Understanding Domestic Assault Cases in Oklahoma.

For a free consultation call 918 582 1313

My name is Kevin Adams I am an Oklahoma criminal defense attorney. I have an office in Tulsa and mainly practice in Tulsa County, Rogers County, Mayes County, Wagoner County, Creek County, but , if the case is serious enough I will travel anywhere in Oklahoma. Most the people I represent just want to resolve their cases as quickly and easily as possible , however, I am also an experienced criminal trial lawyer. I have tried everything from a misdemeanor municipal shoplifting case to first degree murder cases in which the state was seeking the death penalty.

Over the years I have handled many misdemeanor and felony domestic assault and battery (Domestic A and B) cases and I can tell you most people charged with misdemeanor domestic assault and battery in Oklahoma are not sentenced to jail, even if convicted. Whether or not someone convicted of felony domestic assault and battery is sentenced to prison depends on the factors of the individual case. Anyone charged with domestic assault and battery, whether felony or misdemeanor, needs to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer so they can discuss their options.

There are a lot of negative collateral consequences associated with entering a plea or being convicted of domestic abuse charges. These consequences include prohibitions against possessing firearms, loss of employment opportunities and negative implications on child custody and visitation. Because of the negative consequences associated with domestic assault and battery cases, anyone who is charged with domestic assault and battery needs to carefully consider all of their options before entering a guilty or no contest plea to this type of charge.

If you are suspected of Domestic Assault and Battery, or any other criminal offense, it is important that you consult an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Do not speak with law Violence (or anyone else) before consulting with an attorney. If the police try to question you regarding any suspected criminal activity, ask to speak with a lawyer before making any statement. To learn more about what to do if suspected of a crime read 10 Things Everyone Suspected of a Crime Should Know.

A Smart Lawyer Can Frequently Win Dismissal of Domestic Assault and Battery Charges

Domestic assault and battery charges are dismissed more frequently than any other type of criminal charges. However, a lawyer can only force the state to dismiss the charges with the right facts. Below is a typical example of a domestic assault and battery case, that a good lawyer, can frequently get dismissed:

  1. Girlfriend or wife, in a state of anger (and frequently intoxication), calls the police because she is upset at her boyfriend or husband. The police show up and either arrest the boyfriend or husband, or take a report and forward the report to the District Attorney for charges.

  2. The boyfriend or husband has either left the residence or was smart enough not to make a statement to the police. (The boyfriend or husband keeping his mouth shut is key to getting the case dismissed. Watch Exercising Your Right to Remain Silent to learn why you should not give a statement to law enforcement)

  3. The only two people present that could offer testimony is the complaining witness and the defendant.

  4. After she calms down (and/or sobers up) the girlfriend or wife realizes that she did the wrong thing and refuses to cooperate with the prosecution. (In my opinion the best thing for a woman to do in this scenario is to exercise their own Fifth Amendment Right to Remain Silent. If a complaining witness were to call the prosecutor and admit that she lied and/or exaggerated what occurred she may subject herself to criminal charges for filing a false police report. In a scenario like this the best thing to do is for the complaining witness to do is to exercise her rights, not even call the prosecutor back and generally not cooperate with the prosecution.)

A defendant facing domestic violence charges in a scenario similar to the one decsribed above can usually force the prosecution to dismiss the charges against him (or her). The reason the state has to dismiss charges in a scenario similar to the one described above, is because the state does not have any evidence to introduce at a trial. The complaining witness' hearsay statements made to law enforcement are typically inadmissible against a defendant because a defendant has a right to confront the witnesses against him or her. And if there are no other witnesses or evidence, than the state does not have the evidence to proceed, once the complaining witness refuses to cooperate. this is assuming that the accused was smart enough to keep their mouth shut and not give a statement. If questioned by the police a defendant should not talk to the police at all. Even telling their side and claiming innocence can be enough to create enough of a question of fact to allow the prosecutor to proceed with criminal charges. If suspected of a crime, the goal should be to handle the case in a manner that the charges will have to be dismissed without having to risk a jury trial.


If the prosecution has enough evidence to proceed to trial the prosecutor typically has the leverage they need to force a defendant to enter a plea. This is because most defendant's can not afford to risk a jury trial, when the prosecution is offering probation. It's not that a defendant can not afford to pay an attorney to represent them at trial, most defendants can not risk going to jail if they lose at a jury trial. Which is what happens almost all the time when a defendant loses at a trial. In Oklahoma the jury recommends a sentence after a defendant is convicted at trial and it is very unusual for a judge to give a defendant probation after the defendant was convicted by a jury.

- RETURN TO TOP -

Why it is important to fight Domestic Assault and Battery Cases, if possible

Domestic Violence and/or Domestic Assault and Battery charges can be filed as either a felony or a misdemeanor. However, a conviction for even misdemeanor domestic assault and battery can result in severe consequences typically not associated with a misdemeanor conviction. Those consequences include:

1. Loss of a your rights to posses a firearm. (See 18 USC Section 922 (g) (9))

2. Adversely effect visitation rights for minor children. (See 43 O.S. Section 112.2 (4))

3. Result in issuance of a permanent protective order. (See 22 O.S. Section 60.4)

4. Requirement to attend a 52 week domestic abuse treatment program. (See 22 O.S. Section 644 (G)(2)) These classes are expensive and take a lot of time. A defendant ordered to attend these classes are required to pay an initial evaluation fee of $125 to $150 and then pay for weekly classes which costs $25 per week. These classes alone will costs almost $1,500. In addition to that defendants are required to pay fines, costs and probation fees. A conviction for even a misdemeanor domestic violence charge can costs a defendant more than a DUI.

If you have been accused of domestic assault and battery you need the help of an experienced criminal lawyer. Even a misdemeanor domestic assault and battery charge is a serious offense that should be handled by a qualified criminal defense attorney. If handled properly many domestic abuse allegations can be beat in court, even before the case proceeds to trial.

- RETURN TO TOP -

Punishment for Different Types of Domestic Violence Offenses in Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Domestic Assault and Violence Statute list the following types of domestic assault and battery cases. Title 21 O.S. Section 644 provides as follows:

Simple Misdemeanor Domestic Assault and Battery

Any person who commits any assault and battery against a current or former spouse, a present spouse of a former spouse, a former spouse of a present spouse, parents, a foster parent, a child, a person otherwise related by blood or marriage, a person with whom the defendant is or was in a dating relationship as defined by Section 60.1 of Title 22 of the Oklahoma Statutes, an individual with whom the defendant has had a child, a person who formerly lived in the same household as the defendant, or a person living in the same household as the defendant shall be guilty of domestic abuse. Upon conviction, the defendant shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one (1) year, or by a fine not exceeding Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or by both such fine and imprisonment.

- RETURN TO TOP -

Domestic Assault and Battery by Strangulation (Felony)

Any person who commits any assault and battery with intent to cause great bodily harm by strangulation or attempted strangulation against a current or former spouse, a present spouse of a former spouse, a former spouse of a present spouse, parents, a foster parent, a child, a person otherwise related by blood or marriage, a person with whom the defendant is or was in a dating relationship as defined by Section 60.1 of Title 22 of the Oklahoma Statutes, an individual with whom the defendant has had a child, a person who formerly lived in the same household as the defendant, or a person living in the same household as the defendant shall, upon conviction, be guilty of domestic abuse by strangulation and shall be punished by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for a period of not less than one (1) year nor more than three (3) years, or by a fine of not more than Three Thousand Dollars ($3,000.00), or by both such fine and imprisonment. Upon a second or subsequent conviction for a violation of this section, the defendant shall be punished by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for a period of not less than three (3) years nor more than ten (10) years, or by a fine of not more than Twenty Thousand Dollars ($20,000.00), or by both such fine and imprisonment. The provisions of Section 51.1 of this title shall apply to any second or subsequent conviction of a violation of this subsection. As used in this subsection, "strangulation" means any form of asphyxia; including, but not limited to, asphyxia characterized by closure of the blood vessels or air passages of the neck as a result of external pressure on the neck or the closure of the nostrils or mouth as a result of external pressure on the head.

- RETURN TO TOP -

Simple Felony Domestic Assault and Battery

Upon conviction for a second or subsequent offense, the person shall be punished by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for not more than four (4) years, or by a fine not exceeding Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or by both such fine and imprisonment.

- RETURN TO TOP -

Felony Domestic Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon

Any person who, with intent to do bodily harm and without justifiable or excusable cause, commits any assault, battery, or assault and battery upon a current or former spouse, a present spouse of a former spouse, a parent, a foster parent, a child, a person otherwise related by blood or marriage, a person with whom the defendant is in a dating relationship as defined by Section 60.1 of Title 22 of the Oklahoma Statutes, an individual with whom the defendant has a child, a person who formerly lived in the same household as the defendant, or a person living in the same household as the defendant with any sharp or dangerous weapon, upon conviction, is guilty of domestic assault or domestic assault and battery with a dangerous weapon which shall be a felony and punishable by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections not exceeding ten (10) years, or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one (1) year.

- RETURN TO TOP -

Felony Domestic Assault and Battery with a Deadly Weapon

Any person who, without such cause, shoots a current or former spouse, a present spouse of a former spouse, a parent, a foster parent, a child, a person otherwise related by blood or marriage, a person with whom the defendant is in a dating relationship as defined by Section 60.1 of Title 22 of the Oklahoma Statutes, an individual with whom the defendant has a child, a person who formerly lived in the same household as the defendant, or a person living in the same household as the defendant, by means of any deadly weapon that is likely to produce death shall, upon conviction, be guilty of domestic assault and battery with a deadly weapon which shall be a felony punishable by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections not exceeding life.

- RETURN TO TOP -

Domestic Assault and Battery Against a Pregnant Woman

Any person convicted of domestic abuse committed against a pregnant woman with knowledge of the pregnancy shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one (1) year.

Any person convicted of a second or subsequent offense of domestic abuse against a pregnant woman with knowledge of the pregnancy shall be guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for not less than ten (10) years.

Any person convicted of domestic abuse committed against a pregnant woman with knowledge of the pregnancy and a miscarriage occurs or injury to the unborn child occurs shall be guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for not less than twenty (20) years.


- RETURN TO TOP -

Domestic Assault and Battery Resulting in Great Bodily Injury

Any person convicted of domestic abuse as defined in subsection C of this section that results in great bodily injury to the victim shall be guilty of a felony and punished by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for not more than ten (10) years, or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one (1) year.

- RETURN TO TOP -

Domestic Assault and Battery in Presence of a Minor Child

Any person convicted of domestic abuse as defined in subsection C of this section that was committed in the presence of a child shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than six (6) months nor more than one (1) year, or by a fine not exceeding Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or by both such fine and imprisonment. Any person convicted of a second or subsequent domestic abuse as defined in subsection C of this section that was committed in the presence of a child shall be punished by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for not less than one (1) year nor more than five (5) years, or by a fine not exceeding Seven Thousand Dollars ($7,000.00), or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Send your questions to LawyerAdams@me.com I try to respond to all inquires as quickly as possible. If you need immediate assistance you can call my office (918) 582-1313.