Knowing the scope of McGirt ruling
Were you recently charged with a felony, but you knew it would be dismissed because of the new McGirt ruling, but you don’t really know what happened after that? McGirt ruling Oklahoma changes past and current prosecution in Oklahoma. The Federal Defense Attorney can help if you are convicted of a crime and McGirt applies to you. The Oklahoma Federal Defense Attorney can determine whether McGirt ruling had an impact on your case. This includes past cases where you have been convicted and paid fees and charges to the State. Also if you need a belief removed from your records, we can do that.
The Oklahoma McGirt ruling has had significant consequences. For example, many tribal members convicted of crimes under Oklahoma law become eligible for dismissal. Although initial beliefs could be rejected, the tribes could always sue the people under tribal law. Also, the Federal Government retains, under the plenary power doctrine, the right to prosecute cases in Federal Courts under Federal law.
Changes under the decision are far-reaching. However, they are not automatic. Tribal members are required to petition the court to be released from their sentences or imprisonment. Sentences continue to apply unless the court determines which tribal members are eligible for release. Regarding the current prosecution, Tribe members must file a motion to stop the case. In a motion to dismiss a Tribe member must make a statement of jurisdiction that meets McGirt’s standards. Many tribal members seek damages in state courts for their sentences. Prosecutors and police across East Oklahoma must determine whether the person they suspect of committing a crime or being arrested is a member of the tribe. They must also determine whether the crime is considered a major crime committed on tribal lands.
McGirt’s Application of Minor Offenses
McGirt’s case relates to crimes committed on the Muscogee State (Creek) reservation that are named in the Major Crimes Act. The law stipulates that prosecution of Tribal members cannot be carried out in State courts if it is for a “grave crime” that occurred in the State of Indian.
However, the State argues that it has the right to prosecute tribal members for all lesser offenses, such as misdemeanors in reservations. The general consensus is that the State is not in a position to prosecute tribal members for crimes committed in the Indian State and this includes misdemeanors and felony crimes.
Basically, the Court made clear that Oklahoma has no jurisdiction to prosecute Indians who committed crimes on Indian Land or to prosecute persons who committed crimes against Indians on Indian Lands.
The decision only applies to Muscogee (Creek) State, although the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has also applied the decision to Chickasaw State. This combined opinion resulted in the criminal conviction being overturned, as well as the charge being dismissed in Oklahoma State Court.
The Tribes and the Federal Government still have jurisdiction to handle these cases, though it’s uncertain whether they have the manpower or infrastructure to handle such a tough task. Until now, this opinion was relevant only in Muscogee (Creek) Nation and Chickasaw Nation; however, it is possible that other opinions will apply this same rule to more Tribes in the future. A competent attorney can advise you on the pros and cons, as well as the application of these laws.