Domestic assault is classified as domestic violence in Oklahoma.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you could face up to 20 years in prison for a domestic violence conviction. However, with a good defense attorney, you might be able to avoid jail time entirely.
Experienced criminal defense attorneys like our team at Jacqui Ford Law can negotiate different penalties in the early phase of your case. Let’s review some of the different factors that can impact a domestic violence jail sentence and how our team can try to help you avoid such penalties.
Factors impacting the severity of domestic violence penalties
Domestic violence covers a broad spectrum of actions from stalking to physically harming someone.
Because domestic violence can vary so much, the sentencing associated with it can vary, as well. Here are some of the main factors the courts will use to determine your sentencing:
- First-time vs. subsequent offenders: First-time domestic violence offenders often face misdemeanor charges. The penalties carry up to one year in jail and up to $5,000 in fines. However, subsequent convictions can mean up to four years in jail and $5,000 in fines.
- A prior pattern of abuse: Defendants (people who are accused) who show a prior pattern of physical abuse can face up to 10 years in jail. Even if the person does not have previous convictions for domestic violence on their record, the courts can still prove a history of abuse. To qualify, the defendant must have engaged in at least three different instances of physical abuse with the six months leading up to the incident the defendant is facing charges for.
- Whether a child was present during the abuse: When an adult abuses another person in the presence of a child, Oklahoma law increases the penalties against the defendant. These offenders will face a minimum of six months in jail but could spend up to one year in jail. Subsequent instances of abuse in the presence of a child could carry up to five years in prison and fines up to $7,000.
- If the abused was pregnant: Oklahoma law takes domestic violence against a pregnant woman seriously. (But the defendant must be aware of the pregnancy for the more stringent consequences to apply.) These alleged offenders could face up to 10 years in prison. However, if the mother miscarries the baby as a result of the abuse or the unborn baby suffers an injury, the defendant could face up to 20 years in prison.
- Cases with great bodily harm: When domestic violence results in great bodily harm, the penalties can increase to up to 10 years in prison. Some examples of serious bodily harm include broken bones, significant scarring, disfigurement, serious head injuries, or loss of bodily function.
- Charges that include strangulation or attempted strangulation: These cases can be up to three years in prison for first-time offenders. Subsequent offenders can face up to 10 years in prison.
- Whether a deadly weapon was involved: Cases involving a deadly weapon can mean up to 10 years in prison. A variety of objects can be classified as deadly weapons, including a large rock, baseball bat, and more.
Avoiding jail time in domestic violence cases
A good defense attorney can negotiate deferred sentencing, suspended sentencing, or alternative sentences, such as counseling, community service, or therapy. (Alternate sentencing arrangements are generally easier to obtain for first-time offenders than those facing subsequent charges.)
Retaining good legal counsel early on when facing domestic violence is essential to avoiding all jail time or negotiating the case down.
Contact our team at Jacqui Ford Law for your Oklahoma defense
Jacqui Ford Law provides outstanding legal representation for individuals facing criminal charges, ranging from DUIs to domestic violence. Schedule a free consultation to learn more about our firm and how we can defend you.