Tahlequah Attorney BlogDoes McGirt Just Apply To New Cases?

There Are Benefits To Filing Motion Even With An Older Case

Video Transcribed: What happens if you’re a native American in Eastern Oklahoma with a really old case? Can you still file a McGirt motion? My name is Ryan Cannonie, I am the Tahlequah family attorney for the Wirth Law Office in Tahlequah. And the McGirt decision that came out this summer is still just reverberating through the legal community and how criminal and even family law is handled in Eastern Oklahoma.

One question I get from clients and potential clients a lot is, well, how old can it be? Well, the thing with McGirt is it goes all the way back to like the 1800s because what we’re talking about here is the fact that Oklahoma, as a state, did not have jurisdiction, did not have the right and authority to handle a Native American defendants’ case in the state court. So even if your case is pretty old, you can still file a McGirt motion in most situations.

One that comes to mind is a client with a 2008 case. Now he’s long since served any time or in that case, he didn’t have time, he had probation. But he’s long since done all that, been over for 10 years.

However, one thing that is still affecting him is his fines and costs. I had talked with another person the other day that has gone to prison, is out of prison, has thousands of dollars in court fines and cost payments, and probation and parole fees, all this type of stuff.

A McGirt motion says that from the very beginning, the state did not have the right to prosecute you. So they had no right to put those fines or those costs on you. So that’s one thing that I think people need to understand about a McGirt decision, it’s not just, Oh, well, I have a current case file. I can use this to maybe roll the dice on going fed or going tribal if they want to pick it up. It goes well beyond all that.

It can help you maybe get some things back together. The one person I talked to had a lot of fines and court costs, that’s weighing them down every month. It keeps them from moving forward. It’s hard to work a job.

A, it’s hard to work a job and get a job if you have to check the box on a felony. But B, it’s even worse when you’re still having to pay court costs and fines and show up for court costs, docket reviews, and all that type of stuff that gets in your way.

So if you find yourself in this situation, give us a call. We can do a free consultation and see if we can help. Go to our website. It’s tahlequahattorney.com. The number is 918-932-2800. Either way, let us know, and we can probably help you out with your situation. Thank you.

Bookmark and Share