Suicide and the Law
First and foremost…
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please call the National Suicide Hotline (1-800-273-8255) or COPES (918.744.4800) for immediate assistance.
What do I do if the police get involved?
Committing or attempting to commit suicide is not technically illegal in Oklahoma. However, it could result in a civil commitment. The Tulsa Police Department has a specific division that deals with civil commitments relating to a wide range of mental health or development issues. A civil commitment is done when a person is proven to be a danger to themselves or others due to a recognizable mental health problem and unable or unwilling to take care of themselves and seek appropriate treatment and care. In such cases a person would not usually be held criminally liable because their behavior is considered to be either beyond their control, or they are considered to be incapable of understanding the consequences of their behavior. In the case of someone attempting to commit suicide, they might be considered to be mentally competent in most respects, but for their own safety they need to be supervised and receive treatment.
As a family member of a person suffering from suicidal ideations it is very important to have legal assistance. Even though you can’t be charged criminally, there are still a number of legal concerns that can arise throughout the process of a civil commitment. If your loved one requires inpatient treatment, then you might want to get a durable power of attorney so that you can help them manage their property and finances. Or if they are responsible for children; their may be legal paperwork required to ensure that they are properly cared for.
Whatever the circumstance, we are here to help. We can give you confidence so that you have less to worry about and you can focus on your friends and family and spend less time worrying about the unknowns.