Domestic violence is a serious criminal charge in Oklahoma. Someone with no criminal record faces up to a year in jail and a $5,000 maximum fine. A prior offense or the use of a “sharp or dangerous weapon” can greatly increase the sentencing, but even a year behind bars is something to take very seriously as the defendant.
Of course, every domestic violence suspect is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Circumstances could have led to police arresting you despite you not being guilty under Oklahoma law. Depending on the facts of the case, one of the following defenses could be available to you and your attorney:
- Self-defense. Self-defense is a viable potential defense in many cases. In any context, including a domestic situation, you have the right to use force to defend yourself if you reasonably believe the other person poses an imminent threat of causing your death or great bodily harm.
- Lack of proof. As mentioned above, domestic assault and battery must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Often, there are no third-party witnesses to alleged domestic violence and little evidence to go on.
- False accusations. In some cases, alleged victims falsely accuse their spouse, co-parent or other relative for their own reasons, such as manipulating a child custody dispute. Defense attorneys can expose false accusations by probing for inconsistencies in the complainant’s story.
- Consent. Occasionally, a consensual physical activity can be misinterpreted by a third party who then calls the police.
The best way to help your own defense is to discuss what happened in detail with your defense attorney. They will do everything possible to get the charges reduced or dismissed, or otherwise find a solution that leads to the best possible outcome for your case, which could include challenging the charges at trial.