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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 117370
Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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My girlfriend and I are in the process of moving from NY to

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My girlfriend and I are in the process of moving from NY to OK and moved all our possessions into the new place in OK. I had to head back to NY for the time being in order to renovate my apartment up here while I look for employment down there.

Well my girlfriend didn't check in last night after she was supposed to be home from work, and her family down there hadn't heard from her either. After spending a good portion of the night and this morning trying to find out where she was, and if she was ok, I found out she apparently got arrested for public intoxication. The county court clerk called me and told me to speak with a detective in the Sheriff's Department.

Aside from the questions in my mind as to how it came to be that she didn't go home after work like she was going to, I am relieved that she's not hurt or dead in a ditch.

Anyhow, this is where I'm really not understanding what's going on:

When I called the detective, I was bombarded with questions about our living situation/status, and asked me how I knew she was arrested. He would not answer my questions regarding why she was arrested or what was going on, only that he he was not at liberty to disclose any information and needed to speak with his captain and would call me back.

Now I don't have a lot of experience with dealing with police, but that seems like rather shady and secretive behavior. Is this normal for a seemingly innocuous offense such as public intoxication?

In the interest of full disclosure, she was treated last fall for a painkiller addiction which she was taking for her arthritis, and I something to that effect showed up on her record when she applied for her OK driver license; I don't know if that has anything to do with this.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

The police are not under any legal duty to disclose the details of a pending arrest or investigation, even under the public information act. Most all police departments also have policies preventing the release of arrest information. Thus, it is not odd at all that the detective would try to find out your exact relationship to her and refuse to disclose information even on a public intoxication arrest. Once the matter goes to court, the court records are public records and you can get the information from there, but police reports or information from the police on pending cases (which this is considered) are not subject to release under the public records act.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for the quick reply.


Her mug shot and charge were already posted in the daily activity blotter, which I found on the Sheriff dept website, but the detective still wouldn't even provide me even with the type of charge?


Originally when the court clerk had called, she had said I should go to the Sheriffs Dept there in person, and when I explained that I am 1500 miles away, she told me to call them.


They had requested I contact them, and they then bombarded with questions instead of perhaps providing details of the incident, when or how she might be released, what might happen next, how even how she might be doing... no inkling whatsoever, as to what is going on.


I understand they are under no obligation to provide me with information regarding an "ongoing investigation," but how much of an investigation does a public intoxication charge warrant, and how do I deal with them when I next speak with them?


If they continue to question me, am I obligated to answer their questions?


Should I look for a criminal law attorney in the area and advise them to contact him/her?

Thank you for your response.

You are not obligated to answer any questions they ask you.

The police have no obligation to provide you any information about the arrest and the issue is that all they know is what you are telling them on the phone they have no real way to know who you are. Thus, they just will tell you nothing.

Yes, the best thing for you to do is get her a local attorney who will be able to get all of the arrest information and be in the better position to help her, since you cannot really help her from where you are.

If the captain wants to tell you about this, it is up to him. If this is only a public intoxication charge, in OK it is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail, but the prosecutor has the option to defer any sentence to allow her to go to substance abuse treatment and subsequently dismiss the charges and this is where an attorney would be helpful to negotiate this for her.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.



One last question, might you know of any criminal defense attorneys in the Oklahoma City (Norman, OK) area you might be able to refer me to; if not, could refer me to a website where I can locate a reputable attorney?


Thank you.

I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX are forbidden from making personal referrals. You can use the same sites used by other attorneys, or or
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