James E. Saunders

at Attorney at Law, Tulsa United States

Attorney James E. Saunders is a criminal defense lawyer in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He has been practicing in Oklahoma since 1987 and has represented thousands.

James E. Saunders
Attorney at Law
Tulsa , OK
United States
Contact Phone
P: (918) 720-6909


James E. Saunders has served as the Chief Public Defender for the City of Tulsa since 2007, but continues to represent clients in Tulsa and the surrounding area. He has represented thousands of clients on criminal charges, always maintaining the highest ethical and practice standards. Attorney James E. Saunders has achieved a Peer Review Rating™ from Martindale-Hubbell®. For more than 140 years, lawyers have relied on the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings™ while searching for their own expert attorneys. Now anyone can make use of this trusted rating by looking up a lawyer's rating on Lawyers.com or Martindale.com. The Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ are an objective indicator of a lawyer's high ethical standards and professional ability, generated from evaluations of lawyers by other members of the bar and the judiciary in the United States and Canada. It is achieved only after an attorney has been reviewed and recommended by their peers - members of the bar and the judiciary. Congratulations go to James E. Saunders who has achieved the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating™. The Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating is a credential highly valued and sought after in the legal world. It used to be a sort of secret among attorneys who used the rating as a first screen when they needed to hire a lawyer they did not personally know. Now, thanks to the Internet, the Rating is a great way for anyone – lawyers or lay people - to use to screen lawyers.

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The Oklahoma Court of Criminal appeals has held that individuals have no reasonable expectation of privacy in texts they send. In other words the Court held in State v. Marcum, 319 P.3d 681 (2014) that "what you text can be used against you." Reversing an Oklahoma District Court ruling concerning a man charged with conspiracy based upon texts he sent to his co-conspirator, the Court held that whatever expectation of privacy a person might have as to information contained on his own phone or in his own phone records, there is no corresponding expectation of privacy in the cell phone or phone records of the person to whom a text is sent.

Published on 2014-11-17 20:47:29 GMT

YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT. When I was a young man, I was a police officer. At that time I read and was deeply offended by a book written by a lawyer, offering advice on what to do if you were stopped by the police or arrested. Now, I am older, have been a lawyer for a long time, and feel quite differently about the advice given by that other lawyer so many years ago. If you are stopped by the police, you have certain rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. It is important for you know those rights. If you are stopped by the Police, you should be polite and cooperative, but there is nothing rude or unacceptable in you knowing and exercising your rights. The Police may stop you if there is suspicion of criminal activity, a traffic violation has been committed, they are investigating a crime or they are arresting you for a criminal act. The Police do not necessarily need “probable cause” to stop you. They can make what is known as a “Terry Stop” based upon an articulable suspicion of wrongdoing. For example you can be stopped because an officer thinks your license plates are expired, even if it turns out that they are not. In such situations the Police officers are permitted to perform a stop which is limited to questioning you about the suspicious activity. The Police may even “pat you down” for their own safety. However, the Police are obligated to release you as soon as the suspicions giving rise to the Terry Stop are satisfied in a manner that disposes of the original suspicions. Under the license plate example, those suspicions could be satisfied before the officer even makes contact with you, if as he or she walks up to your car door he or she clearly sees that your tags are not expired. If, though, a Terry Stop results in the development of probable cause that a crime has been committed, even if it is not the crime originally suspected by the police, a Terry Stop can evolve into further investigation and even an arrest. One example would be that the police officer sees a load of bootleg liquor in the back of your pick-up just as he also sees that your tag is ok. In that situation, the Terry Stop would have immediately evolved into a probable cause stop authorizing the officer to ask you more questions or even place you under arrest. Now, suppose you are using your uncle’s truck and you don’t know that he is a bootlegger, and you didn’t know the liquor was in the back of the truck. You may think you should simply explain the situation to the officer. Don’t. You have a right to remain silent. Exercise that right. Remember different rules apply to police questioning depending upon different circumstance. Because of these differing rules of law, it is important for you to understand that you have and should exercise your right to remain silent. There is an old saying: “There are no deaf and dumb people in prison.” What you say can and will be used against you. You may never hear the words: “you are under arrest,” and yet you may, in fact, find yourself under arrest. Remember, the Police are not required to read you your Miranda Rights at the time of a Terry Stop or even an arrest. So, don’t assume that because you have not been read your Miranda rights you can speak with impunity. So, as soon as you suspect that a routine stop has evolved into something more serious exercise your right to remain silent. If there is some explaining to be done, do it later in the presence of your lawyer.

Published on 2015-02-25 22:56:41 GMT

For the second time in time in recent months, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has refused to allow the retroactive application of a criminal law. While avoiding any discussion of ex-post facto laws, the Court refused to allow the enforcement of a law requiring a man convicted of statutory rape more than ten years earlier to register as a sex offender in 2013. The Court held in State v. Hurt, 2014 OK CR 17 that “[t]he presumption against retroactive legislation is deeply rooted in our jurisprudence, and embodies a legal doctrine centuries older than our Republic….Retroactive legislation presents problems of unfairness that are more serious than those posed by prospective legislation, because it can deprive citizens of legitimate expectations and upset settled transactions.” This decision comes just fifteen months after the Court ruled in State v. Salathiel, 2013 OK CR 16 that the state could not retroactively apply a DUI enhancement statute ten years back in time as the state was attempting to do. The Court seems to be recognizing a powerful common law prohibition against the retroactive application of criminal statutes so deeply rooted in our common law that, according to the Court, it rendered any discussion of ex-post facto laws moot.