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Some Factors Considered in Negotiating a Plea Bargain in a Tulsa Criminal Case

General Factors Considered by the Tulsa County District Attorneys in Negotiating a Plea Bargain
by Glen R. Graham, Tulsa Criminal Defense Attorney, Tulsa, Oklahoma
In a recent newsletter mailed out by the Tulsa County District Attorney's Office, see link at: - November 2008, issue, there is one article that lists some of the factor's which the Tulsa District Attorney's consider in negotiating a plea which include the following:
* The nature and degree of the offense(s);
* Any possible mitigating circumstances;
* Criminal history of defendant;
* Mental state of the defendant;
* Sufficiency of admissible evidence to support a verdict;
* Any provisions for restitution;
Prosecutors also consider witnesses:
* Availability and willingness to testify;
* Any physical or mental impairment;
* Certainty of indentification;
* Credibility;
* Relationship with defendant;
* Possible improper motive;
* Age of the witness;
* Undue hardship caused by testifying.
Prosecutors consider victims:
* Existence and extent of physical injury and emotional trauma suffered;
* Economic loss suffered by the victim.
"In every prosecution, justice and public safety are our primary considerations."
"We confer with victims before an agreement is reached, if at all possible, and work hard to ensure that justice is served when the evidence and facts allow it. Many times a plea saves victims the emotional toll and uncertain outcome of a trial."
"The community benefits from plea agreements because a guilty plea conserves resources and results in a quick disposition of a case. A guilty plea also means the defendant acknowledges guilty and assumes responsibility for his or her conduct."
"The strength of the prosecution, therefore, rests not on whether the defendant actually committed the crime charged but rather on the evidence to prove that the defendant did."
It is always helpful to have some general understanding of what factors the prosecutor is considering when attempting to negotitate an acceptable plea bargain.
This article did not specify all of the factor that the prosecutor may consider. It does not say which factors are more important than other factors. In balancing all of these factors and other unstated factors, it is sometimes difficult to anticipate which factor will gain more importance than other factors.
For instance, there are multiple alternative courts now designed for specific types of offenses and according to multiple other factors that may or may not be included in this article. The new Tulsa County Veterans Court which may begin November or December of 2008, is a brand new type of plea bargaining process and a special kind of category designed for unique circumstances. Some veterans may be suffering from various adjustment disorders and post trauma stress disorders and certain emotional and psychological problems and some may have traumatic brain injury and others may suffer drug and or alcohol problems or general adjustment problems.
The new Tulsa Mental Health Court for certain non-violent criminal offenses is also a new alternative court designed to offer a unique treatment approach to the traditional punishment mode of the traditional court system.
The new Tulsa Accelerated Accountability Docket and the new Tulsa Community Sentencing Court are also available on a case by case basis for certain specific categoris of non-violent offenses and offers an alternative to the traditional incarceration approach.
The Tulsa Drug Court and the Tulsa DUI Court are available on a case by case basis for certain drug and alcohol offenders and offers an intensive treatment approach as an alternative to the traditional incarceration or more punitive approaches.
Alternative approaches for certain non-violent offenses and for certain non-violent offenders are providing new and alternative avenues for plea bargaining to avoid incarceration and to attempt to obtain real lasting change and rehabilitation while saving substantial tax dollars associated with incarceration costs.
A good discussion of Tulsa's new alternative courts is available at:

The Art and Science of Defending the Accused

The philosophy of defending the accused successfully is both an art and a science. It requires the creativity and ingenuity of an artist and the reality grounded scientific principles of a scientist. A skillful criminal defense attorney is both an artist and a scientist.

A skillful defender should spend significant time, thinking about the case, discussing the facts thoroughly with the defendant, and researching the law, and investigating the facts. Sometimes it is helpful to relive the incident, moment by moment, just like a drama or a play. Sometimes it may be helpful to return to the scene and take pictures.

A skillful lawyer will look at the jury instructions for any legal defenses that are available on the case both factually and legally.

Sometimes it is useful to discuss the facts with other lawyers and see who has had a similar case and what legal arguments are available.

It is always helpful to know the judges preferences and the prosecutor's style.

It is sometimes helpful to Ask other lawyers what they know about the prosecutor and the judge.

With words, the lawyer skillfully paints the client's story in artistic phrases and expresses the defenses in the case to achieve the best possible out-come.

To be blunt, the Best Criminal Defense Lawyer is going to work, work, and work. There is no substitute for hard work.

I almost left out proper reference to Mark Bennett's blog, The Art and Science of Defending People, wherein he says that all lawyers are frustrated artists and the following:

"It is true that defending people well requires creativity. It also requires imagination, curiosity, flexibility, adaptability, and a willingness to take risks. In other words, it takes a childlike mind. A defense lawyer who thinks like a grownup, suppressing the ideas that are likely to be unpopular or unsuccessful, is often going to fail to find the best defense. (This may help explain why so many of us are lousy businessmen.)

We are all born with imaginative, playful, flexible minds (Pablo Picasso said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”). With the help of an educational system and a culture that tell us to “grow up,” most of us get over it: the childlike mind is still there, but suppressed, more or less, under a layer of “maturity.”

Elsewhere, in Bennett's blog: "So who’s the defender and who’s the prosecutor? Well, it’s like they say: Some days you’re the retiarius and some days you’re the secutor."

Lastly, Bennett says: "Someone once told me, and I long accepted, that all lawyers are frustrated artists."

Bennett says it eloquently, skillfully, and artistically, in everyday language anyone can understand.

By Glen R. Graham, Tulsa Criminal Lawyer

Tulsa Criminal Attorney Creative Ideas on Defending DUI and DWI

Tulsa Criminal Attorney Creative Ideas on Defending DUI and DWI
By Glen R. Graham, Tulsa Criminal Attorney, Email:

The Graham Law Firm consists of me and three other attorneys. I am a Tulsa Criminal Attorney who has been defending Tulsa felony and misdemeanor criminal cases including Tulsa DUI and DWI cases for over 21 years now. Some of the creative ideas that I have discovered in defending these types of cases include:

Requesting an administrative hearing on your drivers license within 15 days of the date of your arrest for DUI. You only have 15 days from the date of your arrest to request a hearing on your drivers license. It says that on the back of the temporary license that you should have been given. Everyone is presumed to know the law, so if you fail to request a hearing within 15 days after the date of your arrest you forfeit your right to request a hearing on your drivers license.

The hearing on your drivers license is a "free" chance for me, if I am your lawyer, to challenge the evidence in the case. It is a chance to challenge the basis of the stop and the sufficiency of the evidence.

It is an administrative hearing before a department of public safety official. Most of the time you may lose that hearing but it gives you a chance to hear the evidence and for me as your lawyer to use it as a "discovery" tool. It is worth it to have the hearing because it allows me to discover any weaknesses in the state's case and to see if the officer will show up on the matter.

In a few cases, the officer may not appear and sometimes there are mistakes made and you win the hearing. If you lose the hearing, you have the right to appeal by filing a petition to challenge the sufficiency of the case. It does cost money to appeal but if you win the appeal, sometimes you may be offered a temporary license to drive. Also, you may receive a temporary license to drive while the appeal is pending.

Sometimes, it is useful to obtain written statements from any witnesses who can verify that you were not intoxicated at the time you left the business establishment or other place. It is illegal for a business to serve an intoxicated person. It may be illegal for a person to serve alcohol to an intoxicated person and then to allow them to drive home. Obtaining written statements from people who can verify that you were not intoxicated can be helpful.

The DUI laws are based upon the false assumption that everyone responds the same way to alcohol. It is based upon an "average" response by an "average" size person with "average" characteristics. This false "average" does not exist in the real world. People are made up of different sizes and people absorb alcohol at different rates. People of different sizes, and with different physical conditions, with different circumstances - such as the amount of food in the persons stomach, and whether they have past experiences with alcohol and have developed a "tolerance" to alcohol and are still able to function. There are a multitude of factors that can affect whether a person is actually "over the limit" and d.u.i. or whether they are just a little impaired. The law takes an "average" and attempts to apply this to everyone. Some people believe this law is discriminatory and violates the laws of science but it creates a legal "presumption" of intoxication if one "scores" above the "average" imputed limit. There have been a multitude of articles that argue that this violates the "presumption of innocence" and creates a "presumption of guilt" just because someone violates the "average" when in fact they may not be "average."

I have previously blogged about the "Inherent Unfairness of DUI Laws" in my blog here on June of 2007: The Inherent Unfairness of DUI Laws

I have been practicing law now for over 21 years, and I know all of the Tulsa judges, and I believe I have a good relationship with our judges. I also travel to the surrounding areas and I am a Criminal Attorney for Glenpool, Collinsville, Broken Arrow, Jenks, Bixby, Sapulpa, Owasso, Sand Springs, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and others.

I believe I have a good reputation as an Oklahoma Criminal Attorney, and I am a member of the Oklahoma Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and the Tulsa Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and the Oklahoma DUI Attorney Group, and the Tulsa DUI Attorney Group, and other organizations committed to defending the constitutional rights of people.

The specific facts of the case are always relevant and a good source of defenses. I would encourage you to schedule an appointment with my Tulsa Criminal Attorney Lawyer Office so we discuss the specific facts of your case for any possible defenses. Call my office at (918) 583-4621.

Glen R. Graham, Tulsa Criminal Attorney, Tulsa, Oklahoma


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Tulsa Jail Phone Calls Recorded and Letters Xeroxed

Tulsa Jail Phone Calls Recorded and Letters Xeroxed
by Glen R. Graham, Tulsa Criminal Defense Attorney, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Phone: (918) 583-4621 or email:

Notice to everyone: All telephone calls from the jail are recorded and saved for at least three (3) years and the telephone conversations may be used against you. All letters into and out of the jail are xeroxed and copies are saved for use against the parties at trial or for investigation.

My clients in the Tulsa Jail continue to call me collect on occasion and want to discuss the facts of their case even though their phone calls are being recorded and I have to remind them of the above. They will also call their relatives and friends and sometimes discuss the facts of their case ---- forgetting that the call is being recorded and saved to be used against them.

Please, please, please --- everyone keep in mind the telephone calls from the Tulsa Jail are recorded!

Yours in the Defense of Fellow Human Beings,

Glen R. Graham, Tulsa Criminal Defense Lawyer, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Well, What are You Going to Do for Me? Work, Work, Work!!!

What are You Going to Do For Me? Work, Work, Work!!!
by Glen R. Graham, Oklahoma Criminal Defense Attorney, Email:

Most client's charged with a serious crime want to know what the lawyer is going to do for them. The answer usually boils down to the philosophy of work, work, work. The first step is conducting your own independent investigation of the facts. Maybe, visiting the actual scene of the crime. Consider taking photographs of the scene and looking for evidence. Maybe even take the client back to the scene an re-live the incident --- maybe do some psycho-drama. It can provide real power in testifying when the client re-lives the incident and discusses all the emotions. It can increase the authenticity of the client when testifying in court. I will talk to the witnesses. Especially, I will talk to the client to gather up all the facts in the matter. That's why is can be very frustrating when the client wants to know what you are going to do for me? Well, most importantly, the client must come to the office and discuss the case. You might be surprised how many client's seem to not have the time to come to my office to discuss their case. How can I adequately prepare for the case when the client won't even come to my office? Are they afraid of me? Are they avoiding me because they don't have that payment for me that they promised me some time back? Sometimes, it makes me wonder? It is absolutely necessary to conduct an in depth interview of the client to find out all facts, issues, and all evidence and witnesses in the case.

One thing I will do, I will try to out-work the prosecutor. The prosecutor has multiple cases that he is handling all at the same time. The prosecutor is a professional juggler, handling many cases, hoping none of them fall. My practice is limited to just a few cases by comparison and I can spend more time on the case which should produce a better out-come.

I am going to devise a defense strategy and work on the theme of the case. I am going to research the law and study the statutes and cases dealing with all the issues in the case. I am going to study the facts and the law. One trick I have learned over the years, (21 years) is to look at the jury instructions to see what defenses might be available and to look at the jury instructions regarding the legal issues that will be presented to the jury. However, the jury is also the judge of the facts and therefore I must gather up all relevant facts which will assist me in advocating my client's side of the case to the jury.

I am going to file motions in the case. I am going to file a request and motion for discovery and obtain copies of all the law enforcement reports in this case and any exculpatory evidence. I am going to look for issues around the arrest and the search and seizure. I will file motions to suppress or motions to quash the arrest and/or motions to quash the information and/or motions to dismiss and/or other motions which will assist us in pursuing a defense in the matter.

I am going to prepare for a trial in the case.

I am going to advise my client how to behave, how to dress for court, and what to expect.

I am going to be over-prepared for court. I am going to out-work the prosecutor.

I am going to work, work, work.

Yours in the Defense of Fellow Human Beings,

Glen R. Graham, Attorney for the Accused, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Protecting the Rights to a Fair Trial Against Unfair Media Stories

Protecting the Rights to A Fair Trial Against Unfair Media Stories in Oklahoma by Glen R. Graham, Attorney at Law 918.583-4621

It is important for any trial attorney to be aware of the Code of Professional Journalism at Society of Professional Journalist web site.

One of the options that a good criminal attorney has is to seek a protective order from the court by filing a motion for a protective order. While there are many limitations on "gag" orders and the media may attempt to challenge the constitutionality of the same, it may be possible to seek an order from the court directing the prosecutor and his staff and the law enforcement personnel be prohibited from releasing certain kinds of questionable facts such as:

Illegal Confessions; Statements of the Accused; Questionable Out of Court Identifications; Illegal Evidence or Evidence Illegally Acquired; and the release of any facts which may cause undue prejudice to a fair trial such as the prior criminal record of the accused.

From Wikipedia: “Guaranteeing the presumption of innocence extends beyond the judicial system. For instance, in many countries journalistic codes of ethics state that journalists should refrain from referring to suspects as though their guilt is certain. For example, they use "suspect" when referring to the suspect, and use "allegedly" when referring to the criminal activity that the suspect is accused of.”

“More subtly, publishing of the prosecution's case without proper defense argumentation may in practice constitute presumption of guilt. Publishing a roster of arrested suspects may constitute undeserved punishment as well, since in practice it damages the reputation of innocent suspects.”

Most journalists in the U.S. abide by the Code of Ethics of the Society for Professional Journalists. The code has been revised many times, but today’s code basically instructs journalists to (1) seek truth and report it, (2) minimize harm, (3) act independently and (4) be accountable. The Society of Professional Journalist does not have an enforcement mechanism to enforce its code. It has debated this matter but due to the special nature of the first amendment and the availability of other mechanisms for holding journalist accountable, there is no enforcement mechanism. The code currently is a basic guideline for journalists who are members of the society which is voluntary. Integrity and credibility are considered crucial to many journalists .

Preamble to the Code of Ethics of Professional Journalists
By the Society of Professional Journalists

Preamble to the Code of Ethics of Society for Professional Journalists:

“Members of the Society of Professional Journalists believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist's credibility. Members of the Society share a dedication to ethical behavior and adopt this code to declare the Society's principles and standards of practice.”

Additionally, the Code says journalists should:

Give voice to the voiceless; official and unofficial sources of information can be equally valid.
— Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context.

Minimize Harm - Ethical journalists treat sources, subjects and colleagues as human beings deserving of respect. Journalists should:
— Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by news coverage. Use special sensitivity when dealing with children and inexperienced sources or subjects.

— Be sensitive when seeking or using interviews or photographs of those affected by tragedy or grief.
— Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort. Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance.
— Recognize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than do public officials and others who seek power, influence or attention. Only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone’s privacy.
— Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.
— Be cautious about identifying juvenile suspects or victims of sex crimes.

Be judicious about naming criminal suspects before the formal filing of charges.

Balance a criminal suspect’s fair trial rights with the public’s right to be informed.

Act Independently
-Journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public's right to know.

— Be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable.— Deny favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence news coverage.

Be Accountable> - Journalists are accountable to their readers, listeners, viewers and each other.
— Clarify and explain news coverage and invite dialogue with the public over journalistic conduct.

— Encourage the public to voice grievances against the news media.
— Admit mistakes and correct them promptly.
— Expose unethical practices of journalists and the news media.
— Abide by the same high standards to which they hold others.

Struggling with a dilemma on deadline, or just want to talk about a tough call you've had to make concerning an ethical question about journalism? Call the Society of Professional Journalist at 317/927.8000 x208 Simply make the call, leave a message. The SPJ has many journalists and journalism educators on its ethics committee willing to assist anyone who makes a call to its hotline; that includes non-journalists who have questions about the ethics of journalism but there is no code enforcement mechanism regarding journalists.

The Society of Professional Journalist web site at Society of Professional Journalist web site also has a message board where messages are posted and issues discussed by members at message board of SPJ .

Yours in the Defense of Fellow Human Beings,

Glen R. Graham, Tulsa Criminal Attorney, 918.583.4621

Description of Typical Misdemeanor Case in City Courts: Tulsa, Broken Arrow, Owasso, Jenks, Sand Springs, Glenpool, Bixby

Each case is different and a defendant should always consult an attorney for the correct legal advise. The initial appearance is usually the "arraingment" which is another word for "scheduling." The court will inform the defendant of the charges and enter a not guilty plea and schedule another court date for a conference and inform the defendant of their right to an attorney.

A smart defendant would be wise to consult and retain an attorney. If the defendant enters a plea of guilty to a DUI or a drug charge, the defendant may receive a conviction which results in a suspension of their driving privileges and may result in the suspension of student aid to attend college and other consequences including lost job opportunities and increased insurance costs. However, if the defendant obtains a lawyer, it may be possible to attempt to work out a plea bargain for a lesser offense or a "deferred" sentence which results in a dismissal and expungement with no conviction.

Other options include filing a motion to quash the arrest or to suppress evidence or a motion to dismiss. The defendant should sit down with a lawyer and discuss all of their options which include also the possiblity of a trial or a plea bargain. Each case is different so the defendant should find an experienced lawyer and schedule an appointment to discuss the case.

My name is Glen R. Graham, Attorney at Law, I have have practiced law over 21 years and you should call me to schedule an appointement at (918) 583-4621. I handle all criminal cases in Tulsa and all surrounding areas. Web site:

Tulsa's Best Criminal Defense Attorney or Best Tulsa Criminal Defense Attorney

It is my opinion that the Best Tulsa Criminal Defense Attorney's are members of the Tulsa Criminal Defense Lawyer's Association and the Oklahoma Criminal Defense Lawyer's Association and actively participate in both organizations. Therefore, I, Glen R. Graham, Attorney at Law, Tulsa, Oklahoma, with over 20 years of legal experience, actively participate in both organizations and support both. My web page:
Also, the best Tulsa Criminal Defense Attorney's maintain valuable Tulsa criminal defense information blogs such as:

I am sometimes surprised at how many attorney's simply don't get involved or don't maintain their active involvment or don't even have a web site or a blog. While many attorneys claim to be past or current members, there are some that fail to maintain active participation or maintain web sites or helpful legal blogs which the Best Criminal Defense Attorney's should have !!!

Maybe the attorney is just too busy because they have too much business. Maybe the attorney thinks it is over-valued or that maintaining active participation does not get them a sufficient return on their investment of time and money. Anyone can always have an excuse to not give involved in any group organizations. However, as most people realize, membership has it advantages!

Social networking enables a person to use the knowledge and experiences of another person without having to re-invent something that has already been invented. You can stand on the shoulders of your brothers and sisters in the legal profession and use their common and collective individual experience and knowledge to uplift and improve your ability to win cases.

It seems like "common" sense.

By Glen R. Graham, Attorney at Law, Tulsa, Oklahoma My email: