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Domestic Violence

Is verbal abuse considered domestic violence in Oklahoma?

By August 9, 2022April 2nd, 2024No Comments

In the state of Oklahoma, verbal abuse itself is not considered an act of domestic violence

However, there are times when verbal abuse does provide grounds for the issuance of a protective order. 

Because the law concerning domestic violence and verbal abuse is so complex, hiring an experienced Oklahoma defense attorney, such as Jacqui Ford Law, can help ensure your rights are protected – whether you are a victim of domestic violence or being falsely accused.

When is verbal abuse a criminal offense in the state of Oklahoma?

In Oklahoma, under §21-843.2:

No caretaker shall verbally abuse any person entrusted to the care of the caretaker, or knowingly cause, secure, or permit an act of verbal abuse to be done. Any person convicted of violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.” 

Note that verbal abuse is categorized as a crime, but only in a caretaking capacity. As such, verbal abuse is not considered domestic violence in and of itself in the state of Oklahoma – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a serious accusation.

Remember, verbal abuse is often viewed as a precursor that leads to a domestic violence crime. And many times, the two go hand in hand.

So, while verbal abuse may not be “legally” classified as domestic violence, it should be taken very seriously.

In Oklahoma, what is the penalty if convicted of verbal abuse?

  • 21843.2 defines verbal use the following way:  

“Verbal abuse means the repeated use of words, sounds, or other forms of communication by a caretaker, including but not limited to, language, gestures, actions or behaviors, that are calculated to humiliate or intimidate or cause fear, embarrassment, shame, or degradation to the person entrusted to the care of the caretaker.”

As a caretaker in Oklahoma, you can be “punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a term not to exceed one (1) year, or by a fine not exceeding One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), or by both such fine and imprisonment.”

Again, this law only applies to caretakers – but that doesn’t mean it is not relevant in domestic violence cases. Assault and battery often have a verbal component (a threat, followed by action), and a record of verbal abuse can strengthen the abused’s case.

Does verbal abuse qualify for a protective order in Oklahoma?

Anyone in Oklahoma can ask the courts to issue a protective order if they have 

  • been physically abused or threatened with physical abuse, or 
  • the person who abused or threatened the abused is a family member or living within your household.

So, if verbal abuse falls within these categories, it is possible to obtain a protective order.

Are you facing a domestic violence charge? Jacqui Ford Law can help.

Jacqui Ford Law is committed to justice.

If you live in Oklahoma City and are falsely accused of domestic violence, Jacqui Ford Law can help. Our goal is to make sure you and your rights are protected – no matter your situation. We will take the time to understand your situation to develop a strategy that aligns with your goals.

Contact Jacqui Ford Law today by phone at 405-604-3200 or schedule an appointment online to learn more.