CRIMINAL DEFENSE IN OKLAHOMA
If you are being investigated for involvement in criminal activity, have been placed under arrest or had a warrant issued for your arrest, or have been charged with a crime, you likely have questions about the charges against you, the criminal justice process you face, potential penalties associated with conviction, and your rights as a defendant. Though nothing can replace personal legal counsel in addressing your specific questions, this page is intended to address some of the questions most frequently asked by individuals facing criminal charges. For a thorough consultation and confidential evaluation of your case, contact Oklahoma City defense attorney Ryan Coventon.
What should I do if I have been arrested?
If you are placed under arrest, it is important that you do not resist arrest, as your resistance can only lead to further criminal charges and additional complications. Rather, be cooperative but protect your right to remain silent. Do not say anything to investigators or police without first consulting your attorney. Ask to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney can provide skillful legal counsel from the outset of your case and can help you avoid making critical mistakes that could jeopardize your defense.
How can I get out of jail after an arrest?
After requesting a lawyer, your next step after an arrest should be to get out of jail as quickly as possible. Generally, your bail amount will be set by the judge and you have several available methods for getting out of jail:
- Post a cash bond – Pay the bond yourself to insure that you meet all court appearances. If you successfully appear for all court dates, your bond will be returned to you at the end of your case. If you fail to appear, you forfeit your bond and may be required to return to jail pending the resolution of your case.
- Hire a bail bondsman – A bail bondsman may post bond for you in return for a percentage of the bond amount. At the end of your case, the bond will be returned to the bondsman and you forfeit the amount paid to the bondsman. If you ever fail to appear for your court dates, the bondsman will send a bounty hunter to find you and return you to jail
- Be released on an Own Recognizance Bond – If a jail is at capacity, you have been arrested on complaint of a minor offense, and/or you have no history of failure to appear, a booking officer may release you on your own recognizance. In this case, you do not have to post a cash bond, but you may be returned to jail or be required to pay a significant bond if you fail to appear.
In the most serious cases, a judge may order a defendant to be held without bond. In other cases, your defense attorney may be able to successfully motion for a reduced bond amount.
Do I need a criminal defense lawyer to represent me?
Yes. You are not required to hire a criminal attorney, but failure to do so will almost always end disastrously. An attorney has not only the legal knowledge necessary to successfully navigate the criminal justice process and to utilize the finer points of law in your defense, but he or she also has access to invaluable resources that could aid refuting the evidence against you or discovering evidence to support your innocence. Furthermore, an attorney is a skillful professional who can help you protect your constitutional rights and keep you from making serious errors that could lead to conviction.
What are my rights as a suspect or a person accused of a crime?
You are granted certain rights under the United States Constitution, and Oklahoma criminal defense attorney Ryan Coventon can help you assert and protect those rights. It is important that you are aware of your rights and you take advantage of the protections they offer. Your rights include:
- The right to remain silent
- The right to legal counsel
- The right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure
- The right to subpoena witnesses
- The right to a speedy trial, free from unreasonable delays
- The right to a jury trial
- The right to due process of law
- The right to be free from double jeopardy (being tried twice for the same crime)
- The right to an appeal
Violation of any of these rights can lead to an unjust conviction. By upholding your right to an attorney, you can ensure that these other rights remain intact.
If I have been convicted of a crime, can I erase my criminal record?
Yes, under certain conditions. You may be eligible for an expungement of your criminal record if you successfully complied with the probationary terms of a deferred sentence or if your misdemeanor or non-violent felony meets certain criteria, including factual innocence, acquittal, no subsequent offenses, and other conditions. Your lawyer can explain your options for sealing your record and explain your eligibility for each type of Oklahoma expungement.
For answers to questions about your specific case, call attorney Ryan Coventon for a no-risk consultation and case evaluation.