Oklahoma Domestic Violence Laws
Domestic violence, called "domestic abuse" in Oklahoma, refers to assault and battery between family members. It is important to note that the Oklahoma Criminal Code specifically states that domestic abuse can only occur between the offender and any of the following people:
- A current or former spouse
- A current spouse of the offender's former spouse
- A former spouse of the offender's current spouse
- A foster parent
- A child
- A person related by blood or marriage
- A person that the offender is or was in a dating relationship with
- A person that the offender has a child with
- A person that formerly lived in the same house as the offender, or
- A person that currently lives in the same house as the offender
Penalties for Domestic Abuse
A first conviction for domestic abuse in Oklahoma is punishable by imprisonment for up to one year, and/or by a fine of up to $5,000. A second, or subsequent, domestic abuse conviction is punishable by imprisonment for up to four years, and/or by a fine of up to $5,000.
If an offender develops a "prior pattern of physical abuse," meaning three or more separate domestic abuse incidences within a twelve-month period, then the offender is guilty of a felony that is punishable by imprisonment for up to ten years and/or by a fine of up to $5,000.
Under Oklahoma's Protection from Domestic Abuse Act, victims of domestic violence may be able to obtain protective and restraining orders. These orders aren't able to stop an offender from harming a victim, however, they do allow the victim to call the police and have the abuser arrested if the order is violated.
An emergency protective order (EPO) provides the victim with short-term protection from his or her abuser. The idea is that the EPO will stay in effect for a matter of days until the victim can request a loner-term protective order. In Oklahoma, petitions for emergency protective orders can be filed even when the court isn't open for business. If the court is open for business then an ex parte hearing will be held on the same day that the petition is filed. If the court isn't open then the investigating peace officer will provide the victim with a petition for an emergency temporary protective order and immediately notify district court judge of the request and describe the circumstances.
The judge will then either approve of or dismiss the request. If the temporary protective order is approved, then the peace officer will notify the subject of the protective order of the conditions of the order. These provisions generally include staying a certain distance away from the victim.
Violation of Protective Orders
The violation of an emergency or final protective order is a misdemeanor offense and is punishable by fine of up to $1,000 and/or by imprisonment for up to one year. For a second, or subsequent, violation the penalties increase to a fine of between $2,000 and $10,000, and/or imprisonment for between one and three years. The penalties also increase if the violator causes physical harm to anyone named in the protective order.
State laws change frequently. For case specific information regarding Oklahoma's domestic violence laws contact a local criminal defense attorney.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of domestic abuse help is available. During emergencies dial 911, and then contact an organization dedicated to promoting victim rights.
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