Domestic assault and battery in Oklahoma is often a byproduct of troubled relationships. In many relationships, it can be part of a cyclical pattern of violence.
Oklahoma is now taking domestic assault and battery cases more seriously. Penalties for domestic assault and battery are usually more severe than for assault and battery perpetrated against a stranger.
If you or a loved one is facing charges, you will need help from an Oklahoma City attorney. Here is what you might want to know about the crime and how it is handled in Oklahoma City.
Domestic Assault and Battery Defined
Assault and battery are really two crimes that often occur together. Therefore, they are often charged together.
Oklahoma law defines domestic assault and battery as the threat of force or violence and the actual use of force or violence upon a member of the household. The threat is the assault and the use of force or violence is the battery. Members of the household can include:
- a spouse;
- a child;
- a boyfriend;
- a girlfriend;
- a former boyfriend or girlfriend;
- a roommate;
- a parent;
- a stepparent; or
- a former or current spouse or partner.
Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 644
It happens more often than you would think. An argument between household members gets overheated, and one person pushes the other out of the way or lashes out verbally and the other person hits back, escalating the argument.
Penalties for Domestic Assault and Battery
While a regular assault and battery conviction may mean up to 90 days in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both, a first conviction of a domestic assault and battery may be up to a year in county jail, a fine of up to $5,000, or both. Both are misdemeanor offenses.
A second or subsequent offense is a felony in Oklahoma City. It is punishable by up to four years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
Other Types of Domestic Assault and Battery Provide Harsher Sentences
A person convicted of domestic assault and battery with any sharp or dangerous weapon can face up to 10 years in prison. And a person who commits domestic assault and battery by shooting a household member could face life in prison. Both of these are felony convictions.
Other Implications of a Conviction
Once convicted of domestic assault and battery, you will also be permanently prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms. 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9)
Domestic Assault and Battery in Front of a Minor
Oklahoma law also prohibits domestic assault and battery in front of a minor. The minor does not need to be in the same room; it is sufficient if the minor hears if from another room.
A first conviction may mean six months to a year in jail, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
A subsequent conviction is punishable by one to five years in prison, a fine of up to $7,000, or both.
In almost all of these cases, the judge usually orders that a defendant attend outside treatment, which can include: counseling, anger management, or substance abuse classes or treatment. In addition, the court may order one or more review hearings to ensure that the defendant has complied with all court orders in this regard. Failure to comply will result in further ordered services or the revocation of any suspended or deferred sentence or probation.
Suspended and Deferred Sentences
The court can order deferred or suspended sentences under certain conditions, which can allow an abuser to get help and avoid jail. A deferred sentence allows the court to delay proceedings without entering a judgment of guilt. The case is dismissed if the defendant complies with all court orders such as probation, community service, or counseling.
A suspended sentence allows the defendant to serve some or all of his or her sentence on probation as long as the defendant follows all the rules set forth in probation.
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For a free consultation with an Oklahoma criminal defense attorney, call Wirth Law Office – Oklahoma City at 405-888-5400.
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