Unfortunately, domestic assault and battery happens, most often in troubled relationships. In fact, it can be a cyclical pattern in troubled relationships. When children are involved or present, domestic assault and battery takes on new meaning in the eyes of the law. Here is what you might want to know about domestic assault and battery in the presence of a minor and how it is handled in Claremore, Oklahoma.
Domestic Assault and Battery in the Presence of a Minor Defined
Oklahoma law defines domestic assault and battery as the threat (assault) of force or violence and the actual use of force or violence (battery) upon a member of the household. This includes a spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, former boyfriend or girlfriend, roommate, parents, or a former or current spouse or partner. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 644
When that domestic assault or battery happens in the presence of a minor under the age of 18, the crime becomes a felony in Claremore.
It happens more often than you would think. An argument between spouses gets overheated, and the children huddle in their rooms as it becomes physical. In that case, even though the children have not seen the assault and battery, they have heard it, and that is enough under the statute.
The crime occurs when the child sees or hears the assault and battery, or when the perpetrator believes that the child is within the immediate area and may see or hear the act.
Penalties for Domestic Assault and Battery in the Presence of a Minor
Penalties for this crime increase with subsequent convictions. Since the cycle of violence is repeated until a couple gets help, that can mean repeated convictions.
For example, the sentence for a first conviction, may be six months to a year in jail, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
A subsequent conviction for domestic assault and battery in the presence of a minor is punishable by one to five years in prison, a fine of up to $7,000, or both.
In addition, the judge will certainly order that a defendant attend individual or couples’ counseling, anger management classes, or substance abuse treatment or classes if substance issues are part of the mix. The defendant must pay for these services out of his or her own pocket. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 644
In addition, the court may order one or more review hearings to ensure that the defendant has complied with all court orders in this regard. Failure to comply will result in further ordered services or the revocation of any suspended or deferred sentence or probation.
Suspended and Deferred Sentences
It is in everyone’s best interests for abusers to get help. Thus, it is possible for the court to order deferred or suspended sentences in domestic assault and battery cases under certain conditions.
A deferred sentence allows the court to delay proceedings without entering a judgment of guilt. The case is dismissed if the defendant complies with all court orders, such as probation, community service, or counseling.
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 in probation. This may include couples’ counseling, anger management classes, attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings, and the like.
Getting the Help You Need
Domestic violence scenes can be difficult for the police to sort out. When anger and fear are running high, especially when alcohol or other substances are part of the mix, it can be difficult sometimes for the police to accurately identify the aggressor and victim.
Hiring an experienced Claremore lawyer in this situation can be critical to preserving your freedom. Your attorney can help sort out the facts and defenses in your particular case, and help you navigate through the system to help you and your family achieve the best possible outcome.
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.
Claremore Lawyer is here to help you. Don’t delay. Call us today.
And your initial consultation with a Claremore criminal defense attorney is free. Call us at 918-213-0950.
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