11 Frequently Asked Questions
What is Domestic Assault and Battery?
Oklahoma law defines domestic assault and battery as a physical act of violence upon a person with whom the offender has an intimate relationship. A victim could be an immediate family member of the household or former partner. The nature of these “intimate relationships” changes the way the legal system views charges of assault, battery, harassment, and or stalking.
Can Domestic Assault Battery Be Charged as a Misdemeanor or a Felony?
It can be charged as BOTH. Most first offense domestic assault and battery cases are filed as a misdemeanor. However, there are factors that can make the issue be charged as a felony, such as, but not limited to: is this a second or subsequent offense; was the alleged victim injured; was the alleged victim pregnant; was the alleged victim strangled/choked; etc.. It’s important to discuss this matter fully with a skilled defense attorney.
What is the Punishment for Domestic Assault and Battery?
In misdemeanor cases, the range of punishment is up to one year in the county jail and up to a $5,000 fine. In felony cases, the range of punishment varies based on what statute the defendant was charged under. However, most felony cases have a range of punishment of NOT LESS than one year UP TO five years. In felony case in which a deadly weapon was used, the range of punishment can up to LIFE.
Are There Alternatives to Serving in Jail or Prison?
Kyle Killam with the Berlin Law Firm is a skilled defense attorney that can make a difference in your domestic assault and battery case. While there are alternatives to incarceration, getting legal assistance as early as possible, in most cases, decreases the chances of a defendant having to go to jail or prison.
How Does a Prosecutor Prove a Domestic Assault and Battery Case?
A prosecutor must prove several elements beyond a reasonable doubt to find a conviction for Domestic Assault and Battery:
First, that the Defendant willfully;
Third, attempted or offered to use force or violence; and
Fourth, did use force or violence;
Fifth, against the person with whom the Defendant has a domestic relationship.
Its important to have a skilled defense lawyer involved early on in a case to reach the best results.
What Happens if I am Falsely Accused of Domestic Assault and Battery?
Even when falsely accused, you stand a chance of being convicted. Often there is an innocent party charged with a domestic assault and battery case while going through a nasty divorce or child custody battle. Having an experienced domestic assault and battery defense attorney is especially important in these cases because the accused could stand to lose greatly. Losing your freedom aside, people have lost the right to enter their home that they share with the accuser or even remove their personal possessions. In fact, this may cause the accused to lose custody of their children or have use a “Supervised Visitation” service when visiting with the children. Kyle Killam with the Berlin Law Firm will help to get this type of situation under control, so your rights remain intact.
Can Domestic Assault and Battery Charges be Dismissed by the Accuser?
No. Once an arrest has been made, the matter is referred to the city or county prosecutor’s office for review and or filing. In district court cases, it is the State of Oklahoma that is prosecuting the case; the accuser is only a witness. Only the prosecution can dismiss the matter.
Can a Domestic Assault and Battery Charge Impact My Job?
The simple answer is yes. Most jurisdictions and the federal government consider Domestic Assault and Battery a crime of “Moral Turpitude.” A crime of moral turpitude is an act or behavior that gravely violates the sentiment or accepted standard of the community. Many professions and or professional associations can and often do censure or suspend or outright remove persons from the profession for Domestic Assault and Battery charges. Again, the sooner you consult an experienced Domestic Assault and Battery defense lawyer, the better protection you will receive.
Can a Domestic Assault and Battery Charge Affect My Family?
Yes. Children can be removed from the home in which domestic abuse is occurring. In divorce cases, judges are legally REQUIRED to consider Domestic Abuse when considering custody, guardianship, or even visitation of the minor children. The problem is compounded by the fact that many criminal domestic violence cases accompany divorces. It is critical in these situations to consult a knowledgeable domestic violence attorney to protect your rights.
Can a Domestic Assault and Battery Charge Take Away My Guns?
Yes. If a weapon was involved in the domestic violence incident, the weapon will be confiscated by law enforcement. If a protective order is issued, the defendant will be required to surrender any and all weapons in their possession. Further, if there is a conviction in the matter, your ability to own, possess, and purchase firearms will be severely compromised.
Can My Domestic Assault and Battery Charge be in the Reported in the News?
Yes. Any criminal allegation, unless the defendant is a juvenile, is considered a matter of public record. That means that even a misdemeanor domestic assault and battery charge can be reported in the news or in other media, regardless of whether the charge is based on fact or the result of a false allegation. IF news and or other media are involved, it is extremely important to not be interviewed and have an experienced defense attorney handle any statements, if any are to be made at all.