Criminal Law

The lying meter maid, its not a federal case

Is lying to police about a driver’s conduct fairly attributable to employment duties as a parking enforcement officer? The Tenth Circuit was recently called upon to answer this question. In Schaffer v. Salt Lake City Corp., Diana Schaffer parallel parked in a no parking zone and ticketed by two parking enforcement officers. When Schaffer returned, the officers… read more…

10 Commandments of Police/Citizen Encounters

An encounter with police, a jailer, or any other law enforcement, can be a stressful experience, even for innocent people. Here are 10 rules to remember if you are ever approached by a police officer:  Remain respectful Always maintain the high road. Anything you do that could be perceived as disrespectful (even if lawful), will… read more…

Court: lie detector test may be admissible

Is it true that lie detector tests are not admissible evidence? The prevailing rule is that results of a polygraph are not admissible on the issue of credibility. Such a rule would jeopardize a suspects civil rights and presumption of innocence if the jury placed too much emphasis on the test results, which are subject… read more…

DUI conviction: Can I seal my court record?

DUI files are public records. Employers, co-workers, landlords, and friends can find records of a DUI conviction through simple searches or through more expensive backgrounds checks. But is there a way to seal those records? In Ober v. Okla. Dept. of Public Safety, (issued Jan. 5, 2016) the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals affirmed its strong preference… read more…

Why the shooting of Eric Harris was not justified

Last Friday, the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Department held a press conference to explain why the shooting of Eric Harris was justified and consistent with protocols. The department also released a video of the incident. While the video supports the claim that Harris was shot by a deputy who believed that he was using a Taser,… read more…

Is a bartender responsible for over-serving you?

Does a bartender at a commercial business have any responsibility when serving alcohol? The answer is generally, yes. Under Oklahoma’s dram shop laws– laws governing bars that serve alcohol– a bartender who over-serves a visibly intoxicated patron can be held criminally liable, but, as discussed in greater detail below, there are several factors that make proving… read more…

Rape of Sapulpa Student May Implicate Title IX Harassment

A Sapulpa assistant softball coach was found dead in an apparent suicide after Creek County officials officially charged him in the rape of a 17 year old softball player. The body of Brad Alan Evans was discovered by deputies when they entered his home to serve the charges of Second Degree Rape. The Sapulpa school… read more…

Boating DUI bill passes House

The Oklahoma state House of Representatives has passed a bill to strengthen the penalties for boating while intoxicated. This firm previously covered the problems with Oklahoma’s boating while intoxicated laws. You can access that coverage here. House bill 1714 imposes new restrictions that compel the suspension of a person’s driver’s license. For a first offense,… read more…

Police Misconduct Clear In Takedown of Indian National

A widely circulated dashcam video of officer Eric Parker shows him slamming Sureshbhai Patel to the ground causing possible paralysis in a brazen display of police misconduct. Patal, an innocent man, was simply out on a morning walk. The excessive force used by Parker has shed light on a growing problem among law enforcement- police… read more…

Do I have to show my ID to police?

Citizen-police encounters often begin with an officer asking for identification. People generally provide this information without questioning the legitimacy of the request. In circumstances where a citizen does question the officer, a typical response is generally, “because I’m a police officer,” or “because I said so.” But what if the officer is wrong? What if… read more…