More Severe Penalties for Domestic Violence Charges
Oklahoma defines assault and battery in domestic situations as a different crime than simple assault and battery. Penalties for domestic assault and battery can be more severe than if the same act of violence were committed against a stranger or a social aquaintance.
In Oklahoma domestic assault and battery on a first offense in most circumstances is a misdemeanor punishable by a jail term of up to 1 year, a fine of up to $5,000 or both. By comparison, misdemeanor assault and battery against a person outside domestic relationship would mean a maxium 90 days in jail, $1000 fine or both.
Individuals convicted of any misdemeanor or felony involving domestic violence are also permanently prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms. 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9) Although Oklahoma domestic protective orders ban possession of firearms, individuals subject to domestic protective orders can also be prosecuted under federal law for possession of firearms.
For purposes of criminal prosecution in assault and battery cases, Oklahoma provides enhanced charges and more severe penalties when an act of violence involves:
“a current or former spouse, a present spouse of a former spouse, a former spouse of a present spouse, parents, a foster parent, a child, a person otherwise related by blood or marriage, a person with whom the defendant is or was in a dating relationship as defined by Section 60.1 of Title 22 of the Oklahoma Statutes, an individual with whom the defendant has had a child, a person who formerly lived in the same household as the defendant, or a person living in the same household”
Domestic A&B is Domestic Abuse in Oklahoma
Oklahoma classifies domestic assault and battery charges as domestic abuse. Oklahoma criminal law classifies several types of domestic abuse as felonies. For example, repeated domestic violence can result in felony domestic abuse charges even when a prior act of domestic violence did not result in charges or a conviction.
Courts often suspend sentences or defer sentencing in Oklahoma domestic violence cases. Defendants may be ordered to submit to probation, and participate in counseling for substance abuse, anger management, individual issues or relationship issues. A court may order a defendant to have no contact with the victim, and to not possess firearms during the term of a protective order, which may be imposed for up to five years.
Beyond repeated acts of domestic assault and battery or repeated convictions for domestic abuse, Oklahoma provides felony penalties for:
- Domestic assault and battery resulting in great bodily harm (Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 644(F))
- Second or subsequent convictions for domestic assault and battery in the presence of a child (Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 644(G))
- Domestic assault and battery with intent to cause great bodily harm by strangulation or attempted strangulation (Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 644(J))
- Domestic assault and battery with a sharp or dangerous weapon (Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 644(D))
- Shooting a spouse or other person with whom a domestic relationship exists, including housemates and family members (Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 644(D))
Pitfalls of Facing Domestic Abuse Charges Alone
Domestic violence charges often arise from emotionally conflicted, tumultuous situations. To be accused of domestic violence can mean immediate and possibly long term removal from one’s home, disrupted relationships with family and permanent limitations on a person’s ability to work in some professions.
Any steps a person might take, in good faith or otherwise, to mitigate a domesitc violence charge by contacting the accuser or victim can result in more charges and possibly immediate incarceration. It is imperative that a person facing Oklahoma domestic assault and battery charges in Tulsa obtain the counsel of a knowledgeable Tulsa defense lawyer.
A qualified domestic violence defense attorney can advise a person on best legal strategies while providing a rational outlook will help avoid mistakes resulting from misguided attempts to work out domestic problems directly with an accuser after courts have become involved. Is domestic violence a felony? Sometimes it is. This is a question you need answered by someone on your side – not by someone pressuring you to accept a guilty plea.
Free Consultation: Tulsa Defense Lawyer
For a free, confidential, non-judgmental consultation with a Tulsa, Oklahoma lawyer, call the Wirth Law Office – Tulsa at (918) 879-1681. If you prefer email correspondence, submit a question through the form at the top right of this page.