Preparing for trial in Muskogee Creek Nation
What’s it like heading to a criminal trial in the Muscogee Creek Nation? My name is Ted Hasse. I practice law in federal and tribal courts in Oklahoma. I want to talk today about what it’s like for defendants in Muscogee Creek Nation as they’re added particularly specifically into a jury trial term.
By this point, you will have gone through initial appearance through arraignment. There would have been disposition hearing dates, perhaps multiple disposition hearing dates. Your retained counsel will have looked carefully at all of the evidence. Perhaps there would have been some motion practice demanding more evidence or more documents from the Muscogee Creek Nation. Perhaps there would have been some suppression hearings. There will have been jury sounding docket, a very busy docket with lots of people where your attorney would have gotten a number of deadlines including deadlines for trial motions, deadlines for jury selection or voir dire, and deadlines for jury instructions.
Preparing for the Trial
Once we are through these steps, you will have between the time that there was jury sounding and you would have shown up with your counsel. Probably, there will usually be motion hearings oftentimes on what evidence can or can’t be introduced to trial. These will usually be called motions in lemonade.
Finally, ticking down, you’ll arrive at maybe the final week before your jury term. You will have already gotten a number indicating where you are in the list of maybe up to a dozen cases, maybe more. This is a court where it’s surprising you can be 13th on the list on a Thursday right before the jury term. Then, you can find yourself Monday or Tuesday getting a call from the court saying, okay, it’s time. You’re going to trial. We’ll see lots of cases being resolved or possibly dismissed by the nation just right at the very end.
The Trial Process
At this point, you’re with your lawyer. There’s been a lot of preparation. You’ll have your witnesses. You’ll have your exhibits. Once this table is set and once you get that call from the court, you’re going to have to be ready. You’re going to be instructed by the court and also by your attorney that starting with Monday of that jury term, you’re going to have to be ready every day.
A good attorney is going to be in touch every day with the court and the courtroom deputies to find out where they are in terms of who’s next on the list, who’s about to go to trial. Once you sit down with a jury and start jury selection, their jeopardy attaches and there’s no going back. The nation can’t back out then and refile. They got to move forward with their case and they got to make the best case they possibly can.
Seek the Help of an Experienced Attorney
If you or a loved one is headed to trial in Muskogee Creek Nation or just facing any criminal charges, you’re going to want a good counsel that’s experienced. That’s experienced dealing with the nation and the prosecutors there and experienced with the judges. I’m one of those attorneys. Again, my name is Ted Hasse. I can be reached at (918) 947-6552.