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Understanding Initial Appearance/Arraignment in Oklahoma

If someone is arrested and is still in jail in the Tulsa County Jail, they will appear in court via a video conference and will not actually be physically present in the courtroom. Other counties do things differently. For example in Rogers County in-custody defendants are brought into the courtroom, defendants in Creek County, Okmulgee County, Muskogee County, Wagoner County and Washington County are also brought into the courtroom. If the person has bonded out of jail they will be given a court date and they will need to appear in court at the particular time. In Tulsa County Initial Appearance/Arraignments occur in room 173 of the Tulsa County Courthouse at 9:00 am. Initial Appearance/Arraignments also occure at 9:00 am in Creek County and Okmulgee County. Most courts handle arraignments in the morning. However, in Rogers County Initial Appearance/Arraignments occur at 1:30 pm on the thrird (3rd) floor of the courthouse.

For individuals arrested on probable cause they may be required to return to court on a latter date in order to give the district attorney’s office an opportunity to decide whether formal charges will be filed.

If an individual is arrested after the issuance of arrest warrant, than formal charges have already be filed. If formal charges have already been filed than a defendant will be expected to have an attorney when they appear in Court. If that individual needs some time to hire an attorney they can ask to have their arraignment passed to give them time to hire an attorney. Different counties will give defendants different amounts of time to hire a lawyer. In northeastern Oklahoma Tulsa County is the most liberal court in giving defendants time to hire an attorney.

If an individual is without the ability to hire an attorney than they can request a pauper's affidavit and request that the court appoint an attorney to represent them. If a defendant has bonded out of jail there is a presumption that defendant has the resources to hire an attorney to represent them, as a result it will be difficult to get the judge to appoint an attorney for them.

At arraignment the defendant will be given a copy of the charges filed against them, the Information, a plea of not guilty will be entered at that time and a date for the next hearing will be scheduled. The next hearing will either be a Preliminary Hearing or a Preliminary Hearing Sounding Docket. For example in Tulsa County the next hearing after the Initial Appearance/Arraignment has been completed will be the Preliminary Hearing. However, many other counties in northeastern Oklahoma schedule Preliminary Hearing Sounding Dockets during which the attorneys must announce whether or not their clients wish to have a preliminary hearing or not. For example both Rogers County and Mayes County schedule Preliminary Hearing Sounding Dockets.

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