Assault and Battery Basics
In order to understand domestic assault and battery in Claremore, it helps to understand the fundamentals of assault and battery in general.
Most often, we think of assault and battery as one crime, or we confuse the two. They are actually two crimes, but because they occur together so often, it is easy to confuse them.
Under Oklahoma law, an assault is defined as a threat or attempt to use physical force against a person. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 641
In contrast, battery is the intended use of force against another, causing that person harm or offense. Okla. Stat. tit.21 § 642
In essence, assault is the threat of a forceful or unwanted contact, and battery is the contact. An example helps: An assault occurs when a person cocks a fist back to punch you, and the punch itself is the battery.
Domestic Assault and Battery in Claremore, Oklahoma
Domestic assault and battery is a particular type of assault and battery. Any person who commits an assault and battery against a current or former spouse or their former or current spouses, parents, 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 is guilty of domestic abuse. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 644
Assault and battery is common in domestic abuse. Too often a pattern of anger, escalation and violence develops between domestic partners in which violence becomes the norm. Tempers run high in domestic situations, especially where there are financial or other stressors in a relationship. With help, couples can learn to cool off and then talk through difficulties rather than resort to violence.
Domestic disputes are often difficult for the police to sort out when they arrive on the scene. It can be hard to sort out who the aggressor is and who the victim is. Oftentimes, police will arrest one of the partners just to provide a cooling off period. That is one reason why you may want to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Your attorney can help sort out and present the facts to a judge that can help preserve your freedom, and may be instrumental in getting help for you as well.
Penalties for Domestic Assault and Battery
Domestic assault and battery is often charged as a misdemeanor in Oklahoma on a first conviction. The crime is punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
However, subsequent convictions have escalating penalties. They are treated as felonies, and can be punished by up to four years in prison and a fine of $5,000. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 644
In a turbulent relationship, there are often multiple convictions.
If a dangerous weapon is used as part of the assault and battery, you could be convicted of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. This offense carries a sentence of 1 to 10 years in prison. And if you shoot your domestic partner, you could spend the rest of your life in prison.
If there is a provable prior pattern of abuse, the crime is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. A fine of up to $5,000 may be assessed in addition to or in lieu of incarceration.
In order to establish a pattern of abuse, the prosecutor must show physical abuse against the victim on three different occasions within six months of the incident that you are being charged with. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 644.1
Suspended and Deferred Sentences
A court may order a deferred or suspended sentence in domestic assault and battery cases under certain conditions. This allows you the time, tools, and ability to possibly engage in repairing the relationship.
A deferred sentence will allow a delay in the proceedings for up to 10 years without entering a judgment of guilt. It also allows the court to dismiss the case if you comply with all conditions ordered by the court.
A suspended sentence allows you to serve some or all of your sentence on probation as long as you abide by all the rules set forth in your probation. Courts may order community service, anger management, substance abuse classes, or counseling.
These cases are often difficult to sort out. If you are facing charges for domestic assault and battery, get the help you need. An experienced criminal defense attorney can not only help you preserve your freedom but also help you to get the social services that you and your partner need.
Free Consultation with an Experienced Claremore Criminal Defense Attorney
Freedom is precious. Don’t try to go this one alone. Get the help you need.
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