How Serious is Domestic Assault and Battery in the Presence of a Minor?

domestic assault and battery in the presence of a minorDomestic assault and battery in the presence of a minor occur frequently in homes locked in the cycle of domestic abuse.

If there are children in the home, they certainly hear the fighting that goes on between their parents. And unfortunately, when tempers run out of control and the fighting becomes physical, the children see it as well.

Domestic assault and battery in the presence of a minor has profound psychological implications for the children who live in such homes in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Studies show children who witness such abuse are more likely to become perpetrators or victims themselves in the future.

Simple Assault and Battery

In Oklahoma, assault and battery are actually two different crimes that are often charged together because they often occur together.

An assault is defined as a threat or attempt to use physical force against a person. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 641

In a domestic situation, assault could look like a man advancing toward his partner with his fists raised or his hand open ready to slap in the heat of anger.

A battery is the force or contact actually used or made. It is defined as the intentional use of force against another person, causing that person harm or offense. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 642

The slap or the punch is the battery. In essence, you have the threat and the completed action.

Domestic Assault and Battery

The law defines domestic assault and battery as the threat or the use of force or violence against a current or former spouse or their former or current spouses, a parent, a foster parent, a child, any person related by blood or marriage, a boyfriend or girlfriend, the other parent of your child, or a former or current roommate. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 644

In the eyes of the law, a domestic relation could be a current or former spouse, a domestic partner, a parent, a stepparent, a foster parent, an uncle, an aunt, a cousin, a niece, a nephew, an in-law, a child, a stepchild, a foster child, or a person you are dating or have dated in the past. It could also be a physical fight between roommates.

Domestic Assault and Battery in the Presence of a Minor

Domestic assault and battery in the presence of a minor is punished severely.

A first-time offender will be punished with six months to a year in jail, or a fine of up to $5,000, or both.

Subsequent offenses are felonies punishable by a prison term of one to four years, or a fine of up to $7,000, or both.

Because domestic violence is cyclical, if it happens once, it is likely to happen again. Also, the level of violence is likely to escalate. This cycle often continues until something or someone steps in to break the cycle.

Thus, multiple felony convictions are possible in a situation of domestic violence.

Suspended and Deferred Sentences May Help

Courts are becoming more proactive about taking measures to break the cycle of domestic violence. A court may order a deferred or suspended sentence in domestic assault and battery cases under certain conditions.

A deferred sentence allows the court to delay proceedings for up to 10 years without entering a judgment of guilt and to dismiss the case if the defendant complies with certain conditions. Such conditions may include interventions aimed at breaking the cycle of violence between the partners.

Courts often order anger management classes, attendance at Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings if the circumstances warrant it, individual therapy, couples counseling, family counseling, probation, or community service, or a combination of these conditions.

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. These rules almost always include most if not all of the previously mentioned requirements.

If You are Accused of Domestic Violence

Domestic abuse is taken seriously in Oklahoma.

Keep in mind when emotions are running high, it can be difficult for the police to clearly sort out the chronology of events in a domestic assault and battery. Sometimes, the wrong person is arrested.

Do not try to explain your situation to police. Hire an experienced Tulsa criminal defense attorney instead. Your attorney can help protect your freedom and may help you get the necessary services to help you and your family—whether you committed the crime or not.

Free Consultation with a Tulsa Lawyer

Help is just a phone call away.

If you would like a free consultation with a criminal defense lawyer, call Wirth Law Office-Tulsa at 918-879-1681 or toll free at 1-888-Wirth-Law (1-888-947-8452).

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