Divisions & Services | Criminal Process | Meet the District Attorney | Preliminary Hearings | Sentences
Welcome to the Oklahoma County District Attorney's website. In partnership with community and law enforcement agencies, the District Attorney's Office is responsible for the ethical prosecution of criminal offenses committed in Oklahoma County.
In accordance with Title 22 O.S. 991a(A)(1) 22 O.S. 991c, the District Attorney's Office is required by Law to order every defendant with a 2 year probation sentence, either through the Department of Corrections or Community Sentencing, a $40 reimbursement fee to begin within 30 days from the sentencing date.
Payments may be mailed or delivered to:
Oklahoma County District Attorney's Office
ATTN: DA Reimbursement Department
320 Robert S Kerr Ave, #505
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
*Do not mail cash. Make money order payable to: OKDA
Pay online by visiting GovPayNet. Learn more below.
The Bogus Check services provided by the Oklahoma County District Attorney's Office has benefited many Oklahoma County merchants. Each year the business community loses millions of dollars as a result of bogus checks. Many businesses have actually had to close their doors because of these losses. To assist in the fight against crime, the Bogus Check Restitution Program was established and designed to recover as much of the merchant's money as possible.
Since its inception in 1982, the District Attorney's Office has collected and returned over 50 million dollars to the merchants of Oklahoma County. This program is of no burden to the taxpayers of the State of Oklahoma and is available to all merchants free of charge - as it is solely funded by the fees assessed to the bogus check writers.
If you are a merchant and would like more information concerning this program, call the Bogus Check and Restitution Division at (405) 713-2266 and/or download the Merchant Packet below. Please feel free to read the Welcome Letter from David Prater (PDF) for more information.
The Oklahoma County Bogus Check and Restitution Program require that victims register with our office. To do so, please download the forms, fill out the forms completely, and return the Merchant Packet (PDF) to the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Bogus Check and Restitution Division at 320 Robert S. Kerr, Suite 505, Oklahoma City, OK 73102. If you have questions about completing these forms, you can call (405) 713-2266. All forms MUST be signed, completed and returned to the Bogus Check and Restitution Division within 120 days of the transaction.
There is NO CHARGE to you or any citizen who receives a bogus check. There IS a charge to the check writer.
Where Does the Check Writer Pay for Checks?
Once the bogus check is in the possession of the District Attorney, ALL PAYMENTS MUST BE MADE THROUGH THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE. If you should encounter the check writer, direct him or her to contact the District Attorney's Bogus Check and Restitution office on the 5th Floor of the Oklahoma County Courthouse, (405) 713-1698.
When located, if the check writer is unable to make full payment at that time, the District Attorney may allow the check writer to enter into a Restitution Agreement payable over time (but no longer than three  years). Please understand that when this happens the merchant will receive what is due them first, then any state fees or court costs will be paid last. Under this plan, the District Attorney may prosecute a check writer who fails to comply with his or her restitution agreement.
1. ASK FOR IDENTIFICATION.
A Driver's License is a good form of identification. Make sure the name on the Driver's License is the same as the name on the check. Look at the picture. Is it the same person?
You must be able to identify the check writer in case of prosecution.
2. INITIAL THE CHECK.
We must know which employee took the check.
3. LIST THE FOLLOWING INFO ON THE CHECK:
* Driver's License Number and State of Issuance
* Date of Birth
* Physical Description (height, weight, hair and eye color)
* Place of employment (or phone number)
These procedures take a little extra time, but will make a big difference in our ability to serve you. Businesses that do not ask for proper identification are likely to find themselves to be a favorite target of bogus check writers. Previously, checks with numbers below 300 were the majority of bad checks. However, a person can start their check numbers anywhere they want now. With this in mind some banks will print on the check the month and year that the account was opened. Be wary of new accounts.
1. Is it a crime to bounce a check?
In many cases a check returned from the bank because of insufficient funds, a closed account or a non-existent account may be prosecutable and punishable by law under Oklahoma Statutes Title 21, Sections 1541.1 – 1541.4.
2. Is the business or individual to whom the check was written required to notify you if the check gets returned before proceeding with criminal action?
No. Only your financial institution is required by law to attempt to notify you of a returned check.
3. Must my returned check be presented to my bank twice before criminal action can be taken?
No. Legal action can be taken as soon as 5 days have passed from the date on the returned check.
4. What can happen to me if I write a check that does not clear the bank?
Depending upon the circumstances in which your check was written, there are many possibilities as to how an individual or business could handle a returned check.
Some of the possibilities might include the victim may choose to contact you and give you the opportunity to pay the check, the victim may choose a civil remedy and file the check in small claims court a private attorney or a collection agency which may result in judgment against you or the victim may choose to proceed criminally and refer it to the District Attorney’s Office for collection and/or prosecution in which substantial fees are assessed and prosecution may be pursued. In almost every case, fees will be assessed costing you much more than the face value of the check.
5. I did not realize there were not sufficient funds in my account. Can I still be penalized if my check is returned?
Yes. You are responsible for your account and insuring that adequate funds are available for every check you write. The law assumes there is “knowledge and intent to defraud” if a check is returned from the bank because of insufficient funds, a closed account or a non-existent account is not paid within 5 days.
6. Can a business refuse to take my check?
Yes. Checks are not legal tender; therefore, the acceptance of a check is left to the discretion of each business.
7. When passing a check, do I have to provide the information required by some businesses?
No. You do not have to provide any information if you do not wish to give it. However, a business can also refuse your check based on its acceptance policies.
8. I have a practice of "floating" checks a few days before payday. How many days does it take a check to clear the bank?
“Floating” checks is not legal. Checks should only be written if adequate funds are immediately available in your account to cover each check written. With networking of many computer systems, some checks may actually clear the bank the same day they are written.
The Oklahoma County Juvenile Detention Facility is an 80 bed Facility designed for short-term secure placement of Juveniles in Oklahoma County. The Facility is licensed by the Office of Juvenile Affairs and is subject to the rules and regulations as established by that State Agency. Audits by the State and other applicable regulatory agencies have proven the quality of care and accountability far exceeds the minimum requirements. The American Correctional Association has given its highest ratings to this Facility and the professionalism of its staff. The Facility has been accredited since 1990.
Residents of this Facility have all committed serious violations of the law and are placed in custody for the safety of the community and themselves. Their time while in the Facility though is viewed as an opportunity to learn, reflect and change their behavior. It is the goal to release back to the community, a teenager who can resume a productive and healthy lifestyle, and who will stay out of further contact with the Juvenile Justice System.
The methods that are utilized are ones of accountability and positive rewards for appropriate behavior. Juveniles placed in the custody of the Facility have a high percentage of performing well while in detention and are then prepared to meet the challenges they face once they are released.
The Drug and Alcohol Unit provides drug-testing services to juveniles and adults ordered to participate through Juvenile-Court. Services are provided through 3 programs.
This program is for first-time juvenile drug or alcohol offenders. They are required to complete 6 consecutive weeks of negative drug testing and 6 drug education classes. They must also be participating in an approved educational program. If they are successful, no charges are filed.
This is a drug-testing program offered to juveniles and adults as part of their probation or service plan. All participants are Court ordered. They are required to complete 6 consecutive weeks of negative drug testing. Any missed appointments or positive drug tests cause them to start the 6 weeks over again.
This program focuses on juveniles who have demonstrated an inability to control their drug use through their failure to successfully complete the LINK or Diversion Program. This is an effort to help the juvenile be successful by becoming and remaining drug-free. Participants are ordered to the program for 6 months. Requirements include weekly drug testing, a tight curfew, participation in an educational program and community service work. In addition, all clients participate in a drug/alcohol assessment to determine needs and are placed in appropriate treatment. All clients are required to attend frequent Administrative Hearings to review their status and as an opportunity to praise success and/or address problems. Consequences or sanctions may be imposed as needed. The client's requirements will change as they progress through the program. If the client is successful at the end of the six months, all charges are dismissed.
The Court frequently requires a drug test to determine the outcome of a hearing, whether a child can be released from detention or if a child can be returned to the parent in a deprived matter. The Drug and Alcohol Unit provides this service to the Court as needed.
In most cases, the Intake Unit is the first contact that a juvenile has with the Juvenile Justice System after the police department. The Intake Diversion Unit has a variety of duties but the 5 primary responsibilities of the unit are:
After receipt of each referral, the Intake Officer arranges an appointment with the defendant (juvenile) and the parents/legal guardians to conduct a mandatory pre-adjudication interview. The interview consists of discussing the offense(s), gathering information regarding school, friends, behaviors, parental information, etc. After this interview, the officer will make a recommendation to the District Attorney as to whether they believe the juvenile would benefit from a non-judicial program, or, if charges need to be filed and the youth referred to Court for formal action.
Intake Officers are available 24 hours a day to receive and screen calls from various law enforcement agencies within Oklahoma County requesting admission of a juvenile to the detention facility. The detention screening process is made up of reviewing and evaluating the juvenile’s current offense, past history, protection of the community and whether the juvenile would be available to the court, when so ordered.
As an alternative to filing a charge against the juvenile, the Intake Officer may in certain cases, design and monitor a Deferred Filing Agreement with the juvenile, the parents/guardian and the District Attorney. The Intake Officer’s main responsibility is to assist the juvenile and family in identifying problem areas, set up programs to help correct these problems by facilitating the family’s participation in these programs. This process is provided to correct the negative behavior while providing consequences for the commission of offenses.
Certification studies are conducted at the order of the Court. The certification hearing is conducted when the District Attorney has filed a “Motion for Certification” on a juvenile and the court has found prosecutable merit in the case. It is a study to help the Court determine if the juvenile should be handled as an adult. These studies are done in conjunction with a psychological study performed by a psychologist. These studies speak to the type of offense that was committed, past history, age and rehabilitative possibilities of the juvenile.
When a juvenile has been placed into secure detention and it is believed that he/she may need some supervision but does not need to be in a secure facility, they may be referred to the Home Bound Program. This program provides juveniles pending court with less restrictive supervision. The juvenile and parent/legal guardians must agree to a set of rules designed for the juvenile. These rules will involve at the very least, adult supervision of a parent/legal guardian and the attendance of school or work. The juvenile must report at least 2 times per day by telephone and is seen daily, in person by the Home Bound Officer.
Ages 13 to 17
Ages 15 to 17
Ages 16 to 17
The Probation Unit of the Oklahoma County Juvenile Bureau is mandated to provide probation services to juveniles of Oklahoma County by State Statutes. Probation is a legal status imposed by the court upon entering a disposition order. It allows juveniles who have been adjudicated and made wards of the Court to remain in their homes under court supervision rather than being placed out of the home.
Probation is a service that provides the community with protection, accountability of the juvenile, and promotes competency (rehabilitation of the juvenile). Juveniles are monitored by Officers of the Court (Juvenile Officers). The mission of the Probation Unit is to reduce the recidivism of juvenile delinquency by providing direct rehabilitative and supervisory services and arranging for the development and/or utilization of specialized community-based services. An individualized probation plan is formulated to address the needs of the client, his or her family and the community. Strong emphasis is placed on protection of the community, accountability of the juvenile, and competency development for the juvenile. Each plan attempts to achieve a balance between the client's needs for educational and vocational training, emotional growth and interpersonal development in the community with the need to protect the community from delinquent acts.
Upon assignment of the case, the Juvenile Officer contacts the parents or guardians of the client and schedules the initial office visit. During the first visit, the Juvenile Officer begins to establish a working relationship with the family. An assessment of the client's behavior and educational level is initiated and the identification of the predominant family dynamics is begun. Following the first visit, the officer meets with the family in their home. This provides unique insights into the factors that influenced the client and his/her behavior.
After a comprehensive family history has been completed and problem areas identified, a probation plan is formulated. The plan has to be filed 30 days after the adjudication hearing. The plan includes treatment goals and action steps that involve the client, his/her family and the Juvenile Officer.
Once a disposition plan has been adopted by the Court, the process of supervision begins. During the time the juvenile is on probation, the family and Juvenile Officer work together to achieve the identified goals. The duration of probation depends on the juvenile and his/her compliance. If a juvenile is not complying in some areas, sanctions can be applied. The goal for the client is successful completion of his/her plan within 6 months. When non-compliance continues and a juvenile commits an additional offense, the Juvenile Officer may ask for revocation to be filed, which would revoke the client's probation and the Court would order placement with the Office of Juvenile Affairs.
The Post Adjudication Review Board is an innovative program that was developed as the result of federal and state legislation during the 1980s. The program was created out of concern for the welfare of each child's right to grow up in a family that cares for his or her needs.
In Oklahoma County, there are approximately 16 different boards made up of interested citizens living within our judicial district. The Commission on Children and Youth appoints volunteer board members through the recommendation of Judge Richard Kirby, presiding judge of the Oklahoma County Juvenile Court. A single P.A.R.B. is usually made up of 5 or 6 members who conduct reviews of court cases involving children who have been adjudicated as deprived.
Adjudicated is defined as one of the juvenile judges has made a legal finding, determination or decision in a case. An adjudicated deprived child is a child that has not had proper parental or adult care and most usually has been a victim of abuse, neglect or abandonment. After adjudication, these children are in out-of-home placements such as foster homes, relatives' homes or other residential settings.
P.A.R.B. members are people just like you; people who have a concern for the quality of life children experience today along with a desire to help our children enjoy a brighter future. The volunteers come from all walks of life and often include business owners, retirees, teachers, foster parents, attorneys, homemakers, physicians, nurses, ministers, social service providers and daycare personnel.
Case information is confidential and all members must strictly adhere to the Law of Confidentiality. Boards meet monthly and meetings usually last for several hours. All boards for Oklahoma County meet at the Juvenile Center in Oklahoma City at varying times of the day to accommodate busy people who volunteer for this important work. It is the job of the board to evaluate the goals of each individual case and the progress made toward these goals. Through written recommendations, the board advises the court whether these goals and services are being met and whether they are in the best interest of the child involved. For more information on how you can volunteer for this important community service, please contact Callis Marie Hernandez, P.A.R.B. Coordinator, at 405-713-6457.
The SEA (Service-Education-Accountability) Program provides supervised work for children involved through the juvenile court system to complete community service to pay restitution to their victims. There are 8 to 10 juveniles participating on Saturdays and Sundays from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Litter clean-up, gardening, graffiti removal, planting, packaging food, organizing clothes, leaf raking and painting are a few examples of the types of work the youth are involved in.
The Sea Program contracts with non-profit organizations to accomplish the following goals:
Contact Ravin Harrison at 405-713-6626 or DeAnna Dixon at 405-713-6452 for more information.
David W. Prater
Homicide Family Coordinator
Juvenile Detention Administrator
Callis Marie Hernandez
Victim Witness Center
For online payment services, visit the District Attorney's GovPayNet page.
In 2008, David Prater, the Oklahoma County District Attorney, assigned one Prosecutor to handle only domestic violence cases. An investigator and support staff were assigned to the Team and over the past several years, additional prosecutors have been added to address the overwhelming number of domestic violence cases being filed each year. Prosecution of domestic violence cases are challenging by nature due to fearful or resistant victims.
These victims are often ‘repeat victims' who need assistance to break the cycle of abuse, and following through with prosecution is an important step. The Domestic Violence Prosecution Team goals are victim safety, offender accountability, and treatment of underlying issues such as but not limited to mental health and substance abuse problems that can be contributing factors in domestic violence The Oklahoma County District Attorney's Office prosecutes more domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault cases than any other in the state.
Oklahoma statute defines domestic abuse as "any act of physical harm, or the threat of imminent physical harm which is committed by an adult, emancipated minor, or minor child 13 years of age or older against another adult, emancipated minor or minor child who are family or household members or who are or were in a dating relationship." Domestic violence involves a pattern of behavior as opposed to a single isolated incident. Perpetrators and victims are of every age, gender, race religion, ethnicity and social status.
All Prosecutors work closely with local law enforcement to gather evidence, work with the victim to encourage participation in the judicial process, and educate victims, families and offenders on breaking the cycle of violence. The dedicated Domestic Violence Prosecution Team works closely with the Domestic Violence Victim Advocate to provide the extra attention victims need. Service referrals, safety planning, and aggressive prosecution of the abuser is implemented and the Domestic Violence Team strives for a ‘no dismissal' policy through effective, timely and evidence based prosecution.
The Oklahoma County District Attorney's Office is committed to reducing violence in Oklahoma County and is evident through community partnerships and collaborations. The Oklahoma County District Attorney's Office actively participated in the creation of a Coordinated Community Response Team, with the purpose of creating systematic change, resulting in a community where victims are safe and abusers are held accountable.
The Domestic Violence Prosecution Team also facilitates quarterly Court School in which victims, and their friends and family are educated on the court process and what to expect throughout their experience. View more information on Court School (PDF)
The Office of the District Attorney is dedicated to removing the most dangerous gang members from our streets and neighborhoods. Violent criminal gang activity is a continual epidemic in Oklahoma County. These brutal criminal activities, combined with the gang-related drug and weapons crime is the leading criminal threat to the community.
The Oklahoma County District Attorney's Office has 5 prosecutors dedicated to handle a consistent case load of gang cases and has made a significant impact in combating gang criminal activities that are in fact a plague to the community.
The Gang Unit Prosecutors are dedicated solely to gang cases. The Gang Unit specializes in the vertical prosecution of serious and violent felonies committed by documented gang members. As a result, they are better able to respond efficiently and prosecute difficult cases because they understand the gang mentality and behaviors. A complex issue has a seemingly straightforward effect:
The more gang-related crimes which include violence, drugs and weapons that are efficaciously prosecuted result in a safer community and a reduction in the community crime rates.
For more information and helpful links, view the Victim Resources (PDF).
Oklahoma State Statutes provide that as part of the sentence or plea agreement, the Court can order the defendant to pay restitution to the victim of the crime. Restitution may only be ordered in cases where evidence is shown to the Court of actual expenses the victim has incurred because of the crime. Some types of expenses the Court may consider include:
Restitution can not be ordered for pain and suffering or for expenses that can't be documented. However, the judge in the case may order the restitution for up to 3 times the actual economic loss presented to the Court. This is usually done when the victim has continuing losses from the crime. For example, if the tools of the victim's trade were stolen, the victim would not only be out the current value of the tools, but the difference between the cost of the used tools and the brand new tools, and the loss of income from jobs the victim could not perform without the tools. The judge will consider all these factors when determining the actual amount of restitution to order. In addition, judges have an option to order interest to accrue on the restitution amount until it is paid in full.
A victim presents evidence of loss to the Court by completing a Restitution Recovery Form and providing documentation (bills, insurance statements, pay stubs, etc.) that show the amount of the loss. The Restitution Recovery Form and documentation should be given to the prosecutor or the District Attorney's Victim Witness Advocate prior to the sentencing date or the date of any plea agreement.
If all or part of the victim's expenses are paid through a state agency, (i.e. Worker's Compensation or the Crime Victim Compensation), the judge may decide to order the defendant to pay restitution to those agencies to reimburse them.
Upon receipt of your subpoena, please call the District Attorney's Office at the number listed on your subpoena to confirm your court appearance. If your telephone number(s) or address has changed, please notify the District Attorney's Office as soon as possible so we can notify you of schedule changes.
Your subpoena is an order from the court for 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please be prepared to be at the court house for several hours to all day. We cannot release you until the judge releases you. Please bring your subpoena with you.
Due to increased security precautions in the Oklahoma County buildings, please do not bring unnecessary personal items, especially pocket knives, scissors, tools, weapons of any kind, tote bags, briefcases or backpacks.
There is no free parking downtown. Most parking lots and garages are approximately $7 to $10 a day. The further away from the court house you park, the less expensive it is. Our office cannot pay for your parking and we cannot get a parking ticket dismissed. We do not recommend parking at a meter, but if you do, please be mindful it is unlawful to park at the same meter all day and you can be ticketed for doing so.
David W Prater continues to believe that the greatest way to have kids kept off the adult criminal docket is to keep them in school. Due to the lack of funding through the THRIVE Truancy Program, the truancy cases are now being referred to local municipalities to prosecute. In rare cases, the Oklahoma County District Attorney's office will handle the case on the misdemeanor docket as a criminal case.
The Oklahoma County Veteran's Program (OCVP), is a diversion program designed to divert veterans involved with the criminal justice system from prison, to reduce veteran's involvement in future crimes, and place them into appropriate rehabilitative alternatives. The program is for veterans who are currently facing prosecution for one or more criminal cases. The program offers offenders a treatment option that is supervised by the OCVP team.
The OCVP is only for veterans of the Armed Forces of the United States as defined by federal law. The OCVP is a program coupled with intensive treatment and supervision for veteran criminal offenders. Once the veteran has been screened, assessed, and approved for participation in the program, he/she will promptly begin a treatment program that is specific to his/her needs.
The OCVP is a voluntary program, which includes weekly formation with the OCVP team and other participants. It also involves drug and alcohol treatment, random drug testing, support group meetings, vocational or job counseling, educational classes and community supervision. Upon successful completion of the program, the case(s) are normally dismissed or never filed. In the event the agreement is terminated, the case(s) are remanded to the court of origin for continued prosecution.
The OCVP program aims to provide veterans with the tools they need to lead a productive and law-abiding lifestyle while improving mental health recovery and successful re-entry into the community, along with resolution of their criminal case(s).
The purpose of the Crime Victim's Compensation Program is to provide a method of compensation for victims of violent crime. All funds come from federal and state offenders through fines and penalty assessments. An arrest of the offender does not have to take place in order to be eligible to file a claim; however, the victim and/or claimant is expected to fully cooperate in the apprehension, investigation, and prosecution of the perpetrator. The claimant is also expected to fully cooperate with the District Attorney's Office and Victim's Compensation Board staff during the processing of the claim.
The sum of all payments made to individual claimants and service providers on behalf of one victim may not exceed $20,000. In addition to the initial award of $20,000, an additional $20,000 may be available for work loss of loss of support, provided the incident occurs on or after the legislative date of November 1, 2008. In no event shall the sum of all payments exceed $40,000 after November 1, 2008.
To receive compensation, please fill out this form (PDF) and return it once completed.
For more information regarding victim compensation, along with other services, please visit the District Attorney Victim Services website.
The process begins with the victim or claimant filling out a claim form, and ends with a decision by the Crime Victims Compensation Board or Administrator. Once the claim is completed and mailed to the Crime Victims Compensation Board headquarters, the staff logs the claim into the database and assigns a claim number to the application. The claim is then forwarded to the appropriate District Attorney's office Victim-Witness Coordinator for further processing. Contact information and a claim number is sent by mail to the claimant after the claim is logged in.
The documentation process is carried out by the Victim-Witness Coordinator in the District Attorney's office. A police report is requested, along with any other forms and reports that may be needed to determine out-of-pocket expenses. After the Victim-Witness Coordinator gathers all necessary information, the completed claim is forwarded back to the Crime Victims Compensation Program for decision. Claims usually take several months to complete due to all of the documentation that is required.
The staff reviews the application to make sure the claim meets all of the eligibility guidelines established by law. A primary requirement is that the crime be one in which the victim suffered physical or psychological harm or death as a result of a violent crime. Eligible claimants are the victim, a dependent of a deceased victim, or a person authorized to act on behalf of the victim. Applicants must also meet the following reporting and filing requirements:
Once all documentation is received from the Victim-Witness Coordinator in the District Attorney's Office, the claim is assigned to a claims examiner located at the Crime Victims Compensation Board head-quarters. The Claims Examiner reviews the documentation of losses provided by eligible victims and claimants and determines the compensable amount on the claim. Claims with expenses under $10,000 are then decided by the Administrator of the program. Claims over $10,000 are decided by the three-member Governor appointed board. Claims are generally placed on a docket for decision within thirty (30) days of receipt of all documentation from the Victim-Witness Coordinator. If additional information is needed, the claim may take longer than 30 days to docket.
The Crime Victims Compensation Fund is the payer of last resort. Expenses that are paid or eligible to be paid from other sources such as: health insurance, Medicaid, Workers' Compensation, Medicare, and Indian Health Services may not be compensated. Employer paid leave programs are also considered a collateral source when applying for work loss; and Social Security benefits are a collateral source when applying for loss of support. Payments are generally made within 3 weeks of approval. Payments are sent directly to service providers on outstanding balances at a rate of 80%. Medical, dental, and counseling service providers are required by law to write off the remaining 20% if they accept payment from the Crime Victims Compensation Board. Medical, dental, and counseling expenses that the victim is out-of-pocket will be reimbursed at 100%, provided there is documentation of payment and no collateral sources exist.
If an application is denied, the victim or claimant is given a written explanation and instructions on how to exercise their right to appeal. The first appeal is to the Board. If a victim or claimant is still dissatisfied with the decision, the second step in the process is to file a petition in District Court.
For crimes occurring on or after July 1, 2005, up to $6000.00 may be reimbursed for expenses related to the funeral, cremation, or burial of a deceased victim. For crimes occurring between July 1, 1999 and July 1, 2005, the compensable rate was $5000.00.
Needed services which cannot be obtained without prior approval of the victim’s compensation claim or payment in advance from the victim. To submit a request for future economic loss, include an itemized list of expenses you expect to incur, along with an explanation regarding the expense. If the expense is for dental work or surgery necessary to repair damage from the criminal accident, ask the attending physician to write an accurate estimate which clearly states the work to be performed and the cost. The attending physician should relate, in writing, the need for medical treatment due to injuries sustained during the crime.
Loss of income from work the victim would have performed if he/she had not been injured. Work loss must be verified by the employer and the attending physician. Effective July 1, 1999, caregiver work loss can be awarded up to $2,000.00, if the work loss is verified by the victim’s physician and an employer’s certificate from the caregiver’s employer is filed. Caregiver work loss may only be awarded to persons who have non-reimbursed wage loss due to caring for an injured victim of crime.
In the event of the death of a victim, the Board may consider providing reimbursement for loss of support to a dependent based on the victim’s net income at the time of death, less any collateral sources such as: Life insurance (over $50,000.00), Social Security, Worker’s Compensation, uninsured motorist coverage, or 3rd party reimbursements. Monthly installments or a lump sum award is at the discretion of the Board.
This includes products, services, and accommodations for medical care. For crimes occurring on or after July 1, 2004, medical related fees will be paid up to 80% of the maximum allowance. For crimes before July 1, 2004, medical related fees could be paid up to 100% of the maximum allowance.
This includes such things as physical and psychological therapy, rehabilitative occupation training, and other remedial treatment and care.
Crime scene cleanup can be covered up to $2,000.00, effective November 1, 2009.
Expenses reasonably incurred in obtaining ordinary and necessary services in place of those the victim would have performed for the benefit of self or family, if the victim had not been injured.
Pain and suffering and personal property are not allowable expenses under the Crime Victims Compensation Act.
For crimes occurring on or after July 1, 2004, there are no fee schedule limitations. The maximum compensable amount for the victim's counseling is $3,000. This limit may be waived by the Board in extenuating circumstances. Although the Board no longer has a fee schedule for counseling, victims are advised to seek treatment from a licensed mental health professional. For crimes occurring before July 1, 2004, there was a fee schedule as follows
A session is presumably the standard 45 minutes.
For crimes occurring on or after July 1, 2005, crisis counseling that is initiated within 3 years of the crime is compensable, up to $3,000 for each family member of a homicide victim, provided the counselor is a qualified mental health care provider. Medical and pharmaceutical treatment for a family member of a homicide victim is not compensable. For crimes occurring between July 1, 2000 and June 30, 2005, there is a $500 per family member counseling limit, not to exceed $3,000 per family of a homicide victim; counseling must have been initiated within two years of the incident. For crimes occurring between July 1, 1999 and June 30, 2000, there is a $500 per person and $1,000 per family limit; counseling must have been initiated within 120 days.
In addition to expenses listed throughout the instructions, the following expenses may also be considered for reimbursement in traditional healing or burial ceremonies for American Indian victims of crime and family members of American Indian homicide victims:
In order for reimbursement of these expenses, receipts must be provided with the item's purpose clearly noted on the receipt. The maximum allowable for burial related expenses, including gifting, is $7,500. The maximum allowable for healing services is $3,000 for the injured victim. The maximum for healing services for each family member after a homicide is also $3,000. The maximum award for all services compensated through the Crime Victims Compensation Program may not exceed $20,000. If requesting reimbursement for healing or burial ceremonies, please complete the Request for Traditional American Indian Services form.
The program's ability to provide financial assistance to crime victims is directly related to the health of the Crime Victim's Compensation Fund. Through a partnership that includes the Legislature, the Courts, the District Attorneys Council, individual District Attorneys, crime victims, and crime victim advocates, revenues to the fund are sufficient to meet the ongoing financial needs of victims at this time.
When demands on the Fund limited awards, the State Legislature and Governor increased the revenue sources for the Fund. The key to this program's success has been the continuous effort to focus on the needs of the victim. While the citizens served have faced trauma, tragedy and financial loss due to the criminal act of others, no 2 victims' experiences are the same. Staff training on victim issues is a priority and ensures that each claim is handled with attention to the individual's unique experience and needs. Training is offered which highlights the program and the rights of victims to local service agencies, criminal justice professional and health care providers. Professionals from these groups have shared valuable insights on how the program can better meet victims' needs.
By working the Legislature to put victims first, and by remaining true to the statute that created this Fund, success and stability has been achieved. While the Crime Victims' Compensation Program is proud of its past and the productivity it has achieved, we are committed to making every effort to ensure that victims continue to receive all possible assistance from this program, as defined by statute. We encourage staff to find creative and simple ways to reduce their workload by using technology. We work closely with those receiving grants from the Victims Crime Act fund to ensure that helping crime victims obtain compensation is given high priority. We are confident about our future, and committed to enhancing the level of service that people have come to expect from the Crime Victims Compensation Program and the Oklahoma District Attorney's Council.
Oklahoma District Attorneys Council
Oklahoma Crime Victims Compensation Board
421 NW 13th, #290
Oklahoma City, OK 73103
The purpose of the Crime Victims Compensation Act is to provide a method of compensation for the victims of violent crime. All funds come from federal and state offenders through fines and penalty assessments. An arrest of the offender does not have to take place in order to be eligible to file a claim; however, the victim and/or claimant is expected to fully cooperate in the apprehension, investigation, and prosecution of the perpetrator. The claimant is also expected to fully cooperate with the District Attorney's Office and Victims Compensation Board staff during the processing of the claim.
The Crime Victims Compensation Program was created in 1981 with the passage of the Crime Victims Compensation Act. The Act established guidelines for eligibility and the provision of the financial reimbursement to victims of crime. Program guidelines were established with the first payments being made for crimes that occurred after October 19, 1981. The Oklahoma District Attorneys Council has administered the fund since the inception of the program.
The District Attorney's Office Homicide Victims Advocate Division is here to assist you and your family through the criminal court system, a sometimes lengthy process that is quite often confusing and frustrating. We understand that you may be feeling overwhelmed and unsure about what to expect next. Our hope is with the following information and the District Attorney's Office, we will be able to answer many of your questions and give you and your family the guidance and support you need.
Our goal is to make sure each victim is treated with fairness, dignity and respect throughout the criminal justice system process. Our system of justice is complex in nature and may appear to the ordinary citizen to be filled with people who are much more comfortable in the culture and the language of law then the majority of citizens who become crime victims. The victims of crime deserve to be educated on the system. Our objective is to demystify and humanize the process in such a way that much, if not all of the uneasiness is put aside prior to entering the courthouse.
Shelba Norris, Homicide Family Coordinator, will make every attempt to help you and your family through this traumatic time. You are always welcome to contact her at 405-713-1692 anytime you need an update on your case or have any questions. We will usually make contact with you to meet with the prosecuting attorney assigned to your case prior to the preliminary hearing. When you think of questions you have for the attorney, write them down so you will be prepared when you meet. Due to the high rise of homicides in 2015, a second Homicide Family Coordinator was added. Irina Libart will work alongside Shelba Norris and together they will help your family through this traumatic time. Ms. Libert is also fluent in Spanish; she may be contacted at 405-713-1670.
To help you better understand the court process, you can view some of the different types of court proceedings (PDF) in the order which they may go. It is not uncommon for some of these proceedings to be delayed or continued. Jury Trials very seldom go on the first setting due to large dockets and preparation time for these types of cases.
The Oklahoma County Juvenile Bureau is responsible for receiving, evaluating and determining appropriate action pertaining to persons under the age of 18, found within Oklahoma County and alleged to be delinquent or in need of supervision. Additionally, the Bureau carries out orders of the Juvenile Division of the District Court and serves all process regarding juvenile matters.
Title 22, Chapter 16, section 991d(a2)
‘When the court imposes a suspended or deferred sentence and does not order supervision by the Department of Corrections, the offender shall be required to pay to the District Attorney, a supervision fee of $40 per month. In hardship cases, the District Attorney shall expressly waive all or part of the fee.' --Some Public Defender clients pay $10 per month.
Child abuse and sex crimes are among the most distressing and damaging of crimes. As a result of their criminal acts, child abuse and sex crime offenders can cause unyielding and severe emotional, physical and psychological suffering on their victims. The results can be enduring and the healing process can be a difficult journey. The Oklahoma County District Attorney's Office recognizes this and actively pursues justice for victims of child abuse and sexual crimes. The Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Division has accomplished, specifically trained attorneys dedicated exclusively to the prosecution of child abuse and sex crimes cases. Prosecuting child abuse and sexual assault offenders is an extremely sensitive and challenging process. The Oklahoma County District Attorney's Office deems this one of its top priorities.
If you suspect that a child is being abused, abandoned or neglected, call 911 or contact the Oklahoma Child Protective Services at 800-522-3511.
Learn more about what to do if you suspect foul play (PDF)
The District Attorney's Office handles approximately 25,000 traffic citations per year. A traffic citation is what you receive when you violate traffic laws in Oklahoma County. Below are 3 options with respect to resolving your ticket:
Failure to take care of your ticket will result in a warrant for your arrest and your driver's license could be suspended.
Welcome to the Oklahoma County Victim Witness Center. You are here because you were either a witness or a victim of a crime. The Witness Center was created as a courtesy with the intent of giving victims and witnesses a comfortable area to wait for court. We understand appearing as a witness can be stressful and an inconvenience, we will attempt to make your time spent here as comfortable as possible. Hostile, abusive or profane language and/or actions will not be tolerated. Please conduct yourself in a respectful manner. If you are a defendant with pending charges you must check in, but will need to wait elsewhere.
You are entitled to a witness fee for appearing in court. A witness fee is $10 a day plus mileage. The District Attorney's Office will mail it to you within 3 to 4 weeks to help cover your parking and mileage expenses. The amount is dictated by legislation. You should be given a witness fee form to sign when you check in, if not, please do so before leaving.
Your subpoena time has you arriving 30 minutes before the court case is scheduled. The Judge starts calling the docket at 9 a.m. There are several cases set on the same docket as yours. It is up to the Judge to decide the order of hearings; the District Attorney's Office has no say in the order in which the Judge calls his/her docket. The Victim Witness Center will notify the Assistant District Attorney assigned to your case that you are here upon your arrival.
The Assistant District Attorney will discuss your testimony with you before you testify. The Victim Witness Center Advocate will keep you advised of your case status and escort you to the courtroom. Your case can take anywhere from 20 minutes, to 2 hours, to most of the day. Each case is dependent upon:
If your case is not heard before noon, you will be excused for lunch at approximately Noon and asked to return the Victim Witness Center by 1:30 p.m. There are several restaurants located within walking distance of the courthouse. If you move your vehicle from a parking lot or garage, you will have to pay again upon re-entering.
The center provides a waiting area for crime victims and witnesses waiting to testify. Defendants are not allowed in the center. Please alert staff immediately if the alleged perpetrator is in or around the center.
If you need a letter to take back to your employer or school to verify your appearance on the day of your court case, please notify the staff before you leave.
The center assists violent crime victims with applying for medical expenses, work loss, counseling, and funeral expenses. If you would like an application, please request one from the staff, or you can call 405-713-1634 or 405-713-2328 for questions and assistance if filing.
Victims who have monetary loss or property damage due to the crime, need to document their losses so that there is a possibility of receiving reimbursement from the alleged defendant. Please keep copies of all estimates, bills, statements, etc. and contact the District Attorney's Restitution Division at 405-713-2245 to request a form.
Victims who need assistance in recovering their personal property from law enforcement agencies when it is no longer needed as evidence can contact the Property Return Clerk at 405-713-1753.
The Victim Witness Center staff will be happy to provide you with referrals for services, counseling, shelters and the Homicide Survivors Support Group. There are several pamphlets and brochures regarding referrals in the center. Please feel free to take any that are of interest to you.
The Address Confidentiality Program (PDF) allows the state to contribute to the safety of victims by denying abusers the opportunity to use public records as a means to violate the rights of others. Once again, thank you for your assistance. The participation of each witness is vital to the successful prosecution of each and every case.
David Prater began his law enforcement career at 19 years of age when he was hired by the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office as a Deputy Sheriff. At the age of 20, Mr. Prater became the youngest cadet ever to graduate from the Norman Police Academy. During his time with the NPD, he was a dedicated and respected Master Police Officer. In addition to his patrol duties, he was a member NPD's Tactical Unit, Underwater Rescue and Recovery Team and the Norman Police Department's Pistol Team. Additionally, he was responsible for training other officers in patrol techniques, firearms, and Emergency Vehicle Operations and was awarded more than 20 commendations from Norman's Chief of Police.
In 1988, Mr. Prater left the police department to complete his Law Enforcement Administration Degree from the University of Oklahoma. In 1991, he began law school at the University of Oklahoma, graduating in just two and a half years. From 1993 until 2001, he served Oklahoma County and the state as an Assistant District Attorney under Bob Macy and as an Assistant Attorney General, in the Grand Jury Unit, under Attorney General Drew Edmondson.
Prior to being elected as Oklahoma County District Attorney, he maintained a private law practice in Oklahoma City, with the firm of Huddleston, Pike, Henderson, Cusack and Parker.
Today, David Prater humbly serves as your elected choice for Oklahoma County District Attorney where he fights every day for "justice for all." Regardless of race, creed, religion, or socioeconomic status, David Prater desires to see justice served for all people of Oklahoma County.
Above all else, Mr. Prater is most grateful for his wife and their two children. The Praters share a deeply held faith in God and dedication to putting family first. These principles provide the foundation to their commitment to make Oklahoma County a place where families thrive in safe and healthy communities.
As a representative of the people of the State of Oklahoma, the fundamental goal of the District Attorney's Office to objectively and effectively investigate and prosecute matters under the law while achieving justice and minimizing trauma to victims and to ensure they are treated with compassion and respect. I am very proud of our devoted attorneys, investigators, victim advocates and support staff who conscientiously serve the citizens of Oklahoma County.
I hope this website will assist you by providing information about our office, the criminal justice system and links to helpful community resources.
David W Prater
Crimes are generally classified as felonies or misdemeanors. Generally, felonies are punished by a sentence of one year or more in prison. Misdemeanors are generally punished by one year or less in a county jail. Probation is also a possibility. Under probation, a person would not serve any time in jail or prison.
The following definitions are provided to explain the criminal justice process:
Arrest & Booking - This is when a police officer takes you into custody and takes you to jail. The process of actually putting you in jail is called booking.
Initial Appearance (Commonly Referred to as "Arraignment") - If you are charged with a crime, this will be the first time you will go before a judge. Your legal rights will be described for you, and a bond will be set for you which you must arrange to pay before you may be released from jail. In some cases, this bond may be an “Own-Recognizance Bond” (“O.R. Bond”) which requires no payment of money to a bondsman. You also will be told the next time you are to appear in court.
Jury Call Docket - This is a hearing where you and your attorney meet with the Judge and the prosecutor to announce that you want a trial or to plead guilty.
Plea or Disposition Docket - At this hearing, you will appear with your attorney and plead guilty or “no contest” to a Judge. At this hearing, the court will announce your punishment based on your plea bargain agreement with the prosecutor. If the Judge thinks the punishment is not harsh enough, you will be allowed to withdraw your plea of guilty and have a trial.
Blind Plea - If you do not have a plea bargain agreement with the prosecutor, you may still wish to enter a plea of guilty and allow the judge to determine what your sentence will be. This type of plea is often called a “blind plea.” In this situation, you do not know the punishment the judge will give you, and you are throwing yourself on the mercy of the court. If you do not like the punishment the court decides is appropriate for you, you do not have the right to withdraw your plea and have your case set for trial.
Jury Trial - This is where a jury decides whether you are guilty of the crime with which you have been charged. The prosecutor must prove your guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt” to the jury or the Judge in order for you to be convicted of a crime.
Non-Jury Bench Trial - This is a trial where a jury is waived and the Judge alone decides whether you are guilty or not guilty of the crime with which you have been charged. In most cases both sides must agree to waive a jury.
Bench Warrant - A bench warrant is an order by the court to have you arrested because you failed to appear in court when the court told you to appear.
This hearing may also be called a pre-preliminary hearing or an announcement docket. Generally, these hearings are a time for your attorney and the prosecutor to discuss your case. The prosecutor will make a plea bargain offer which you and your attorney will discuss. If you decide to accept the offer, you would waive or give up your right to a trial and set your case for a date for you to plead guilty. If you do not accept the plea offer, you will have your case set for a preliminary hearing.
If you are charged with a felony you have a right to a preliminary hearing. A preliminary hearing is a court hearing where witnesses testify and the Judge decides whether there is enough evidence against you to order you to have a trial. If the court believes there is enough evidence to believe a crime was committed and enough evidence to believe you committed the crime (often, this is called "probable cause"), the court will "bind you over" for trial.
If the court does not believe there is enough evidence, the case will be dismissed. The prosecutor is not required to present all of their witnesses or all of the evidence they have collected. They are only required to present enough evidence to meet the "probable cause" standard.
You are not convicted of a crime until you are found guilty and punished for the crime. With a deferred sentence, the Judge finds you guilty of the crime but post pones, delays or defers sentencing until a later date (from one day to five years). If you do everything the court orders you to do, the court will dismiss your case and the charge will not appear on your record. You may be ordered to pay all court costs and fees, see a probation officer, go to treatment and make sure you do not break the law again. If you do not successfully complete the deferred sentence requirements or if you are charged with committing a "new" crime, the court may sentence you to jail or prison.
You are convicted of a crime but are on probation for all or part of the sentence; it is suspended so you do not have to go to prison for that amount of time, as long as you satisfy the conditions of probation. The probation may be "supervised" or "unsupervised." If it is "supervised," you must regularly report to a probation officer. If it is "unsupervised," you simply must obey the rules of probation and not break the law. If you are unsuccessful, however, you may be sentenced to spend the entire sentence in jail or prison.
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320 Robert S. Kerr Avenue, #505
Oklahoma City, OK 73102