Determining What is Considered a “Violent” Offense in Oklahoma

Although it may seem easy to determine what should be considered a “violent” crime – murder, assault, battery, armed robbery, child abuse, and the list goes on – many people are misinformed on what constitutes a violent crime or offense in Oklahoma. It’s also often difficult to discern what happens when someone is convicted of a violent crime in the state. 

This article sheds some light on what, exactly, is considered a violent crime or offense, and what punishments those convicted of a violent crime may expect. Our experienced Oklahoma City criminal defense attorneys at Jacqui Ford Law have a proven track record of success defending our clients against these types of charges, and we’re here to do the same for you.

Violent Crimes Under Oklahoma Law

A large aspect of violent crimes that many people are misinformed about is the difference between a per se violent crime, and a crime that can lead to registration on the Violent Offender Registry. 

Section 571 of Title 57 of the Oklahoma statutes provides a list of crimes that are considered violent by their very nature. The list is too extensive to be listed here (there are over 50 of them), but the list is inclusive – meaning if it’s not on the list, it’s not considered a violent crime.

While many include the more obvious offenses mentioned above (murder, assault, etc.), there are many such as aggravated drug trafficking that may not be as obvious. 

Although the list in Section 571 is extensive, the list of violent crimes that require registration on the Violent Offender Registry is limited to the following 10 crimes:

  1. First degree murder;  
  2. Second degree murder as provided for in Section 701.8 of Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes;  
  3. manslaughter in the first degree;  
  4. shooting or discharging a firearm with intent to kill;  
  5. use of a vehicle to facilitate the intentional discharge of a firearm, crossbow or other weapon;  
  6. assault, battery, or assault and battery with a deadly weapon or by other means likely to produce death or great bodily harm 
  7. assault with intent to kill;  
  8. bombing;  
  9. abuse, when determined necessary by the sentencing judge; and  
  10. any crime or attempt to commit a crime constituting a substantially similar offense listed above which is adjudicated by any court of another state, the United States, a tribal court, or a military court.  

Possible Sentences and “85% Crimes”

As with most laws in the state of Oklahoma, sentencing for many violent crimes can vary dramatically. However, there are two main consequences that may result from a conviction of a violent crime: 

  1. A conviction of a violent crime will not be eligible for parole granted solely by the Pardon and Parole Board. The Board can merely recommend parole, but it is the Governor’s ultimate decision. 
  2. A conviction of a violent crime is not eligible for expungement (sealing of a past arrest) under Oklahoma law. This means that the best one can hope for in this instance would be for the Board to recommend parole, and the Governor to grant it. 

Aside from these significant consequences, it can be difficult to provide definitive answers on prison sentences or other punishments for convictions of violent crimes. Some offenders may earn credit for “good-time” served, and others may be looked at favorably or disfavorably by the Parole Board or Governor.

This is true unless the crime committed was an “85% crime.”

An “85% crime” in Oklahoma requires all people convicted of these crimes to serve at least 85% of their sentence before they can become eligible for parole. Moreover, they are not eligible for “good-time” credit or any other type of credits that may have the effect of reducing the length of their sentence to less than 85% of the original punishment. 

Contact Jacqui Ford Law Today

In Oklahoma, there are a number of crimes that may be considered violent, including many that may not even seem violent on their face. These crimes can carry lengthy sentences, a number of different forms of punishment, and some are not eligible for parole or lighter sentences for any reason. 

Due to the seriousness of these offenses and the harsh punishments that come with them, it’s extremely important to have an experienced and qualified attorney on your side that knows the nuances and complexities of Oklahoma criminal law. 

What To Do If Your Spouse Falsely Accuses You Of Domestic Violence In Oklahoma?

There are many different ways that the court may charge domestic violence in Oklahoma

In general, the state of Oklahoma describes this charge as similar to assault and battery, but with an existing and familial relationship between the victim and the accused.

However, this does not mean that you must assault an accuser to be accused; your spouse may falsely accuse you of domestic violence for many reasons.

These charges are a serious matter, and when you are falsely accused of domestic violence in Oklahoma, you will need a team of experienced defense lawyers at your side to help clear your name. At Jacqui Ford Law, we are here to tell you everything you need to know when your spouse falsely accuses you of domestic violence in Oklahoma.

What is Considered Domestic Violence in Oklahoma?

For domestic violence charges in Oklahoma, there has to be some sort of relationship between the victim and the accused.

This could include:

  • spouse
  • former spouse
  • boyfriend/girlfriend
  • parent
  • some sort of foster parent
  • child
  • some sort of blood relative
  • relative by marriage
  • parent of a mutual child, etc.

Oklahoma’s domestic violence laws are found in the same statute as assault laws, but domestic assault and battery generally carries more serious charges: up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000 for the first offense.

However, penalties for felony domestic abuse include:

  • Second or subsequent conviction of domestic abuse: Maximum of 4 years in prison
  • Second or subsequent conviction of domestic abuse of a pregnant woman: Minimum 10 years in prison
  • Domestic abuse of a pregnant woman resulting in miscarriage: Minimum 20 years in prison
  • Domestic assault and battery with a dangerous weapon: Maximum 10 years in prison
  • Domestic assault and battery with a deadly weapon: Maximum life in prison
  • Second or subsequent conviction of domestic assault and battery in the presence of a child: 1 to 5 years in prison
  • Domestic abuse with prior pattern of physical abuse: Maximum 10 years in prison
  • Domestic abuse by strangulation: 1 to 3 years in prison

So what should you do if you’ve been falsely accused of domestic violence?

1. Remain Calm After the Domestic Violence Accusation

When falsely accused of domestic violence, you may feel betrayed or upset- especially if these accusations come from somebody you formerly trusted, such as your spouse.

It would be easy to get angry, but you must remain calm and keep a level head. Resorting to anger may give validity to your spouse’s claim; try to keep yourself collected for the proceeding events.

While this may be an emotional time, you will want to proceed logically. You do not want your emotions to jeopardize your chance at freedom.

2. Consult And Hire An Oklahoma Defense Attorney

The next thing that you will want to do is consult a domestic violence criminal defense attorney to help clear your name.

If these accusations result in an arrest and trial, a defense attorney will help you prove your innocence, or even get the charges dropped due to a lack of evidence.

At Jacqui Ford Law, we are ready to help you in your fight against these false accusations. Do not hesitate to schedule a free consultation today.

3. Gather Evidence And Witnesses

As part of your domestic violence case, you will want to gather evidence and witnesses of your innocence.

In a court of law, a witness does not have to directly observe any crime; character witnesses may attest to the personality of the accused. 

If you have anyone who can testify that you would never commit domestic abuse, now is the right time to ensure they are on your side in this fight.

4. Exercise Your Right To Remain Silent

If you are arrested for these false accusations of domestic violence, you must exercise your right to remain silent. 

While you may want to clear your name with the arresting officers, your Miranda rights guarantee that anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. Your words may be twisted beyond their original meaning.

If an officer has arrested you over false accusations of domestic assault, you must remain silent and call your defense attorney.

This also means that you should refrain from reaching out to the person who accused you, or anyone in their social circle. Any contact could create problems for your case down the road.

Contact Jacqui Ford Law Today

No matter what reason your spouse may have for making false accusations of domestic violence, our team of defense attorneys at Jacqui Ford Law is ready to help you in your legal battle against these serious allegations. Contact us today to get started on your legal defense.

What To Do If You Have Been Falsely Accused Of Rape In Oklahoma

Rape is no light matter, but false rape accusations are unfortunately more common than you might think. 

These false cases are particularly common in sexual assault cases involving minors, who may have been manipulated by an adult into thinking they experienced sexual violence.

If you have experienced false rape accusations in Oklahoma, you must waste no time in setting up a defense for yourself. At Jacqui Ford Law, our Oklahoma City-based criminal defense attorneys are ready to work with you for justice after being falsely accused of rape.

Why Do I Need A Criminal Defense Attorney for a Rape Case?

Oklahoma law defines rape as an act of sexual intercourse under any of the following circumstances:

  • The victim is less than 16 years old
  • The victim is incapable of giving legal consent 
  • Force or violence is used 
  • The victim is unconscious
  • The victim engages in sexual intercourse with an employee of a government organization that exercises control over the victim
  • The victim is a student and engages in sexual intercourse with an offender who is an employee of the same school system

According to Oklahoma law, rape can also occur between spouses. 

When somebody has falsely accused you of rape in Oklahoma, your first action must be to consult a trusted defense attorney to help build your defense case. 

Rape cases are a serious matter, and you will need an experienced team of defense attorneys at your back to fight these allegations and ensure you don’t face consequences for something you didn’t do.

If convicted of rape in the first degree, you could face imprisonment, life without parole, or even the death penalty. Second-degree rape is also a felony punishable by imprisonment for between one and 15 years.

At Jacqui Ford Law, we have the necessary experience to keep you from facing the severe repercussions of false rape allegations. Do not hesitate to schedule a free consultation today.

Trust The Truth

The Oklahoma court treats sex crime cases with the gravity they deserve – and this includes a false rape charge, as a judge will want to be as thorough as possible in any rape case.

Ultimately, you must trust that the truth will come out. In many false rape accusations, the court will drop a case due to a lack of evidence, but in some cases, it may go to trial.

In these scenarios, you must not lose hope. Your defense team will work to prove your innocence, but it may take some time. Remember that each case must be beyond a reasonable doubt.

Exercise Your Right To Remain Silent

If you are arrested on false rape charges, you must exercise your right to remain silent. 

This right is a vital part of the justice system, and even if you want to inform the arresting officers of your innocence by recounting events, they can try to twist your words to suit them in court.

Additionally, it’s not a good idea to try to contact the person who accused you of rape, or anyone in their social circle. Even if you just want to discuss what happened, this can lead to serious problems for your case.

In any case, but especially cases as serious as a false rape accusation, remember to keep silent and demand to speak to your lawyer.

Consider Filing A Civil Lawsuit

After your false rape accusation case is settled, you may want to file a civil suit against whoever falsely accused you. This lawsuit can recoup financial costs for damages to your life, relationships, and career.

If you wish to file a civil suit, you must wait until after the legal matter of your rape charge is settled; under Oklahoma law, you cannot file a civil suit for a case until the case has concluded.

With a victory, the court may require your accuser to pay you a sum for the distress that they have caused.

Contact Jacqui Ford Law Today

There are many reasons somebody may make a false rape allegation, but no matter what they claim, Jacqui Ford Law is ready to help you clear your name and prove your innocence beyond a reasonable doubt.

To help build your defense against these serious allegations, schedule a free consultation with us today.

What Is The Difference Between Aggravated Assault And Aggravated Battery In Oklahoma?

It can be very easy to confuse aggravated assault and aggravated battery. However, in the state of Oklahoma, these charges have some key differences.

Additionally, a third, related charge exists: assault and battery. In Oklahoma, assault and battery as a single charge is an assault that ends in a battery. 

While an assault and battery charge is a misdemeanor offense, circumstances such as a prior conviction may result in a felony charge.

Aggravated assault and aggravated battery charges can have a lot of different elements, but luckily, our dedicated team of Oklahoma City criminal defense attorneys at Jacqui Ford Law is here to help. 

What is the Difference Between Assault and Batter in Oklahoma?

In Oklahoma, assault is a crime where a perpetrator threatens a victim with physical harm. This threat does not entail a verbal threat but a physical threat, such as a drawn first or a missed punch.

On the other hand, a battery charge involves the actual use of force. If somebody misses a punch, it is assault; if somebody pushes you or spits on you, it is a battery charge.

Assault and battery, then, could occur when somebody tries to punch you and succeeds. Then, a court would consider it “assault and battery.”

What Makes A Charge ‘Aggravated?’

While a simple assault and battery charge consists of any attempted blows that may land, several factors can elevate a simple assault charge into the aggravated territory.

One of the main factors in determining whether a charge is simple or aggravated is the amount of damage. If the victim has faced any significant injury, it will be considered an aggravated assault and battery.

However, other factors may automatically place the charge under the “aggravated” label:

  • Use of brass knuckles
  • Assault against a “special victim,” such as a police officer or an elderly or disabled person
  • Heavy blows to the face

What Are The Penalties For Aggravated Assault And Battery?

Aggravated assault and battery as a single charge is one of the most serious charges in Oklahoma and perpetrators can face serious penalties.

While penalties may vary depending on each case, you could face up to $500 in fines. Additionally, you face a maximum of up to five years in prison.

These are only the maximum typical penalties for an assault and battery charge; you may face more repercussions depending on the circumstances of the assault.

At Jacqui Ford Law, we know that these penalties can be difficult for many people and are ready to help you in your legal fight.

Penalties For Aggravated Assault And Battery Against Special Victims

If an aggravated assault and battery has been performed on a special victim, such as an on-duty police officer, a school employee, or an elderly person, you may face harsher prison sentences.

For example, aggravated assault and battery on a law enforcement officer impose a maximum of a life sentence in prison along with a fine of up to five thousand dollars.


If you are convicted of aggravated assault and battery in Oklahoma, a court may order you to pay restitution for any damages suffered by a victim.

Restitution covers any financial costs associated with the assault, including medical bills or damaged property that arises.

For example, if a victim has experienced a broken arm and shattered glasses due to an assault, you may be liable for their medical bills and the cost of their replacement glasses, along with any therapy or counseling that they may need.

Contact Jacqui Ford Law For Your Aggravated Assault Cases

At Jacqui Ford Law, we offer a free consultation with our Oklahoma City criminal defense team to learn about your case, including aggravated assault and battery cases. Contact us today!

What Is Considered Assault In Oklahoma?

Assault is a serious crime, but it can be tricky to define what the term means. Definitions vary by state.

If you live in Oklahoma, it’s critical to know your rights and understand what is considered assault in the state.

Our criminal defense attorneys at Jacqui Ford Law have years of experience with assault cases in the Oklahoma area. Read on to learn more about an assault in Oklahoma.

What Is Assault In Oklahoma?

In Oklahoma, an assault is an attempt at or violent threats against another person

Assault is considered a misdemeanor crime. If you are guilty of assault, you could be responsible for jail time, a fine, or a combination of both. 

It can be tricky to define assault, as many qualities imitate battery, which it can be a separate crime. 

Battery is an intentional and unlawful use of force against another individual. Assault is the threat of harm – while battery is the action itself.

Is An Injury Necessary For An Assault Charge in Oklahoma?

It’s possible to make a charge for assault and battery even if you don’t have a physical injury on your body. However, certain degrees of harm make a felony charge more likely in your case. 

In Oklahoma, battery is unwanted touching from another individual. An alleged victim can make a charge without serious injury. However, the punishment to the offender may not be as extensive.

Other Forms Of Assault in Oklahoma

The crime of assault has other forms in Oklahoma. They include aggravated assault, assault and battery of a police officer, assault and battery in domestic violence, and assault in battery on an emergency medical provider or juror.

We will focus on the two general forms of assault that appear most often in court:

  • Aggravated assault and battery
  • Domestic assault

Aggravated Assault And Battery

Aggravated assault and battery is the most common form of assault in Oklahoma. This situation occurs when assault happens and the victim has severe bodily harm as a result. The perpetrator is typically strong and the victim is unable to defend themselves well.

If a man injured a man of a similar size, resulting in severe injury, they would receive a charge for aggravated assault. However, if they went after an old lady and severely injured her, they would be responsible for an aggravated assault and battery under Oklahoma law.

Domestic Assault

Assault and battery are also prevalent in the form of domestic abuse. In this case, several people can enact domestic assault.

Domestic assault and battery are defined by Oklahoma as an attack on:

If convicted, an individual guilty of domestic assault may face a year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or a combination of the two. 

If a domestic assault occurs on a pregnant woman with the assaulter’s knowledge, the punishment becomes even harsher.

If there is a severe bodily injury in a domestic assault, the punishments are greater. They may face a year of incarceration or up to a $3,000 fine.

Contact Jacqui Ford Law Today

If you have been arrested or are currently under investigation for a criminal charge in Oklahoma City, then your rights and freedom could be on the line. If you think you may need help with an assault case, contact Jacqui Ford Law today. Our defense attorneys are ready and willing to assist you with anything you need.

What Is Justifiable Homicide in Oklahoma?

When someone kills another person, it is considered homicide.

However, there are some situations in which the killing is not illegal, which are defined under Oklahoma law as “excusable homicide” or “justifiable homicide.” Charges may still be brought against the defendant if the district attorney believes the killing was criminal.

Understanding Oklahoma’s laws surrounding justifiable homicide is important for anyone who may be wrongly facing homicide charges. Read about the exceptions below and then contact our experienced Oklahoma City criminal defense attorney at Jacqui Ford Law for legal advice on your particular situation.

Oklahoma Legal Definitions of Justifiable Homicide

Oklahoma recognizes three different situations in which homicide is justifiable:

21 OK Stat § 21-731 – Excusable Homicide

Excusable homicide occurs when someone kills another person without meaning to and while engaging in legal behavior. There is no intent behind the killing and the defendant was being cautious at the time of the accident that led to the victim’s death. This situation may arise when a death occurs as part of a car accident, for example.

According to Oklahoma law, excusable homicide also includes when the killing occurs by accident or misfortune during the heat of passion, upon sudden and sufficient provocation or upon sudden combat.

21 OK Stat § 21-732 – Law Enforcement Exception

This statute is used to excuse a killing committed by a law enforcement officer.

For the exception to apply, the officer uses lethal force when he or she is acting lawfully, is performing his or her legal duty, and is attempting to arrest a suspect or prevent a suspect from fleeing who may greatly harm or kill someone else.

21 OK Stat § 21-733 – Justifiable Homicide

Oklahoma law further recognizes three lawful reasons to kill another person:

  1. When the defendant was defending himself or herself against murder or violence or the act occurred in a home;
  2. When the defendant was defending another person from being killed or seriously harmed or when trying to prevent a violent act from being committed against another person; or
  3. When trying to stop a person who had committed a felony, suppressing a riot, or when trying to preserve the peace.

How Justifiable Homicide Is Proven in Oklahoma Courts

In a criminal case, the prosecutor has the burden of establishing each element of the crime by proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

However, self-defense cases are unique in that the burden of proof sways back and forth between the prosecutor and the defendant. Once self-defense is alleged as a defense, the defendant must show that the degree of force was necessary and in line with the danger he or she faced at the time of the killing.

The defendant must be able to show that he or she:

  • Reasonably believed he, she, or someone else was in imminent danger;
  • Reasonably believed that the immediate use of force was necessary to defend against the danger; and
  • Used only the amount of force that was necessary under the circumstances

Proving self-defense may require the defendant to testify. An experienced Oklahoma City criminal defense lawyer may also be able to use other forms of evidence to support this defense, such as:

  • Eyewitness testimony by others who saw the killing
  • Surveillance footage that shows the acts leading up to the killing
  • Expert testimony regarding the location of injuries on the victim and defendant
  • Crime scene photos that support this defense

Why It Is Important to Have an Oklahoma City Criminal Defense Lawyer to Prove Justifiable Homicide?  

It is important to have a skilled Oklahoma City criminal defense attorney by your side when facing homicide charges. Criminal defense attorneys have relationships with local district attorneys and may be able to convince them to drop the charges if the evidence is clear that the killing was justified. Your lawyer can help gather evidence and examine witnesses that support a self-defense legal strategy. Criminal defense attorneys can assess whether it is preferable for you to testify in your own defense. If you will be testifying, he or she can also help you prepare for this testimony.

Contact our skilled Oklahoma City criminal defense attorney to discuss your case and learn about which defenses may apply in your case.

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.


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?

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

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.

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.