Oklahoma’s domestic violence laws provide enhanced penalties for domestic assault and battery under certain circumstances. One of the situations that will lead to a more serious charge occurs when the alleged victim suffers a great bodily injury. These cases are rarely open and shut, but the stigma the accusation carries makes it essential to obtain qualified legal representation as soon as possible.
How Oklahoma Defines Domestic Abuse Resulting in Great Bodily Injury
In Oklahoma, domestic abuse that results in great bodily injury is a crime defined in 21 OK Stat § 21-644F. Great bodily injury encompasses concussions, broken bones, cuts leading to permanent scars, and other similarly serious injuries greater than what would typically be seen in a battery.
The domestic element of this charge doesn’t necessarily mean the alleged victim is a present or former spouse or romantic partner. Domestic abuse charges can involve children, parents, and others related by blood or marriage, as well as people living in the same household.
Domestic abuse resulting in great bodily injury is a felony. The charge carries a sentence of imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for not more than 10 years or imprisonment in the county jail for no more than one year.
Since the charge is a felony, a conviction for domestic abuse resulting in great bodily injury can also:
- Take away your right to own a gun
- Prevent you from voting or serving on a jury
- Keep you from running for public office within 15 years of completing your sentence
- Prohibit you from being employed by the state or in certain private professions
It is important to keep in mind that the consequences of a felony conviction are still possible even if the alleged victim doesn’t wish to press charges. The court can use medical records, witness testimony, and other forms of evidence to gain a conviction without the alleged victim’s cooperation.
Even Deferred or Suspended Sentences Carry Stipulations
Often, a deferred or suspended sentence is seen as a positive outcome for a domestic violence charge. However, it is important to be aware that this doesn’t mean there are no consequences.
A sentence delays the proceedings for up to 10 years without entering a judgment of guilt, then dismisses the charge if you’ve complied with all of the court’s stipulations. This includes attending 52 weeks of domestic violence intervention services (DVIS), as well as avoiding further legal trouble.
A suspended sentence means that you are allowed to serve all or part of the sentence on supervised or unsupervised probation. As with a deferred sentence, you are required to obey the court’s guidelines during this time and attend 52 weeks of DVIS.
What Not to Do
If you’ve been accused of domestic abuse causing great bodily injury, exercise your right to remain silent. Do not attempt to share your side of the story or explain your actions. Anything you say, even if the officer seems friendly, can be misinterpreted to damage your case.
Protective orders are standard in domestic abuse cases. If you live with the victim, you will need to find another place to stay. Do not contact the victim under any circumstances, as violations of the protective order carry additional penalties.
Do not share any details regarding your case with friends and family or post statements on social media. The only person you should discuss the charge with is your attorney.
When Your Future and Freedom Are at Stake, You Need an Attorney You Can Count On
Domestic violence charges can have negative effects on nearly every aspect of your life. Do not assume you can make this charge go away on your own; hiring an experienced attorney is crucial to building the strongest possible defense.
To learn more about what to expect when you’ve been charged with domestic abuse causing great bodily injury, request our free guide, Domestic Violence Charges in Oklahoma: What You Need to Know. Then, contact The Berlin Law Firm to schedule a consultation.