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Domestic Violence

In Oklahoma a domestic violence case, even a misdemeanor, is a serious issue and always requires representation by counsel to achieve the best results possible.

So what makes a case a domestic violence case?

A simple assault and battery is an incident between two people where one of them harmfully or offensively touches the other. Such a charge is enhanced (penalties made worse) when other requirements are satisfied like grave injury, the use of dangerous or deadly weapons, etc. An assault and battery case becomes a domestic violence case with the addition of one new element: the person assaulted has or had a certain relationship with the alleged offender. Here's what the statute says:

"Any person who commits any assault and battery against 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 as the defendant shall be guilty of domestic abuse." 22 O.S. §644

So let's break down the categories of this relationship.

  • Current Spouse 
  • Former Spouse
  • Present Spouse of a Former Spouse
  • Former Spouse of a Present Spouse
  • Parents
  • Foster Parent
  • Child
  • A person otherwise related by blood or marriage
  • Person with whom the defendant is in a dating relationship
  • Person with whom the defendant was in a dating relationship with
  • Person with whom the defendant has had a child
  • Person who formerly lived in the same household as the defendant
  • Person living in the same household as the defendant

That's pretty much everybody in the state that you might have had an ongoing acquaintance including anybody you were ever a roommate with, but possibly excepting a co-worker.

Note: These categories will be modified as of November 1, 2019 to include more children and exclude more roommates.

Punishment of Domestic Violence Offenders

The legislature has made similar efforts at expanding punishment for the offense. In 1998 the punishment for a first time offender was a misdemeanor conviction (no more than 1 year in the county jail). A subsequent conviction was a felony and carried no more than 2 years in state prison. It's much more complicated now.

Now depending the exact circumstances of the offense the punishment can vary as follows:

First Time Domestic Violence Offender Committing Simple Assault and Battery:

-- Up to one year in the county jail and up to a $5,000.00 fine, or;

-- Probation conditioned upon the following requirements:

  • Normal Rules and Conditions of Probation (don't break any laws anywhere) (for up to seven years);
  • Pay a probation supervisor $40.00 per month (for up to two years);
  • Pay the District Attorney $40.00 per month (for up to two years);
  • Fifty-Two week domestic violence class (at offender expense, usually $25.00 per week);
  • Pay all court costs and fines levied in the case (amount varies, but never less than $400.00 that I've seen);
  • Possible jail time (weekends or some amount of jail time up to six months as a requirement for a deferred sentence).

Second or (Subsequent Time) Domestic Violence Offender Committing Simple Assault and Battery:

-- Up to four years in state prison and up to a $5,000.00 fine, or;

  • Normal Rules and Conditions of Probation (don't break any laws anywhere) (for up to seven years);
  • Pay a probation supervisor $40.00 per month (for up to two years);
  • Pay the District Attorney $40.00 (for up to two years);
  • Fifty-Two week domestic violence class (at offender expense, usually $25.00 per week);
  • Pay all court costs and fines levied in the case (amount varies, but never less than $400.00 that I've seen);
  • Possible jail time (weekends or some amount of jail time up to six months as a requirement for a deferred sentence).

Either of the Above Committed in the Presence of a Child;

-- The misdemeanor version is punishable by no less than six months and no more than one year in the county jail, or;

  • Normal Rules and Conditions of Probation (don't break any laws anywhere) (for up to seven years);
  • Pay a probation supervisor $40.00 per month (for up to two years);
  • Pay the District Attorney $40.00 per month (for up to two years);
  • Fifty-Two week domestic violence class (at offender expense, usually $25.00 per week);
  • Pay all court costs and fines levied in the case (amount varies, but never less than $400.00 that I've seen);
  • Possible jail time (weekends or some amount of jail time up to six months as a requirement for a deferred sentence).

--The felony version is punishable by not less than one year and no more than five years in state prison, or:

  • Normal Rules and Conditions of Probation (don't break any laws anywhere) (for up to seven years);
  • Pay a probation supervisor $40.00 per month (for up to two years);
  • Pay the District Attorney $40.00 per month (for up to two years);
  • Fifty-Two week domestic violence class (at offender expense, usually $25.00 per week);
  • Pay all court costs and fines levied in the case (amount varies, but never less than $400.00 that I've seen);
  • Possible jail time (weekends or some amount of jail time up to six months as a requirement for a deferred sentence).

Domestic Violence Against a Woman Known by the Offender to be Pregnant:

-- First Offense: Up to One Year in the County Jail, or;

  • Normal Rules and Conditions of Probation (don't break any laws anywhere) (for up to seven years);
  • Pay a probation supervisor $40.00 per month (for up to two years);
  • Pay the District Attorney $40.00 per month (for up to two years);
  • Fifty-Two week domestic violence class (at offender expense, usually $25.00 per week);
  • Pay all court costs and fines levied in the case (amount varies, but never less than $400.00 that I've seen);
  • Possible jail time (weekends or some amount of jail time up to six months as a requirement for a deferred sentence).

-- Second or Subsequent Offense: Not less than ten years and up to life in prisonor;

  • Normal Rules and Conditions of Probation (don't break any laws anywhere) (for up to seven years for a deferred sentence and up to life for suspended sentence);
  • Pay a probation supervisor $40.00 per month (for up to two years);
  • Pay the District Attorney $40.00 (for up to two years);
  • Fifty-Two week domestic violence class (at offender expense, usually $25.00 per week);
  • Pay all court costs and fines levied in the case (amount varies, but never less than $400.00 that I've seen);
  • Possible jail time (weekends or some amount of jail time up to six months as a requirement for a deferred sentence).

Any Assault or Battery or Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon Upon Against any of the People listed above:

-- Up to ten years in state prison and up to a $1,000.00 fine; or;

  • Normal Rules and Conditions of Probation (don't break any laws anywhere) (for up to seven years for a deferred sentence and ten years for suspended sentence);
  • Pay a probation supervisor $40.00 per month (for up to two years);
  • Pay the District Attorney $40.00 (for up to two years);
  • Fifty-Two week domestic violence class (at offender expense, usually $25.00 per week);
  • Pay all court costs and fines levied in the case (amount varies, but never less than $400.00 that I've seen);
  • Possible jail time (weekends or some amount of jail time up to six months as a requirement for a deferred sentence).
  • This can also be charged as a misdemeanor although I've never seen that happen.

Any Domestic Violence Involving Great Bodily Injury to the Victim:

-- Up to Ten Years in state prison and up to a $1,000.00 fine, or;

  • Normal Rules and Conditions of Probation (don't break any laws anywhere) (for up to seven years for a deferred sentence and ten years for suspended sentence);
  • Pay a probation supervisor $40.00 per month (for up to two years);
  • Pay the District Attorney $40.00 (for up to two years);
  • Fifty-Two week domestic violence class (at offender expense, usually $25.00 per week);
  • Pay all court costs and fines levied in the case (amount varies, but never less than $400.00 that I've seen);
  • Possible jail time (weekends or some amount of jail time up to six months as a requirement for a deferred sentence).
  • This offense is subject to the general enhancement scheme and the range can easily be much higher for a prior convicted felon.

Shooting any of the People listed above:

-- Up to Life in state prison and up to a $1,000.00 fine, or;

  • Normal Rules and Conditions of Probation (don't break any laws anywhere) (for up to seven years for a deferred sentence and up to life for suspended sentence);
  • Pay a probation supervisor $40.00 per month (for up to two years);
  • Pay the District Attorney $40.00 (for up to two years);
  • Fifty-Two week domestic violence class (at offender expense, usually $25.00 per week);
  • Pay all court costs and fines levied in the case (amount varies, but never less than $400.00 that I've seen);
  • Possible jail time (weekends or some amount of jail time up to six months as a requirement for a deferred sentence).
  • This offense is subject to the general enhancement scheme and the range (the minimum at least) can easily be much higher for a prior convicted felon.

What can you do about a Domestic Violence charge?

  • Hire an attorney experienced in defending these crimes
  • Gather all the evidence that you can about what actually happened
  • Obey any court orders entered regarding the incident especially any order to refrain from contacting the alleged victim
  • Be prepared to wait; the best outcomes in these cases often depend on timing

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