you’re notified that you have a warrant against you, it’s best to turn yourself in. Otherwise, the police may show up at your home or work and take you into custody.

2. Intake and Processing

Once you’re arrested in Tulsa, you’ll be booked into the David L. Moss Criminal Justice Center, which is located downtown. You’ll enter through the Booking Area along with the arresting officer. Intake officers will review the arrest report, verify that all the required information is included, and enter it into the computer.

You’ll then be searched for weapons, drugs, and other contraband. During the search, officers will also evaluate your physical condition. If you have injuries or seem sick, you’ll be seen by the booking nurse or another qualified employee, and you may be released for medical treatment and then returned to jail.

3. Processing

Now you’ve officially been arrested in Tulsa and admitted to jail. You’ll be informed of the charges against you, and your picture and fingerprints will be taken. They’ll be entered into the system and also used to create an ID card.

After processing, you’ll be allowed to make phone calls. You’ve probably seen “one phone call” on TV, but in Oklahoma, you’re allowed to make as many calls as you need to contact a friend, family member, or lawyer and arrange to make your bond payment. Once you’ve contacted someone, you may be interviewed again to determine where you’ll be placed in jail. Then you’ll be moved from general intake to a cell.

4. Bond Payment

In some cases, you might be able to post bond before going in front of a judge for arraignment. In others, you’ll be scheduled for a bond hearing within 24 hours of your arrest. At the hearing, they’ll set the bond amount you need to pay to leave jail. You have several options for posting bond and can pay at the Court Clerk’s Office, which is located within the David L. Moss facility.

Cash Bonds

A cash bond is exactly what it sounds like: You provide the County Clerk with the full amount of the bond in cash. The person providing the cash must be present to sign the bond. If the bond is more than $10,000, they’ll need to fill out IRS Form 8300, and must have a photo ID and a Social Security number. Don’t lose that receipt: If you make all of your court appearances, the cash bond will be refunded to the person who provided it when your case closes.

Surety Bonds

A surety bond is the type of bond you receive from a bail bond company. They charge you a percentage of the bond amount as a fee. That fee isn’t refunded when the case is over, so you won’t get all of your money back. However, surety bonds are sometimes the only option if you don’t have cash.

Pre-Trial Release

If you’re arrested in Tulsa County and can’t post bond, you might be eligible for pre-trial release. Tulsa County is a pioneer in this area and has had a pre-trial release program since 1983. Individuals who are accused of misdemeanor or non-violent crimes will be screened and could be released from custody without having to pay any money, allowing them to save their jobs and reconnect with their support network.

If You Don’t Make Bond

If you don’t make bond and don’t qualify for pre-trial release, you’ll be sent into jail housing for the duration of your case. Only immediate family (parents, siblings, spouses, and children over age 16), as well as fiancés, are allowed to visit.

5. The Trial Process

After you’re arrested in Tulsa and post bond (or are sent to the jail’s housing), you’ll start the trial process. Wondering how criminal trials work in Oklahoma? Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Arraignment: You’ll appear in Tulsa County District Court, be formally advised of the charges against you, and be given a copy for your records. The court will ensure that you have an attorney, and if you don’t, you can ask to be appointed one.
  • Preliminary hearing: If you’re charged with a felony, this hearing is when the judge will decide if there is enough probable cause to move forward with the case and order a trial.
  • Pre-trial docket: You’ll appear before the judge and make your plea. If you plead guilty or “no contest,” they’ll set a date for you to return to be sentenced. If you go to trial, they’ll set a date for the trial to begin.
  • Plea docket: If you take a plea deal, the judge will officially sentence you according to your plea bargain agreement.
  • Motions hearings: Before trial, the prosecution and defense have the opportunity to make a variety of motions, including to dismiss the case, suppress evidence, and have the other side produce evidence. The judge will rule on each of these at motions hearings.
  • Trial: If you go to trial, the prosecution will present the evidence against you to a jury. The defense will then present its case. If you’re found not guilty, your case is over, and you’re free! If you’re found guilty, you’ll be sentenced, or a date will be set for sentencing.
  • Appeals: Once you’re convicted, you can file a number of appeals, for example due to misconduct, ineffective counsel, procedural errors, or new evidence. If you’re successful, your sentence may be reversed or modified.

It’s important to know that if you don’t appear for your hearings, a judge can issue a bench warrant against you. You also won’t have your bond refunded once your case is over.

The Bottom Line

If you’ve been arrested in Tulsa, stay calm. Exercise your right to remain silent: Provide basic information like your name and address, but don’t answer any other questions or try to explain anything. Don’t consent to any searches (whether of your home, car, or person), don’t interfere with the officers, and don’t try to hide or tamper with evidence.

Most importantly, retain an experienced Tulsa defense attorney like those at the Khalaf Law Firm. We can help you through the process and provide expert criminal defense. Contact us today to start moving forward in your case and your life.