Oklahoma City Attorney BlogWhat is Domestic Assault and Battery by Strangulation in Oklahoma City?

domestic assault and battery by strangulation in Oklahoma CityUnfortunately, domestic assault and battery can and does happen, most often in troubled relationships. It is often a cyclical pattern in troubled relationships. Domestic assault and battery by strangulation in Oklahoma is one form of this crime. Here is what you need to know about domestic assault and battery by strangulation in Oklahoma City.

Domestic Assault and Battery Defined

Oklahoma law defines domestic assault and battery as the threat (assault) of force or violence and the actual use of force or violence (battery) upon a member of the household. These are actually two different crimes, but since they often occur together, they are also often charged together.

Such an assault and battery in Oklahoma City can be against a current or former spouse, a current or former boyfriend or girlfriend, a current or former roommate, or any family member by blood or marriage. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 644.

Assault and Battery by Strangulation

Strangulation is one of the most common forms of domestic assault and battery. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most lethal. Strangulation victims are much more likely to die than victims of other types of domestic assault and battery.

When an argument becomes physical, brute strength is often used against the partner or another household member. And hands and fists are often the tools of choice because they are readily available.

The law states that a person who commits an assault and battery with intent to cause great bodily harm by strangulation or attempted strangulation against an intimate partner or a family or household member, can be charged and convicted of domestic assault and battery by strangulation.

For the purposes of this law, “strangulation” is defined as any form of asphyxia; including, but not limited to, asphyxia characterized by:

  • the closure of the blood vessels or air passages of the neck as a result of external pressure on the neck or
  • the closure of the nostrils or mouth as a result of external pressure on the head.

Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 644

Penalties for Domestic Assault and Battery by Strangulation in Oklahoma City

The crime is punishable by a prison term of up to three years, a fine of up to $3,000, or both for the first offense.

A second or subsequent conviction could mean 3 to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $20,000, or both. If the subsequent conviction happens within 10 years of the first conviction, the court may sentence you up to 10 years in prison.

In addition, the court may mandate that the defendant attend classes and programs such as anger management, counseling, and substance abuse treatment. Any treatment is at the defendant’s expense.

Elements of Domestic Assault and Battery by Strangulation in Oklahoma

Like all crimes in Oklahoma, this one has a number of elements all of which must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt by the prosecution. If any element remains unproven, there can be no conviction.

Here are the elements:

  • willfully and
  • unlawfully
  • attempting or offering to use force or violence, and
  • the use of force or violence
  • was against an intimate partner or another household member
  • with the intent to cause great bodily harm by strangulation or attempted strangulation.

OUJI-CR 4-26D

Defenses are built around facts that tend to disprove any of the above elements. For example, the strangulation must be both willful and unlawful. If the strangulation is erotic in nature and gets out of hand, the prosecution may not be able to show that it is unlawful.

These cases are heavily fact-bound. Therefore, every fact may be important and should be discussed with your Oklahoma City attorney. Call today to get the help you need.

Free Consultation: Oklahoma City Criminal Defense Attorney

Our lawyer is well positioned to advise you accordingly, as he has the necessary training and experience. He has the wit and tenacity to match the skill of the Oklahoma City prosecutors.

For a free consultation with an Oklahoma criminal defense attorney, call Wirth Law Office – Oklahoma City at 405-888-5400.

You can also submit an email question from the top right corner of this page. We will respond to all questions as soon as possible.

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