When emotions are high with the ones we love the most, sometimes family violence occurs. Although you can never turn back time and undo a hurtful word or act, it is important to take proactive steps to address and correct issues of domestic violence after they occur. 

Most fights in the home can be resolved with a peaceful conversation after emotions have calmed down; however, when domestic violence occurs and law enforcement gets involved, it will become a matter of public record with police reports being filed and criminal charges as well. 

Police involvement in some domestic violence situations is a necessary tool to deescalate the situation; however, many instances of domestic disputes or borderline domestic violence turn into criminal charges of domestic abuse assault and battery or domestic abuse by strangulation. When you or a loved one are wrongly charged with domestic abuse assault and battery, it is important to work with an experienced domestic violence defense lawyer to seek dismissal of your domestic violence charges. 

There are multiple avenues that may be followed to seek dismissal of domestic violence charges; however, all of them involve working with an experienced Oklahoma domestic violence defense attorney. It is a very bad idea to try and get your domestic violence case dismissed on your own or to communicate with police or the victim about dismissing the case. When you personally try to get your or your loved one’s domestic violence case dismissed, you may find yourself facing more serious charges of witness intimidation.  

Can Domestic Violence Charged be dismissed in Oklahoma?

Yes, domestic violence charged can be dismissed in Oklahoma. However, you may be surprised to learn that the “victim” or complaining witness does not control whether or not domestic violence charged will be dismissed. Police do not have control on whether or not domestic violence charged will be filed in court or dismissed. Only prosecutors have the authority to file domestic violence charges. Similarly, in most instances prosecutors or district attorneys in Oklahoma have the authority to decide to dismiss domestic violence charges. 

As stated above, you should not contact the parties, including police, during the process of a decision being made on whether or not criminal charges will be filed against you for domestic violence. However, when you retain an experienced domestic violence attorney they will be able to communicate with police, the domestic violence detective, fi one is involved, and the prosecutor during the decision making process. No ethic criminal defense attorney should promise you any outcome; however, our team of Fierce Advocates® will do everything we can to communicate with the decision makers on charges being filed in your case. 

Can a Defense Attorney Help before Domestic Violence Charges are Filed? 

Yes, a domestic violence defense attorney can help you before criminal charges are filed. As stated above, we can communicate with police, detectives, and prosecutors about your case prior to charges being filed in your domestic violence case. Often the prosecutor is only presented with one version of events, which is from the intensity of the moment the police came to the scene. We have successfully been able to communicate our client’s version of events to the prosecutor and also the “victim” or complaining witnesses’ version of events prior to a filing decision being made on charges. 

As a former domestic violence prosecutor I can tell you prosecutors appreciate when domestic violence defense attorneys give them more information about the facts of the case and a clearer picture of the situation before they must decide to file or decline to file criminal charges for domestic violence. When I was a prosecutor I was left with incident reports and body cam footage of the domestic disturbance or domestic violence incident and nothing else in many circumstances.  

When a respected domestic violence defense attorney meets with the prosecutor on a potential domestic violence case it does not change the outcome or result in a case being declined by the prosecutor; however, it is an opportunity for a good criminal defense attorney to tell their client’s version of the events. 

Your Fierce Advocates® at Cannon & Associates work with the district attorney’s in Oklahoma County, Canadian County, Cleveland County, and Logan County regularly and will always seek an audience with them to tell our client’s story before a filing decision is made on a potential criminal case. 

Who Files Domestic Violence Charges in Oklahoma?

In Oklahoma, law enforcement officers, such as police, draft police reports on domestic violence cases; detectives investigate serious domestic violence cases, such as strangulation and homicides; and district attorneys (prosecutors) decide what if any criminal charges will be filed. 

As a former domestic violence prosecutor I can tell you that experienced prosecutors give more time to evaluating domestic violence cases than other types of cases. The issues and parties in domestic violence cases are complex, which is why it is so beneficial to work with an experienced domestic violence defense attorney that can use experience and a skilled investigator to present a full picture of the situation to the prosecutor. 

District Attorneys in Oklahoma County, Canadian County, and Cleveland County meet with detectives and law enforcement on a regular basis to review domestic violence investigations and decide on a way forward on each case, either declining to file charges, requesting additional investigation, or accepting investigations for prosecution. It is important to work with an experienced domestic violence defense attorney that has a relationship with each of these offices in order to give you the best opportunity to have your defense presented to the parties that decide whether domestic violence charges will be filed. 

Who can dismiss a Domestic Violence Case in Oklahoma? 

As stated above, victims in domestic violence cases do not have the authority to have a domestic violence case dismissed. Only prosecution offices and judges have the authority to dismiss a criminal case that has been filed in court. Prosecutors regularly dismiss cases, if they are provided information that a case does not have further prosecutorial merit. Restated, experienced prosecutors will dismiss a domestic violence case, if they learn that it lacks merit. 

Your Fierce Advocates® at Cannon & Associates work hard to present a compelling story to the prosecution to support reduction of charges or dismissal in some cases. We have obtained multiple dismissals for clients by showing prosecutors how a case lacks merit. No attorney can ethically guarantee an outcome to you; however, we guarantee that we will do everything within our power to obtain the best outcome for you or your loved one through this difficult process. 

The party in a criminal case, other than the prosecutor, that can dismiss a case is the judge. In every criminal case the judge has the duty to decline the application of the law to the facts of the case. An experienced domestic violence defense attorney can file a variety of motions, including suppression motion, motion to exclude, or motion in limine to present legal issues to the judge in your domestic violence case. 

Your domestic violence case will be dismissed by the judge, if it is determined that there is a legal problem with your case. Additionally, the prosecution may be forced to dismiss your domestic violence case, if the judge excludes evidence the prosecution needs in order to seek a conviction. Stated another way, the prosecution must have sufficient facts to convince a jury that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt if you take your case to trial; when the judge excludes evidence the prosecution needs to seek a conviction it increases your chance of having your case dismissed or forcing the prosecution to dismiss for lack of evidence. 

Finally, if your domestic violence case is not dismissed by the prosecutor or the judge, you may take your case to jury trial with your chosen experienced domestic violence defense attorney and seek a not guilty verdict. The jury in your domestic violence case must find you not guilty, unless they are convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the prosecution has proven you committed the charged crime: misdemeanor domestic abuse, felony domestic abuse, domestic abuse by strangulation, or domestic abuse with a dangerous weapon.

Contact Your Fierce Advocates NOW

Contact us today by calling to speak to a highly experienced Oklahoma City criminal defense attorney. We offer free confidential case strategy sessions. It could be the most important call that you ever make. Call us today at 405-591-3935.

What is the first thing I should do following arrest for domestic assault?

When you or a loved one are arrested for domestic abuse assault and battery or any crime it is very important that you contact and hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. Your Fierce Advocates® at Cannon & Associates are passionate about defending the freedom of every client facing domestic violence charges. 

Cannon & Associates offers free confidential case strategy sessions to every person that reaches out to our office. We are glad to meet with you at your convenience to answer your questions and ensure you have a clear understanding of the way forward in your case and your options going forward. 

We offer free confidential case strategy sessions for individuals and families facing all types of criminal cases in state, federal, and military courts, including the following types of domestic violence charges: 

  1. Aggravated Domestic Abuse: Assault & Battery
  2. Simple Domestic Violence
  3. Domestic Assault
  4. Domestic Abuse: Assault and Battery
  5. Domestic Abuse by Strangulation
  6. Domestic Abuse: Assault and Battery in the Presence of a Minor
  7. Domestic Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon
  8. Domestic Assault and Battery with a Deadly Weapon
  9. Domestic Assault: Manslaughter
  10. Domestic Assault: Murder
  11. Interfering with an Emergency Phone Call
  12. Any other charges related to Domestic Abuse

What factual and legal issues can be raised in my Domestic Violence case?

As stated above, there are both legal and factual defenses to domestic violence cases. The specifics of your case, your arrest, and the evidence available to the prosecutor will dictate what defenses you and your domestic violence defense attorney can use in order to fight your case and seek dismissal of the charges. 

Some of the most common legal defenses in domestic violence cases include the following:

  1. Evidence obtained illegally: police must have a warrant to search a home or vehicle, unless a Court determines that an exigent circumstance exists to allow a search without a warrant. In suppression hearings it is the burden of the prosecution to show that sufficient exigency/urgency exists to support a warrantless search based on one of the very strictly construed exigent circumstances. When a judge determines exigency did not exist and a warrant was required the recovered evidence will be suppressed and the prosecution will not be allowed to us it.  
  2. Self-Defense: the issue of self-defense is a common one in domestic violence cases. In many instances the event that leads to law enforcement getting involved is the culmination of multiple fights and disputes that come to the point that someone calls the cops. Many times, the party that is arrested or charged with domestic abuse is actually the party defending themselves. Our team of criminal defense attorneys work hand-in-hand with our clients to learn the history of the relationship and present their case in the best light possible. Self-defense is an issue for many of our domestic violence clients, which we fight to demonstrate to the prosecutor or the jury, if necessary.
  3. Lack of Criminal History: having no criminal history or prior instances of domestic violence is not an absolute defense that can get your case dismissed; however, it is an important consideration that our domestic violence defense attorneys use to fight for the best possible outcome for our clients. When we reach a point that the prosecution refuses to dismiss our client’s case and our client does not want to take the case to jury trial then we seek to mitigate the circumstance and reach an outcome that provides our client with the best chance for a Better Future Now, after the completion of their domestic violence case. 

Some of the most common factual defenses in domestic violence cases include the following:

  1. Lack of corroboration: when there is little or no evidence to support the allegations of the complaining witness or officer’s testimony than your domestic violence defense attorney may be able to convince the prosecutor or the jury that there is insufficient evidence to prosecute the case. A common example of this issue is a claim by the complainant of being punched or slapped; however, there are no bruises, signs of a struggle or injury.
  2. Lack of Witnesses: the credibility of the prosecution’s case against you is strongest when there are multiple witnesses that tell the same story. However, it makes your defense stronger when the prosecution must rely on the “victim” or complaining witness alone. In order for you to be convicted or for the prosecution to decide to continue prosecuting your case there must be sufficient evidence to support the charge of domestic violence. 
  3. Lack of Consistent Statements: the credibility of any witness, especially the complaining witness, is reduced when they tell multiple different stories about the events in a case. In order for the prosecutor or a jury to believe a claim, it must be credible. Our domestic violence defense attorneys ensure the prosecutor considers inconsistencies in the case.
  4. Lack of Physical Evidence: our domestic violence defense attorneys fight for our client’s future and when the prosecution has no evidence of injury it is easier to defend our client’s case. The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the alleged crime occurred and a lack of any injury negatively impacts the prosecution’s case. 
  5. Victim’s History and Mental State: every witness must be considered as a whole in a serious criminal case. In domestic violence cases we use our investigator and experience to build a clear picture of the complete story of the victim’s credibility. Many times the “victim” or complaining witness in a case is impacted by alcohol, mental health, or drugs at the time they made their statement to police or the alleged event took place. Additionally, our domestic violence defense attorneys have encountered multiple witnesses that have previously fabricated/made up allegations, which is a very important indicator of their candor. 
  6. Motivation to Lie: many allegations of domestic violence arise in divorce or child custody cases, in which the allegation is a tool to seek the outcome the witness wants in the divorce or custody case. Additionally, when a relationship is ending some bad actors will use the justice system to try to hurt their former partner by making false allegations of domestic violence. Your Fierce Advocates® at Cannon and Associates use every resource available to seek the truth and expose witnesses that lie or fabricate their story. Often witnesses will tell the truth or another version of their story to friends or family and our investigator seeks to capture these stories to protect our client’s future. 

The defenses listed above are not only tools to seek a not guilty verdict from a jury or a court order dismissing the domestic violence case, these are also tools our domestic violence defense attorneys use to seek agreed dismissal by the prosecution and/or to mitigate the circumstance. 

It is our team’s goal to have every client’s case dismissed; however, when that is not possible we also seek the best resolution for our clients in order to give them an option that avoids the risks associated with going to jury trial; jail or prison, if we lose. When our team of domestic violence defense attorneys can gather evidence and information to present one or more of the issues above to the prosecutor, judge, or jury, we have found our domestic violence clients receive the best outcomes possible, whether dismissal of their domestic violence case or probation that gives them the opportunity to avoid a conviction. 

Contact Your Fierce Advocates NOW

Contact us today by calling to speak to a highly experienced Oklahoma City criminal defense attorney. We offer free confidential case strategy sessions. It could be the most important call that you ever make. Call us today at 405-591-3935.

What can a “Victim” do to seek dismissal of a false Domestic Violence crime?

We represent many clients facing domestic violence charges where the complaining witness is adamant that police blew things out of proportion or that they lied at the scene due to alcohol or inflamed emotions during an intense argument with our client/their significant other or spouse. Unfortunately, these circumstances often end up with someone being arrested and charged with domestic violence with the parties left to try and resolve the situation later. Complaining witnesses “victims” can and should communicate their position to the prosecutor and/or police when they have made a false allegation of domestic violence. 

Our criminal defense team works with witnesses on a regular basis to ensure their version of the events are captured beyond the police officer’s incident report. We assist witnesses in drafting sworn affidavits regularly, which we can present to the prosecutor to make it 100% clear what the complaining witness things/believes about the allegations. 

What is the process of presenting a domestic violence witness affidavit?

When the complaining witness or a witness at the scene of the alleged domestic violence desires to present a sworn statement, they can schedule a meeting with our investigator to be interviewed and ensure their statement is accurately recorded. The statement is written in a bullet paragraph form by a legal secretary or paralegal in our office and given to the witness to review.

Once the witness has a copy of the affidavit they can take it home to review it or simply read it in our office and ensure it accurately reflects their memory and what their testimony would be about the alleged domestic violence incident. 

The statement is an opportunity to correct any mistakes in the incident report by police or to correct/clarify any statements previously made to detectives or statements made to police at the scene of the alleged domestic violence. 

Once the witness is satisfied with the accuracy and completeness of the affidavit, they will sign it and it is notarized. Every witness is welcome to come to our office with their own attorney or take the affidavit with them to review it with an attorney prior to swearing to its truthfulness

We recommend the alleged victim have an attorney present for this interview who will also review the affidavit before it is notarized.

What do we do with witness affidavits?

As indicated above, we try to resolve every client’s case with a dismissal if possible. When the complaining witness in a domestic violence case recants or changes their story it often results in the case being dismissed. Prosecutors do not know what they don’t know, therefore, we capture the information and evidence we can and present it to them. Experienced domestic violence prosecutors will often dismiss their case, if they know the complaining witness has changed their story or recants their allegation. We provide witness affidavits to the prosecutor in our client’s case so they have the ability to evaluate the case again and hopefully dismiss our client’s case. 

Can a Domestic Violence Case be dismissed with conditions?

Yes, a domestic violence case can be dismissed with conditions. In fact a domestic violence case can be dismissed in one of two ways. It can be dismissed with costs, meaning with prejudice so that the domestic violence case cannot be refiled. Alternatively, the case can be dismissed without costs or with prejudice, which means the prosecutor can refile the case, if a condition of the dismissal is violated. 

Contact a Fierce Advocate® for Domestic Violence Defense

Being arrested and facing the stress of a domestic violence case is difficult. You should not go through this process alone. When you work with a Fierce Advocate® you will have a guide and clear understanding of the process throughout your domestic violence case. 

You should not agree to be interviewed or speak with law enforcement without an attorney present. It will benefit your defense to not delay in identifying the right domestic violence defense attorney for you. There are witnesses to interview and evidence to collect and delays in hiring a criminal defense attorney will negatively impact your defense team’s ability to capture the evidence that may help you have your domestic violence case dismissed. 

CONTACT CANNON & ASSOCIATES TODAY!

If you or a loved one has been arrested domestic abuse assault and battery, domestic abuse by strangulation, or any domestic violence allegation we encourage you to not wait any longer and to contact Cannon & Associates. We have the privilege of serving families facing domestic violence cases and the court system every day.

We offer free case strategy sessions to understand your circumstance and answer your questions about the process in a confidential setting, whether you decide to work with us or not. 

Contact us today by calling to speak to a highly experienced Oklahoma City criminal defense attorney. It could be the most important call that you ever make. Call us today at 405-591-3935.