Oklahoma courts do not take domestic violence charges lightly and will investigate each in depth to determine their merit and what courses of action are necessary to remedy each situation. Unfortunately, upon receiving a domestic abuse claim, the courts demonstrate an automatic bias toward the accused. This means the burden of proof rests on the defendant to prove he or she is not guilty of the charges against him or her and should be free to go without punishment. Despite how strong your case may seem, if you were accused of domestic violence in Oklahoma, your case would be best served by a knowledgeable and aggressive Stillwater domestic violence attorney. Contact BDIW Law today to learn how we can help you.
What Makes Domestic Abuse Different From Assault?
Domestic violence is, essentially, assault and/or battery. However, what distinguishes the two is the victim. The Oklahoma courts consider instances of violence as “domestic violence” if the aggression is directed at one or more of the following persons:
- A current or former spouse;
- A child;
- A current spouse of an ex spouse;
- An ex spouse of the offender’s current spouse;
- A parent or foster parent;
- A person related by marriage or blood;
- A person whom the offender is or was dating;
- A person whom the offender has conceived a child with;
- A person who currently lives with the offender; or
- A person who formerly lived with the offender.
If the victim fits any of the above descriptions, the state may charge you with domestic violence.
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What are the Penalties for Domestic Violence in Oklahoma?
The penalties for domestic violence vary depending on a number of factors. For instance, a first-time offender faces misdemeanor charges and up to one year in jail, a fine up to $5,000, or both. A second time offense, however, is a felony and is punishable by up to four years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
If the state can prove that a person has a “prior pattern of physical abuse,” it may charge the person with a felony and sentence him or her to up to 10 years in prison. The state may also charge the offender a $5,000 fine. “Prior pattern of physical abuse” means the defendant was accused of three different instances of physical abuse within six months of the date of the incident for which he or she currently stands trial. Any one or all of the three prior incidences need not have resulted in arrests or convictions.
The state imposes minimum prison sentences on defendants who committed domestic violence in the presence of a child or against a pregnant woman. For instance, a first-time offender who commits domestic violence in the presence of a child must serve a minimum of six months in prison. For second-time or subsequent offenders, the minimum jail sentence is one year and the fine maximum goes up to $7,000.
If a person commits domestic violence against a woman he or she knows is pregnant, and if the woman miscarries or harm befalls the fetus, the offender faces up to 20 years in prison.
What can You do if Charged With Domestic Violence?
If you were charged with domestic violence in Oklahoma, the best thing you can do for your future, your relationships, and your reputation is contact a Stillwater domestic violence lawyer. Contact BDIW Law today to learn how we can help you through this difficult situation.
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