Explination of the legal term "Question of Fact" as used in Oklahoma Criminal Law

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This is an important concept in criminal law. When a judge says that something is a "question of fact" what the judge is saying is that sufficient evidence exist to create a factual question that must be resolved by a trier of fact. Most often a trier of fact is a jury. However, in some situations it is the judge that is the trier of fact. (Such as if both parties waive the right to a jury trial and choose to have a "bench trial")

Often times when a defendant hears the judge refer to something as a "question of fact" it is bad news. It means that the defense motion, whether a motion to quash or dismiss, has been denied by the Court. However, sometimes it is good news for a defendant, such as when the defendant request a jury instruction that the state is objecting to; in that scenerio the judge ruling that something was a question of fact indicates that there is sufficient evidence to submit that question to a jury.

"Where a fact question is found, a jury then steps in to determine the issue" (See Martinez v State, 80 P.3d 142, 14 (Okla.Cr. 2003)

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