Sacramento, CA asked in Federal Crimes, Domestic Violence and Native American Law for Oklahoma

Q: What Jurisdiction is correct according to the timeline and if it is federal what do I do

The crime falls under MAJOR CRIMES ACT. I am the victim of the crime. I am native the crime occurred in Sovereign Territory by a non native. The charges were pressed in 2019 prior mcgirt. However, they just caught my abuser this year post mcgirt. The State is the one pressing charges, but why wouldnt it move to Federal ?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Domestic Violence Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Under the Major Crimes Act, if a serious crime involving a Native American victim occurs in tribal territory, federal jurisdiction typically applies. Given the timeline you've described, if the crime occurred before the McGirt decision, the state may have initially pursued charges under their jurisdiction at that time.

However, if the offender was apprehended after the McGirt ruling, which reaffirms tribal sovereignty and federal jurisdiction for major crimes involving Native Americans on tribal lands, the case may need to be transferred to federal authorities. To address this, you should contact a legal professional who can review the specifics of the situation and assist in determining the proper jurisdiction and course of action. They can facilitate communication with the U.S. Attorney's Office to ascertain if federal charges are appropriate and can be pursued in this case.

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