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When Can You Be Arrested for a Misdemeanor in Oklahoma?

When Can You Be Arrested for a Misdemeanor in Oklahoma?

Understanding the circumstances under which you can be arrested for a misdemeanor in Oklahoma is essential for anyone navigating the state’s criminal justice system. While misdemeanors are less severe than felonies, they can still carry significant consequences, including jail time, fines, and a permanent mark on your criminal record.

At Doney Law, PLLC, our experienced Oklahoma criminal defense lawyer is well-versed in defending individuals facing misdemeanor charges.  Our team is here to discuss the scenarios that can lead to a misdemeanor arrest in Oklahoma and help you understand your rights and what to expect if you are in this situation.

What Constitutes a Misdemeanor in Oklahoma?

Before delving into when you can be arrested for a misdemeanor, it’s crucial to understand what qualifies as a misdemeanor under Oklahoma law. Misdemeanors are considered less severe offenses compared to felonies and generally include crimes such as petty theft, simple assault, vandalism, public intoxication, and minor drug offenses. These crimes are typically punishable by up to one year in county jail and/or fines.

Scenarios Leading to a Misdemeanor Arrest

Several scenarios exist in which you may be charged with a misdemeanor offense.

Committing a Misdemeanor in the Presence of an Officer

According to Oklahoma law, a peace officer can arrest an individual without a warrant if a misdemeanor is committed or attempted in their presence. This means that if an officer directly observes you committing a misdemeanor offense, they have the legal right to arrest you on the spot. Examples include:

  • Public intoxication
  • Simple assault or battery
  • Vandalism

Probable Cause Based on Information Provided

An officer can arrest you for a misdemeanor if they have probable cause to believe you committed the offense, even if they did not witness it themselves. Probable cause can be established based on information from witnesses, victims, or other reliable sources.

For instance, if a store owner reports a shoplifting incident and provides a description of the suspect, the police may arrest a person matching that description based on the store owner’s testimony.

Arrest Warrants

If a judge issues an active arrest warrant, law enforcement officers can also arrest you for a misdemeanor. An arrest warrant is typically issued when there is sufficient evidence to establish probable cause that you committed a misdemeanor.

This often happens when the police conduct an investigation and present their findings to a judge, who then determines whether an arrest warrant is justified.

Domestic Violence Cases

In Oklahoma, domestic violence offenses are treated seriously, even when classified as misdemeanors. Officers have the authority to arrest individuals suspected of domestic violence without a warrant if there is probable cause to believe that the crime occurred within the past four hours. This provision aims to protect victims of domestic violence and prevent further harm.

Failure to Appear in Court

Failing to appear in court for a scheduled hearing related to a misdemeanor charge can result in issuing a bench warrant for your arrest. Once a bench warrant is issued, law enforcement officers can arrest you anytime and bring you to court. Attending all court dates and complying with court orders is crucial to avoid such situations.

Violation of Probation Terms

If you are on probation for a prior misdemeanor offense, violating the terms of your probation can lead to your arrest. Probation violations can include failing to meet with your probation officer, not completing required community service, or committing another criminal offense. Your probation officer can report the violation to the court, which may issue a warrant for your arrest.

Legal Rights During a Misdemeanor Arrest

You must know your legal rights if you are arrested for a misdemeanor in Oklahoma. Understanding these rights can help you protect yourself and navigate the legal process more effectively:

Right to Remain Silent

When an officer asks questions, you have a legal right to remain silent. Anything you say or discuss at the scene or during questioning can be used against you in court, so it is often best to exercise this right until you consult a criminal defense attorney in Miami or elsewhere in Oklahoma.

Right to an Attorney

You are entitled to representation. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint a public defender to represent you. To safeguard your rights throughout the legal process, it is highly recommended that you contact an experienced Oklahoma criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.

Right to Be Informed of Charges

When you are arrested, you have the right to be informed of the specific charges against you. This information is typically provided during the booking process and at your first court appearance.

Right to a Fair Trial

You are entitled to a fair trial, which includes the right to present evidence, call witnesses, and cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses. Your attorney will play a crucial role in building your defense and advocating on your behalf in court.

How an Oklahoma Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help

Facing a misdemeanor charge can be daunting, but having a skilled criminal defense attorney in Miami or anywhere in Oklahoma can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. Here’s how an attorney can assist you:

Case Evaluation

An experienced attorney will thoroughly review the details of your case, including the arrest, evidence, and charges. They will identify any potential weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and develop a strategic defense plan.

Represent You in Court

Your attorney will represent you at all court appearances, negotiate with the prosecution, and advocate for you. They will work to achieve the best possible outcome, whether through plea negotiations, dismissal of charges, or a favorable verdict at trial.

Protecting Your Rights

A knowledgeable attorney will ensure that your legal rights are protected throughout the legal process, from arrest to trial. They will advise you on interacting with law enforcement and handling legal proceedings.

Mitigating Consequences

If a conviction is unavoidable, your criminal defense attorney in Miami can work to mitigate the consequences by negotiating for reduced charges, alternative sentencing options, or leniency in penalties.

Contact Our Oklahoma Criminal Defense Lawyer

Being arrested for a misdemeanor in Oklahoma can have serious implications, but understanding the circumstances that can lead to the arrest and knowing your legal rights can help you navigate the situation more effectively.

At Doney Law, PLLC, our dedicated Oklahoma criminal defense lawyer is committed to providing comprehensive legal support to individuals facing misdemeanor charges. If you or a loved one is facing a misdemeanor arrest, don’t hesitate to contact us for a consultation to discuss your rights and legal options. Your future and freedom are worth protecting.

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