Domestic Violence Could Be Hard to Get a Good Deal from in Court
Video Transcribed: What can you expect if you or a loved one is charged with domestic violence in an Indian country? My name’s Ted Hasse. I’m a Tulsa attorney. I practice in Oklahoma in federal and tribal courts.
I’m going to talk in a series here about some of the most common charges that I see in federal court, and the most common charges I see in tribal court. Domestic violence is one that we see in both federal and tribal courts. The most obvious distinction that I’m finding is in a domestic violence incident that involves a gun, essentially every time I’m seeing that filed in federal court, you end up in the big leagues if there was a gun involved.
Domestic violence cases can be very serious. They can be claims of strangulation or other alleged felony conduct, and that can still end up in tribal court. Something folks are surprised to discover when it happens to them, domestic violence is the only charge for which a non-Native American can be charged in tribal court. So that’s something that can happen. And now with the recent Supreme Court ruling in Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta, now domestic violence committed by a non-Native American against a Native American, there are three jurisdictions that can charge now, the state of Oklahoma through one of the counties, one of the tribal nations and then federal court.
With tribal court, domestic violence is probably the charge that they take most seriously or that they tend to be harshest about. It’s the charge that they are least likely to give a defendant a good deal, while there’s a lot of other charges that if you end up with in tribal court, the AG’s office may look at you and say, maybe there’s something we can do with you with rehab or something like that.
Domestic violence is the hardest charge to get those a better deal, and there are a number of reasons for that. One of the reasons is there’s a separate department. For example, Muscogee Creek Nation has a separate department for domestic violence, where alleged victims of domestic violence go and they get their own advocate. I think the AG runs up against advocates who are hostile to good deals for alleged wife-beaters and perpetrators of domestic violence.
If you or a loved one is being charged with domestic violence, either in tribal court or in federal court, give me a call. My name is Ted Hasse, a federal criminal defense lawyer in Oklahoma. I can be reached at (918) 932-2800. I’d be glad to talk to you about how I can help.