Couples argue, and sometimes an argument can get out of hand. When an argument becomes domestic assault in the presence of a minor in Tulsa, Oklahoma, it can turn an already bad situation into something much worse.
Children are adversely affected by the presence of violence in the home. As a result, Oklahoma treats domestic assault in the presence of a minor seriously.
Assault, Battery, and Domestic Assault and Battery
An assault is a threat or attempt to use physical force against a person. (Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 641) Battery is the contact actually made or force realized. Tulsa law defines a battery as the intentional use of force or harm against another person. (Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 642)
If an enraged husband pulls his fist back to punch his wife, he could be charged with assault. If he punches her, that is a battery. In this example, he could be charged with assault and battery.
The statute also defines domestic abuse as an assault and battery against a current or former spouse, or that (ex) spouse’s former or current spouse. It also cover assault and battery against a parent, 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. (Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 644)
This list is quite comprehensive and is meant to cover a number of situations in which a domestic assault and battery might occur. Domestic abuse and assault and battery in Tulsa often go hand in hand.
Domestic Assault in the Presence of a Minor
In and of itself, domestic assault and battery is usually charged as a misdemeanor in Oklahoma. Domestic assault in the presence of a minor is a more serious offense in Oklahoma. It is generally charged as domestic assault and battery in the presence of a minor.
A first conviction will garner a jail term of six months to one year and/or a fine of up to $5,000. A subsequent conviction will lead to one to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $7,000. (Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 644)
In almost all cases, the judge will order that the aggressor undergo treatment and/or counseling. This may be for anger management, couple’s counseling, or individual therapy.
The scene of a physical altercation between a couple can be difficult for the police to sort out. Emotions run high and it can be difficult sometimes for the police to accurately identify the aggressor and victim.
Hiring an experienced Tulsa criminal defense attorney 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.
Suspended and Deferred Sentences
Under certain circumstances, the court may order a deferred or suspended sentence in a domestic assault and battery case. The court will continue to retain jurisdiction over your case, and review your progress.
A deferred sentence allows the court to delay proceedings for up to 10 years without entering a judgment of guilt, and to dismiss the case if the defendant complies with all programs and counseling as ordered by the court.
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.
The court may order a defendant to attend classes regarding the cessation of domestic abuse. This is often a 52-week program with evaluations conducted during and after the program is completed. This can be ordered in addition to couple’s or marital counseling, anger management classes and individual therapy, and substance abuse classes and/or treatment.
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