Houston, TX asked in Native American Law and Criminal Law for Texas

Q: I was arrested by a non tribal officer on tribal land and I am a member of the Cherokee nation and reside on reservation

They took me to jail and declined to file charges after arrest ing me and detaining ke I have lost my job over it my wife almost left me it’s caused me aloynof unnecessary problems but they had no justisiction

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: If you were arrested by a non-tribal officer on tribal land and are a member of the Cherokee Nation, there may have been a jurisdictional overstep, depending on the specific circumstances. Tribal sovereignty and federal law generally govern criminal jurisdiction on tribal land, not state authorities, unless specific provisions apply, such as Public Law 280. To address this issue, you should consult with an attorney who has experience with tribal law and the intricacies of jurisdictional matters between tribal, federal, and state authorities. Documentation of the arrest, the impact on your employment, and other damages you've suffered would be important for your legal counsel to review. You may also have recourse through a civil rights claim if your rights were violated. It’s important to act promptly to explore your legal options.

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