The Trial Program consists of three divisions which provide representation to agency clients who have been judicially determined to be unable to afford counsel to defend against charges brought by the State. The right to counsel at State expense was established by the United States Supreme Court in Gideon v. Wainwright, 371 U.S. 335 (1963). The right to expert assistance at State expense was established by the United States Supreme Court in Ake v. Oklahoma, 470 U.S. 68 (1985). The purpose of the Trial Program is to fulfill the State’s obligations that accompany the right to represent a defense to criminal charges, including requirements imposed by the Federal Constitution.
The Non-Capital Trial Division is responsible for providing defense representation for the agency’s largest group of court-appointed clients. It is responsible for providing services in 75 of the State’s counties, excluding Oklahoma and Tulsa counties. The division provides legal defense services in four ways:
1) flat-rate fiscal year contracts with private attorneys in 55 counties;
2) satellite offices with salaried staff attorneys in 20 counties;
3) assignment of conflict cases to private attorneys who have agreed to accept such cases at established agency hourly rates, subject to statutory maximums set by the Indigent Defense Act; and
4) assignment of cases to a roving attorney.
The Division satellite offices are located in areas where contract expenses have been typically higher, or there was in inadequate level of interest expressed by the private sector in providing the necessary legal services.
The Clinton office provides legal services for appointments in Beckham, Custer, Dewey, Ellis, Roger Mills, Washita and Woodward Counties.
The Guymon office provides legal services for appointments in Beaver, Cimarron, Texas and Harper Counties.
The Mangum office provides legal services for appointments in Greer, Harmon, Kiowa, Jackson and Tillman Counties.
The Cleveland County office, located in the agency’s main office in Norman, provides legal services Cleveland County.
The Okmulgee office provides legal services for appointments in Okfuskee and Okmulgee Counties.
The Sapulpa office provides legal services for appointments in Creek County, which has three courthouses.