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Domestic abuse is assault or battery against an intimate partner, family member or individual living in the same household as you. 

To better understand domestic abuse laws in OKC, let’s take a closer look at various terms in that definition of domestic abuse.

What are the terms connected to domestic abuse?

Assault is the willful, unlawful threat of force, coercion of other violence that could do someone harm. Essentially, assault is when you instill fear in someone that they will suffer harm if they don’t do what you ask. 

Battery is the use of willful force or violence to another individual. Battery is a sort of completion of assault where you follow through on the actions you’ve threatened.

Now let’s look at the definition for the various individuals whose assault and battery could be considered domestic abuse.

An intimate partner is:

  • A current or former spouse
  • Someone from a current or previous dating relationship
  • Biological parents of a child, even if they are separated or have never lived together 
  • Those who have lived together in an intimate way, generally classified as a couple who is affectionate toward one another or who has had sexual involvement

Family and household members include any of the following.

  • Parents, including adoptive parents, foster parents, grandparents or stepparents
  • Children, grandchildren, adopted children, foster children or stepchildren
  • Any blood relatives or individuals married that are living in the same household

Oklahoma domestic abuse punishment

Depending on the severity of the situation and whether or not the accused individual is a repeat domestic abuse offender, charges can be misdemeanors or felonies in Oklahoma. 

A misdemeanor charge for domestic abuse carries jail time of a year with a maximum fine of $5,000.

Aggravating factors can turn a first-time domestic abuse into a felony. In these circumstances, individuals found guilty of domestic abuse in Oklahoma could face punishments of up to four years in prison and fines up to $5,000.

If you are charged with domestic abuse in the presence of a child, your first offense is a misdemeanor and could mean you spend six months to a year in prison and be ordered to pay a fine of up to $5,000. Subsequent offenses in the presence of a child will be charged as a felony, which means you could spend one to five years in jail and face fines of up to $7,000.

Additionally, domestic violence against a woman who is pregnant can also alter the severity of the charges against you. The first offense will likely be a misdemeanor. Subsequent offenses will be a felony but because of the pregnancy, charges could include up to 10 years in prison. If the domestic abuse causes a miscarriage or injury to the unborn baby, you could face up to 20 years in prison for domestic abuse. (It’s important to note that for such severe charges to stand, the abuser must have been aware of the pregnancy at the time of the violence.)

Regardless of whether or not the incident is your first charge of domestic abuse, if you cause severe bodily injury to the other individual, you’ll face felony charges and up to 10 years in prison. Severe bodily injury could include any of the following:

  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of a bodily function or body part
  • Impairment of a bodily function or body part
  • Organ damage
  • Mental damage
  • Fractured bone
  • Serious risk of death

Likewise, strangulation or attempted strangulation is a felony regardless of whether or not it is your first domestic abuse charge. You could face one to three years in prison and fines of up to $3,000. Subsequent strangulation or attempted strangulation charges will be treated more severely and carry up to 10 years in prison and fines up to $10,000. 

Domestic abuse defense strategies in OKC

Being charged with domestic abuse in OKC is a serious matter. 

Felony convictions drastically alter an individual’s life long-term. And misdemeanor convictions certainly complicate things, as well. 

You’ll want to build a strong criminal defense strategy against domestic abuse charges. Some defense strategies you might pursue with your Oklahoma criminal defense attorney include:

  • “It was self-defense.” You might prove that you were defending yourself or your children from harm from the other individual in the case. You might use defense wounds as proof or the other individual in the case might have admitted to using force during the attack as part of the police report.
  • “The incident was an accident.” For domestic abuse convictions, the prosecution must prove that you willfully harmed the other individual. Accidents do happen, and you can prove that the injuries the other individual sustained were completely by accident.
  • “I was not the individual who inflicted the harm.” Proving an alibi for where you were at the time of the incident can prove that you were not the one who inflicted harm on the other person. 

Contact Jacqui Ford Law for help with your case today

Schedule a free consultation with Jacqui Ford Law to learn of other possible defense strategies. Our firm will work hard to prove your innocence and get you back to living your life after domestic abuse charges.