Oklahoma City Domestic Violence Lawyer
Domestic violence is one of the most common calls law enforcement officials in Oklahoma City attend to. Domestic violence charges are extremely serious, and these matters should not be taken lightly. We understand how these charges could completely upend your life. We work quickly, efficiently, and definitively to protect your rights and help you get the best outcome.
Domestic Violence In Oklahoma
Domestic violence is defined as assault and/or battery specifically against family members, boyfriends or girlfriends, ex-partners, or sometimes even roommates. It is a common misconception that domestic violence victims need to press charges against their attacker in order for criminal charges to be brought. In fact, the state of Oklahoma will prosecute all domestic violence crimes regardless of a victim’s assistance.
Domestic violence is often a misunderstood crime. These charges often arise out of heated incidents where all of the individuals involved do and say things they normally would not. Sometimes this means an argument turns physical, but other times it means angry parties make untrue statements to law enforcement about what happened. Just because two people have a heated argument does not mean domestic violence has occurred. Law enforcement can struggle to completely understand the situation and how it transpired when they are called in during the heat of the moment.
Penalties For Domestic Violence
Domestic violence crimes cover both physical harm and the threat of physical violence to another individual. While there are many types of domestic violence, we see a few types most often, including:
- Spousal abuse
- Child abuse
- Elder abuse
- Verbal and physical harassment
- Sexual assault
- Violating a protective order
Any number of these crimes could have severe penalties. First time offenders are most often charged with a misdemeanor, which can lead to a maximum one-year jail term and up to a $5,000 fine. Subsequent domestic violence convictions are extremely serious and are prosecuted as felonies. Felony domestic violence convictions can result in up to ten years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines, depending on the circumstances. Some domestic violence charges can result in much harsher penalties if there are children involved or present at the time, if serious injuries were caused, if the abuse is against a pregnant woman, and/or if a dangerous weapon is used.
In addition to jail time and fines, all individuals convicted of domestic violence must complete a court-approved and Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) certified domestic abuse treatment program for 52 weeks. Depending on the circumstances, a judge may also order the convicted party to complete an anger management program, undergo marriage counseling, or attend parenting courses.
Domestic Abuse By Strangulation
While all physical abuse against family members and partners is illegal, Oklahoma law specifically sets out harsher penalties for the use of strangulation, with even a first offense constituting a felony. Strangulation or attempted strangulation in a domestic relationship will result in a minimum of one year in prison and up to three years total. Individuals convicted of strangulation a second time will be sentenced to a minimum of three years in prison and a maximum of ten years.
How A Domestic Violence Charge Can Affect Your Life
Individuals convicted of domestic violence often struggle to rebuild their lives. First of all, the incident is hugely disruptive to families. Even family members who were not involved in the altercation can feel the effects, making it difficult to continue relationships. Domestic violence convictions can also completely destroy an individual’s personal and professional reputation. Those convicted can lose their jobs and/or struggle to find employment. For felony convictions, the effects are even greater. Individuals with felony convictions are unable to vote, own guns, and are unable to obtain certain professional licenses.
Contact A Domestic Violence Attorney In Oklahoma City
We are here to help those accused of domestic violence in Oklahoma City. Our domestic violence attorney fights for his clients to make sure their rights are protected, and they receive fair treatment. We strongly advise you to not speak to any law enforcement officials before speaking with our domestic violence lawyer. You may think volunteering information won’t hurt your case, but the reality is that doing so could jeopardize your case immensely. We will work with you to understand the circumstances leading up to the event, investigate the incident, and pursue the best course of action for resolving these charges. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with Mr. McLawhorn, an experienced domestic violence defense attorney.