If you’ve been charged with or even accused of domestic violence, you may be going through one of the toughest experiences of your life.
You have probably been ordered to stay away from your family and you could be facing jail time, and you may be feeling a sense of anger, confusion, and betrayal.
Domestic violence can be charged in a number of different ways in Oklahoma, but the best way to know what your options are is to hire an experienced Oklahoma domestic violence defense attorney. Our team at Jacqui Ford Law is here to guide you through this difficult time.
~ Travis S.
Domestic Violence in Oklahoma
One of the first, and most important, things to know is that domestic violence charges in Oklahoma are different from simple assault and battery charges. The difference between them depends on who’s involved.
For domestic violence charges, there has to be some sort of relationship between the victim and the accused.
You can’t have a domestic violence charge without the victim or the accused being one of the following:
- former spouse
- some sort of foster parent
- some sort of blood relative
- relative by marriage
- parent of a mutual child, etc.
This even extends to someone who’s currently living in a house, even if there’s no familial relationship. So you could even see domestic violence in a roommate situation. Domestic abuse requires some sort of pre-existing relationship before the crime occurs – which makes it different from a simple assault and battery (which could be a bar fight, for example).
This is important because when you’re charged with domestic violence, the community and the legislature has decided that that act is much more offensive than the act of getting in a fight with a stranger in a street.
It’s also important to note that many criminal acts in Oklahoma law have a statute of limitations (or the amount of time after an alleged crime occurs that someone can bring about a case) of three years from the date of the crime.
Because domestic violence does not have a specific timeframe listed, it falls under the general three-year limit. This means that a victim cannot come forth more than three years after a domestic violence event and have law enforcement seek charges against you.
Batterer’s Intervention Program
Many defendants facing domestic violence charges in Oklahoma are encouraged to go through a Batterer’s Intervention Program, often referred to as BIP. Some defendants enroll in this program early on in their case in an attempt to secure a more favorable plea deal, but sometimes the program is mandated by the court.
BIP is a 52-week program with weekly classes intended to help defendants take responsibility for their violent actions and creating goals to improve moving forward in a variety of ways, including:
- Developing healthy strategies for communication
- Coping with anger, power, control, and other emotional issues
- Discussing the ways in which domestic violence affects victims
- Consequences of these type of violent actions
Typically, classes are 90 minutes and done in group settings, and it’s important that attendees show up to the course in order for the program to help with your case or probation agreement. If you violate these terms, you may have to start the course again or face other consequences, as well.
Learn more about resources for both victims and for offenders, visit our Non-Legal Resources page.