Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon in Oklahoma

Assault and battery are two distinct crimes.  Though assault is not exactly the same as battery, the two are commonly charged as a single crime of assault and battery.  An individual can be found guilty of assault and battery as a single crime when an assault ultimately leads to battery.

From Oklahoma City defense attorney Jacqui Ford, here’s everything you need to know about assault and battery, and what to do if you’re charged with either.

Defining Assault in Oklahoma

According to Oklahoma law, assault is a threat or an attempt to induce physical harm on another individual. The threat must include a physical action such as raising one’s fist toward a victim or charging in his or her direction.  

Defining Battery in Oklahoma

Battery is an individual’s intentional use of force against an individual who causes harm to another person.  Some simple examples that qualify as battery in Oklahoma include:

  • Spitting on someone
  • Slapping someone
  • Punching a person

This means following through on a threat by striking a person can result in a charge of assault and battery as a single crime.

Assault and Battery With a Dangerous Weapon

It is important to distinguish between regular assault and battery and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.  

Assault and battery with a dangerous weapon is committed when one acts with an intent to induce physical harm to another person, with a dangerous or sharp weapon, or by shooting another person with a gun.  

In the state of Oklahoma, the intent to induce physical harm is defined as one’s intent to induce harm to another individual, regardless of its severity.

An individual found guilty of aggravated assault and battery will have a serious felony on their record that dramatically reduces “life chances” across the years and decades to come.

Defining Deadly Weapons

Deadly or dangerous weapons are objects meant to inflict harsh bodily injury or a life-threatening injury. Such a weapon must be used in a way that could cause such an injury. Otherwise, the object in question will not qualify as a deadly or dangerous weapon.  

Common examples of deadly weapons include knives and firearms.

However, even something like a baseball bat qualifies as a deadly weapon as it can be used in a manner that induces serious harm. As long as the object can cause death, visible disfigurement, a broken bone, or other serious harm, it qualifies as a dangerous or deadly weapon.

The use of such a weapon makes assault and battery that much more of a serious crime.

Assault and Battery Penalties in Oklahoma

An individual who commits assault, battery, or assault and battery with a dangerous weapon faces harsh penalties.  

The worst possible penalty ican be upwards of a full decade in prison.

The other end of the penalty spectrum is a year in jail.  

If a medical provider is assaulted with a deadly weapon, the crime is punishable by upwards of a full year in jail, a $1,000 fine or both. A penalty of life in prison is possible for those who shoot a family member or an individual with whom one has a child, as it qualifies as domestic abuse.

Restitution

An individual convicted of assault and battery or either of these offenses might be required to pay restitution.  

Restitution payments are necessary to reimburse the victim for expenses related to the crime.

As an example, restitution is paid to cover the cost of related medical treatment, replacing damaged or destroyed property and/or mental counseling necessary in the aftermath of the crime.

Contact Jacqui Ford Law Today

Assault and battery charges have the potential to ruin your life. But you do not need to assume you will be found guilty following this unfortunate event. At Jacqui Ford Law, we do everything in our power to advocate on our clients’ behalf and prevent guilty verdicts.  

Contact our law office today to learn more about how we can combat your assault and battery charge and get your life back on track.

 

Court Diversion Programs in Oklahoma

While it may not seem like it in criminal dramas or highly-publicized trials, there are more solutions to a criminal case that don’t simply involve fines or sending a defendant to prison.

Court diversion programs are just one part of a multistage model of resources aimed at reducing Oklahoma’s increasing incarceration rate. Through treatments, community outreach, and more, people that find themselves in the justice system have alternatives to get the help they need while having their charges against them dropped.

From our dedicated team of criminal defense attorneys at Ford Law, here’s everything you need to know about court diversion programs in Oklahoma.

What Are Court Diversion Programs?

Court diversion programs are programs that provide alternate paths so that prison is not the only option for clearing a convicted person’s name and criminal record.

Oftentimes, this means signing an agreement that documents everything a defendant must do or must not do for the charges against them to be dropped by the prosecution.

These agreements may require actions like participating in drug or alcohol treatment programs, mental health and anger management practices, or other means of restorative justice such as community service.

For veterans that find themselves in the justice system, for example – whether as victims of circumstance or otherwise – there is a highly effective Veteran’s Court. Programs can also earn the “Zone4Vets” distinction for their services under the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS).

This certifies that the program’s personnel have received specialized training and follow established practices for identifying at-risk veterans or veterans already in the criminal justice system for enhanced collaboration between veterans and community resources.

Oklahoma City diversion programs include:

  • Female Diversion Program
  • DUI and Drug Court
  • Veteran’s Treatment Court
  • Mental Health Court
  • Misdemeanor Diversion Program
  • OKC Community Sentencing
  • ReMerge (for mothers and families)

Why Do We Need to Expand Court Diversion Programs?

The results of court diversion programs are clear to see through independent research studies and the results of these practices implemented across the state. Everyone benefits from these solutions, including taxpayers.

For example, the annual cost of a drug court ruling and agreement to participate in a structured and supervised program costs just $5,000 compared to $19,000 for incarceration. 

Those who complete a mental health court are over seven times less likely to relapse to criminal actions and be incarcerated as a result than inmates who have done time and been released.

Who Suffers Most From Lacking Court Diversion Programs?

Currently, many people fall through the cracks in the guidelines of who is eligible for a court diversion program and who isn’t – particularly when it comes to our veterans.

Unfortunately, many people are treated the same when it comes to facing a trial, no matter their background or history. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and traumatic brain injuries as a result of battling on the frontlines are all overlooked when it comes to the ability to manage stressful stimuli. 

This means that veterans who resort to violence against others or other self-destructive behaviors can often be sentenced to the highest degree, instead of being given the support they need after valiantly fighting for our country. 

Without expanding these programs, Oklahoma County can only expect to see increased crime and recidivism rates as new and old criminals resort to self-serving and violent ways.

The Diversion Hub in Oklahoma City

The Diversion Hub is a comprehensive network dedicated to assisting individuals involved in the justice system in Oklahoma City:

“Our goal is to provide life-stabilizing resources and services to justice-involved individuals to help them become safe, self-sufficient, and stable members of the community, thereby reducing their encounters with the justice system.”

A client may be referred to the Diversion Hub by Oklahoma County judges or public defenders, private defense attorneys, the Misdemeanor Diversion Program, or other existing Diversion Hub projects.

The Diversion Hub provides assistance with a range of services, including:

  • Housing
  • Mental Health Referrals
  • Government Benefits
  • Employment
  • Substance Abuse Referrals
  • Education Referrals
  • Legal Assitance (i.e., Rule 8 Hearings, Housing, Expungements)

Contact Jacqui Ford for Representation in Oklahoma

Jacqui Ford is dedicated to helping the people of Oklahoma City make it through their court cases and understand the problems they face. Jacqui is especially dedicated to supporting the veterans that have worked so hard to protect the country. 

If you need help understanding the agreements you are to be provided, or are unsure what steps to take or whether you are eligible for court diversion programs, contact us at Jacqui Ford Law today. 

Marsy’s Law Establishes New Rights for Victims in Oklahoma

On November 6, 2018, the voters of Oklahoma overwhelmingly voted to pass Marsy’s Law. 

With its passage, Marsy’s Law established a variety of constitutional protections for victims, including notice of the accused’s release and the right to be heard during any judicial proceeding.

Given the shoddy care that many victims of crimes in Oklahoma, especially Oklahoma City, receive during the judicial process, Marsy’s Law is a much-needed addition to the state constitution. Now, victims and their families can be heard by the courts and be notified of significant events that may arise during the investigation, trial, and incarceration. 

At Jacqui Ford Law, we know that every case is unique, and some people are falsely accused. But we always want to advocate for justice, which is why it is also important to us that victims are informed of their rights and understand new laws as they apply. Read on to learn more about Marsy’s Law.

What Does Marsy’s Law Do for Oklahoma Victims?

Due to the passing of Marsy’s Law, Oklahoma victims now have the following rights:

  • Fair and respectful treatment of a victim’s safety and privacy
  • Timely notice of and the right to be present at all court proceedings
  • Right to be heard during plea, release, sentencing, parole, and other proceedings
  • To be afforded reasonable protection
  • Notice of release or escape
  • Right to refuse any interview by the accused, unless subpoenaed
  • Right to full and timely restitution
  • Prompt resolution of the case
  • Right to confer with the attorney for the state
  • To be informed about victim’s rights
  • Legal remedy if any of these rights have been violated

How Did This Oklahoma Law Become a National Movement?

In 1983, UC Santa Barbara student Marsalee Nicholas was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend. 

Unbeknownst to her family, the killer was released from custody within a few days of her murder. Less than a week after the killing, Marsy’s family encountered her ex-boyfriend in a grocery store following a visit to her gravesite. 

In 2008, the state of California passed Marsy’s Law which provided essential notifications, protection, and the right to restitution to victims and their families. This became a major step in formalizing victims’ rights and started a national Marsy’s Law movement.

In the intervening years, 12 states including Oklahoma have passed their versions of Marsy’s Law. 

The ultimate goal of the Marsy’s Law movement is to add an amendment to the U.S. Constitution enshrining victims’ rights.

What Resources Are There for Oklahoma City Victims?

Under the current Oklahoma City district attorney, there has been little attention paid to the many victims of domestic violence. 

Luckily, one program known as Palomar has established a Family Justice Center that aids domestic violence victims by housing 14 key public and private agencies in a single location. 

Palomar includes the Oklahoma City Police Department, the Oklahoma City Health Department, Oklahoma DHS, YWCA and many others.

Prior to the introduction of Palomar, victims of domestic violence in Oklahoma City had to travel hours by car or public transit to various agencies. Now you can find all of the help you need in a single office building.

You may find Palomar at 1140 North Hudson Ave. No appointments are necessary, and walk-ins are welcome. You may contact Palomar by phone at 405-552-1010 or by text at 405-355-3556. You may email Palomar at help@palomarokc.org

Contact Jacqui Ford for Representation in Oklahoma 

Jacqui Ford is an award-winning criminal defense attorney that has been helping Oklahoma City families deal with the consequences of violence and criminal activity for decades. If you need representation, Jacqui Ford Law can help.

Jacqui is also currently running for the office of Oklahoma City District Attorney, an office that she intends to hold with a passion for justice, community building, and helping local families. 

If you would like to learn more, please visit Jacqui Ford Law today. 

Requirements for a Protective Order in Oklahoma

If there is someone in your life who is hurting, threatening, harassing, or stalking you, you should consider getting a protective order against them. 

After you petition the court and a protective order is granted, that person, as well as people acting on their behalf, must stay away from you at all times. 

Jaqui Ford Law is committed to justice for all in Oklahoma City – both for victims of domestic violence and for those who are falsely accused of domestic violence. We want to make sure that no matter your situation, you are protected, and the best way you can be sure of legal protection is by hiring a knowledgeable Oklahoma attorney.

Why Should I Get an Oklahoma Protective Order?

It may seem that a protective order is merely an empty legal gesture, but a violation of a protective order can be used in court to establish that a person is uncontrollable and likely dangerous. 

If a violation is proven, then the court may also impose penalties that may include fines or jail time upon the violator.

In Oklahoma, a protective order may remain in force for up to 5 years or without a specified end date. If there is an expiration date, the protective order may be renewed through another hearing.

What Are Oklahoma’s Requirements for a Protective Order?

Anyone can ask the court to issue a protective order, but there are some requirements:

  • You must have been physically abused or threatened with physical abuse
  • The person who harmed or threatened you must be a family or household member

There is normally no cost to filing a petition for a protective order in Oklahoma. 

If, however, the judge determines that the petition is frivolous (i.e. the allegations are false), then the judge may order you to pay court costs and the defendant’s attorney fees.

How do I Get a Protective Order in Oklahoma?

There are 3 kinds of protective orders in Oklahoma:

  1. Emergency temporary order—this kind of protective order is issued in a violent situation. The responding police officer must recognize that a person is in need of protection and verbally petition a judge because the court is closed. This may only remain in effect until the close of the next business day.
  2. Emergency ex parte order—in order to extend a temporary parte order, you must file for an emergency ex parte protective order in the county courthouse where you reside. This emergency ex parte order may only remain in effect for 20 days.
  3. Final order of protection—at the end of the emergency ex parte order, the judge will schedule a hearing that the petitioner and the accused must attend. 

It is in your best interest to hire an attorney to handle any paperwork and represent you for the final order hearing. 

After the hearing, the judge will decide whether to grant the final order of protection. If so, the final order of protection must be properly served on the defendant in order to go into effect.

It is important to be very detailed in your description of any incidents between you and the other party, no matter how violent or graphic. The more complete the picture, the more likely the judge will grant the petition.

 

At the hearing for a protective order, the judge may ask both parties questions regarding your past interactions with the other party. It is in your best interest to work with an experienced criminal attorney to prepare for such questioning, particularly if you are being falsely accused of domestic violence.

Contact Jacqui Ford today

Jacqui Ford has been one of Oklahoma City’s most prominent and successful criminal defense lawyers for more than 15 years. She has forged a reputation for protecting the rights of her clients and seeking justice no matter how difficult the circumstances. 

If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence and are in need of representation in Oklahoma, call Jacqui Ford today.

UPDATED: Oklahoma’s Current Marijuana Laws 2022

2022 UPDATE of Oklahoma’s Marijuana Laws:

As of January 2022, possession and sale of recreational marijuana is still illegal in Oklahoma under Oklahoma Statutes Title 63 §2-101, et seq., also known as the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Act.

Possession of recreational marijuana can lead to a misdemeanor charge with a penalty of up to 1 year or a fine of $10,000. Subsequent charges (or certain circumstances) can lead to increased penalties.

Selling recreational marijuana in Oklahoma is a felony punishable by between 2-10 years in person and/or a fine of up to $5000.

However, it’s important to note that marijuana use for medical purposes (medical marijuana) is allowed for certain conditions, in accordance with HB 2154 (approved in 2015) and SQ 788 (approved on June 26, 2018). 

According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health Medical Marijuana Control Program (310:681-2-11):

  • “All smokable, vaporized, vapable and e-cigarette medical marijuana and medical marijuana products smoked by a patient license holder are subject to the same restrictions for tobacco under Section 1-1521 et. seq. of Title 63 of Oklahoma statutes, commonly referred to as the “Smoking in Public Places and Indoor Workplaces Act.”

2021 UPDATE of Oklahoma’s Marijuana Laws:

Oklahoma’s marijuana laws continue to evolve as the medical marijuana industry grows to new heights in the state. Most of the 2021 changes, so far, have introduced stricter regulation on the growing and selling of medical marijuana:

  • The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) is implementing a seed-to-sale monitoring system, tracking each individual marijuana plant and package from the farm to the point of sale.
  • OMMA is also implementing a quality assurance program so that every package sold to customers will be up to standards set by the state.
  • House Bill 2272 recently passed in the Oklahoma House of Representatives and is being considered in the Senate. This bill would cap the number of commercial licenses that OMMA can distribute in an effort to combat organized crime from dominating the industry.

For the most part, these changes will not have much effect on the legality of possession and usage for the average Oklahoman. There is some discussion in the House of legalizing recreational marijuana via a state-wide referendum, but the bill that would introduce that referendum, HB 1961, is still being discussed in committee.

 

2020 UPDATE of Oklahomas Marijuana Laws: 

The state of Oklahoma has changed some of its policies regarding marijuana possession and usage (Bill HB 26126 signed in March 2019) since this blog was originally posted. Citizens of Oklahoma with a medical marijuana license are permitted to have the following:

  • Up to 8 ounces of marijuana at home
  • Up to 3 ounces of marijuana on their person
  • Up to 1 ounce of concentrated marijuana
  • Up to 72 ounces of edible marijuana
  • Up to 6 mature marijuana plants
  • Up to 6 seedling plants

However, without a medical marijuana license, possessing more than 1.5 ounces of herbal cannabis will still lead to a misdemeanor charge (with the penalty of a fine, but no jail time). 

The consumption of marijuana is legal in the home but illegal in public places. It is illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana, but Oklahoma residents with a medical marijuana license are allowed to drive with the marijuana in their car (closed and out of reach from the driver) if they do not cross state lines.

 

ORIGINAL POST:

Oklahoma’s current marijuana laws are quite different from those in some blue states and our Canadian neighbors to the north. Location matters just as much as the other facts of the situation when determining whether using marijuana is legal. Unfortunately, Oklahomans face comparably harsh penalties for using marijuana in the Sooner State.

Oklahoma’s Marijuana Laws

The state of Oklahoma has legalized the use of medical marijuana for those with certain medical conditions.  However, there are plenty of questions as to how the medical marijuana program will be implemented. The sad truth is Oklahoma law enforcement has not taken action to simplify the legality surrounding marijuana.  The confusion surrounding Oklahoma’s marijuana laws have spurred numerous meetings between state law enforcement and state lawmakers.

At the moment, Oklahoma’s medical marijuana rules state an individual without a state license will be subjected to a minimum of a $400 fine if he or she has 1.5 ounces or less of cannabis.   However, if the individual in question does not have a medical condition that allows for the use of marijuana, the penalties will be substantially worse. It is particularly interesting to note Oklahoma has a distinct law that decriminalizes the possession of low level drugs.  This is precisely why Oklahoma law enforcers are a bit confounded as to which laws should be followed. Some state police officers have stated they can rely on old laws to legally arrest those who possess marijuana without the state’s medical license. This means it is up to the law enforcement agent to either arrest an individual caught with marijuana or let the matter go with a mere fine.

The Specifics of the Sooner State’s Marijuana Laws

The Sooner State recently altered its marijuana laws with the passage of State Question 788.  The new rules apply lower misdemeanor charges for drug possession. If an individual is found with 1.5 ounces or less of medical cannabis, $400 is the maximum fine he or she will face.  There is no jail time for those found with 1.5 ounces or less of this variety of marijuana. In fact, it is even possible to file an appeal to have prior marijuana convictions altered to reflect the new rules.  Though marijuana laws have clearly changed, it is still illegal for Oklahomans to possess or grow medical marijuana without the appropriate license.

Those who are approved for medical marijuana use in the state of Oklahoma are limited to certain CBD products.  State lawmakers wrote the new marijuana rule to be CBD-specific. This means patients who qualify for the use of CBD products will be able to use marijuana to treat their condition as long as the CBD product does not have more than 3/10 of a single percentage of THC.  THC is the psychoactive component of marijuana.

What Oklahoma’s Law States About Driving While Under the Influence of Marijuana

According to H.B. 1441, an individual who has a Schedule 1 controlled or chemical substance in his or her body when driving a motor vehicle will be jailed for a minimum of 10 days and upwards of an entire year or longer.  Unfortunately, marijuana is still a Schedule 1 drug. If an individual is found guilty of operating motor vehicle a second time while under the influence of marijuana, the sentencing will be even longer.

Some of those found guilty of crimes related to marijuana charges will lose more than their weed.  Oklahoma law allows for any property or vehicles to be seized if they were involved in the charges relating to marijuana.  Furthermore, it is possible for those convicted of cannabis-related crimes to have their driver’s license suspended for upwards of three years.  

Recreational Cannabis in Oklahoma

At the moment, Oklahoma does not permit the use of recreational cannabis.  Though cannabis laws are changing in some states, Oklahoma still limits cannabis consumption to those with certain medical problems.  Thanks to State Question 7890 that went into effect in July of 2017, all marijuana charges in the state of Oklahoma are misdemeanor charges.  It does not matter if the individual in question has a single marijuana offense or dozens of marijuana offenses; the possession charge will remain as a misdemeanor.

Furthermore, Oklahoma has a tax stamp law for those found with cannabis.  Those in possession of illegal marijuana are forced to buy a stamp issued by the state of Oklahoma.  This stamp is placed on the contraband. The per gram tax stamp rate is currently $3.50. Those who do not comply with the tax stamp law will face a penalty that is 200 times as severe as the tax stamp rate.

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