Tahlequah Attorney BlogWhat’s the Difference in Misdemeanor, Felony, or Crime in the Cherokee Nation Courts System?

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Video Transcribed: “Misdemeanor, felony, crime.” What do all these mean as it relates to being charged within the Cherokee Nation? Hi, my name is Ryan Cannonie. I’m a Tahlequah attorney with the Wirth Law office in Tahlequah. And one thing that I’ve noticed, and one thing that I’ve had clients ask about, is the distinction between a misdemeanor, felony, or crime as they’re charged out in the Cherokee Nation.

Well, the reason for some of this confusion is because previous to the Hogner and McGirt rulings just within the past six months or so … In fact, when the tribes started changing their statutes, they didn’t have any of the offenses listed as felony or misdemeanor. In fact, all of their offenses were listed as, “Crimes.” It was just a general designation of, “You are in the commission of a crime.”

So the punishment ranges were given at that time, but it wasn’t like in Oklahoma statutes where you have a designation up and the definitions of what’s a misdemeanor, what’s a felony.

However, now there is a designation of misdemeanor and felony. That was brought in through some of the new amendments that have been made to the Cherokee Nation Code.

So what does this mean for you? Well, if you have an older case, then you may just be charged with a crime rather than actually charged with a felony out there.

Now, your time on it, you have to look at what the penalty is and that type of aspect. But it’s a little different than being charged as a felony because up until recently, felonies were not designated in the same way they are currently.

If you have questions about this, if you have a Cherokee Nation case, if you have a criminal case out there, specifically, and you have a need for some information, if you’re looking for an attorney, then please give us a call.

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