Is there a Statute of Limitations on Domestic Violence Allegations in Oklahoma?
Yes, there is a statute of limitations on domestic violence allegations in Oklahoma. The purpose of statute of limitations is to protect individuals from being forced to defend against criminal allegations long after the fact when evidence that would support their defense is gone, i.e. witnesses, photographs, social media posts, and video from the event.
In this article we will discuss the timeline of your domestic violence defense in Oklahoma and how the statute of limitations impacts domestic violence cases in Oklahoma.
Resources on Domestic Violence Defense
Hundreds of free resources are available on our website, concerning a wide variety of information related to domestic violence defense and criminal defense. Knowledge is power and we encourage you to learn more about what you or your family is facing by visiting our other pages and our YouTube Channel for informative videos.
You may call us anytime 405-591-3935 for a free confidential case planning meeting concerning you Oklahoma domestic violence defense or for answers to your questions.
Where does the Statute of Limitations come from in Domestic Violence Cases?
Statutes of limitations in domestic violence cases come from criminal procedure statutes, specifically Oklahoma Statutes Title 22 Section 152, which defines the statute of limitations for prosecution of most criminal offenses in Oklahoma.
The statute, 22 O.S. Section 152 lists the specific time-limit to prosecute a number of specific offenses. However, the deadline to prosecute domestic violence charges is not specifically defined. Therefore, the catch-all deadline applies and prosecution of a domestic violence allegation must begin within three (3) years of the alleged assault and battery.
Many more serious crimes, such as burglary, robbery, and violent felony crimes have longer statutes of limitations, deadlines to prosecute.
What Does the Domestic Violence Statute of Limitations Mean to Me?
The domestic violence statute of limitations prohibits you from being prosecuted for an event that took place beyond three (3) years ago in Oklahoma. The complaining witness in your domestic violence case cannot seek prosecution of you three years after the event. Law enforcement cannot present charges to the prosecutor for domestic violence three years after the event. The prosecutor cannot bring you to court to stand trial for domestic violence allegations three years after the event.
Way Forward in Your Domestic Violence Case
Now that you understand the statute of limitations concept and how it applies to domestic violence defense in Oklahoma, it is important to understand the process, if you are charged with domestic violence. You are welcome to call us any day of the week to schedule a FREE confidential case planning meeting by calling us anytime at 405-591-3935 until then please review the following information on domestic violence defense in Oklahoma.
What Happens after a Domestic Violence Allegation in Oklahoma?
After an allegation of domestic violence is made to police in Oklahoma it is out of the hands of the victim to decide whether or not an investigation will take place for domestic violence. Law enforcement, whether an officer at the scene or domestic violence detectives will investigate and attempt to gather evidence.
Once law enforcement has completed its investigation the information they gather will be provided to prosecutors for a decision on whether or not they will file criminal charges for domestic violence or decline to file charges.
When you hire an experienced Oklahoma domestic violence defense attorney before charges are filed, they may be able to contact the detective or prosecutor considering your case and provide information to impact the filing decision. We have been able to successfully assist many clients avoid domestic violence charges all together by showing the prosecutor additional information to support our client’s innocence, such as a recantation by the victim of domestic violence. It is never in your interest to speak to law enforcement without an experienced domestic violence defense attorney, if you are under suspicion of committing domestic violence.
Your Oklahoma domestic violence defense attorney can assist you in deciding whether or not to make a statement to police and this can happen at a later date, once emotions have calmed down. Speaking with police to attempt to avoid arrest cannot help you, in fact it may negatively impact your criminal defense, if you say something that the prosecution can use against you in court for your domestic violence prosecution.
How do Police decide to arrest someone for Domestic Violence or not?
Police do not like playing the role of judge or jury in most instances; therefore, they will typically choose the safest bet and arrest the person accused of domestic violence if probable cause evidence exists to believe the crime of domestic violence occurred. It does not take much to have enough evidence to arrest someone on suspicion of domestic violence in Oklahoma.
Whether you are being taken into custody or not, it is in your best interest to exercise your right to remain silent and hire an experienced Oklahoma City criminal defense attorney to assist you in your domestic violence defense.
How Can I bond out of Jail on Domestic Violence Charges?
Oklahoma has a statute that enables sheriff departments and law enforcement to hold the suspect of a domestic violence incident for up to 72-hours without bond. In Oklahoma County, the sheriff holds anyone arrested for suspicion of domestic violence for 48 hours prior to releasing them.
Once the “cooling-off” period is complete, the sheriff will set a bond for your case, which is an amount of money you or a bondsmen can post to be released from jail. We encourage every client to stay off of the “jail phone,” while waiting to be released. Jail calls are recorded in Oklahoma, especially Oklahoma County, and anything you say on the jail phone can be used against you in court.
What Happens After Arrest for Domestic Violence?
An Oklahoma prosecutor will receive the police reports related to the domestic violence allegation against you and make a “filing decision” on whether or not to charge you with a domestic violence crime and what specific offense is appropriate, i.e. misdemeanor domestic violence, domestic abuse by strangulation, etc.
After charges are filed, you will appear before a judge for arraignment on your domestic violence charge. During the arraignment the judge will provide you a copy of the charges and explain your legal rights. Additionally, the judge will ask you whether you enter a plea of guilty or not guilty to domestic violence. It is in your interest to appear for arraignment through an experienced Oklahoma domestic violence defense attorney. In Oklahoma County, if you are charged with misdemeanor domestic violence, your criminal defense attorney can appear on your behalf at arraignment.
What Happens at Domestic Violence Court Dates?
After Arraignment on your Oklahoma domestic violence case, you and your criminal defense attorney will have a court date set. In Oklahoma County, your domestic violence defense attorney can appear on your behalf at Court, allowing you to avoid the hassle of court appearance.
At the court dates following arraignment on your domestic violence case, your domestic violence defense attorney and the prosecutor should discuss the case. Your Oklahoma domestic violence defense attorney will fight to convince the prosecutor to dismiss your case, if you are innocent of domestic violence. When you work with Cannon and Associates, Your Fierce Advocates® will bring our own investigation of your case before the prosecutor to convince them to dismiss your case or reduce the charges.
At some point following your initial court date on your domestic violence case, you will need to decide whether you wish to accept a plea agreement that your Oklahoma domestic violence defense attorney is able to obtain from the prosecutor, set your domestic violence case for trial, or allow the judge to decide the outcome.
What Happens in Plea Bargaining Domestic Violence Cases?
Your Fierce Advocates® at Cannon and Associates use all the information we are able to obtain during our investigation into your domestic violence case to seek dismissal or reduced charges. However, we will seek to obtain the best possible plea agreement options for you, if we are unable to have your Oklahoma domestic violence case dismissed.
During plea negotiations in an Oklahoma domestic violence case, the prosecutor will have an initial offer for what they think is a “fair punishment” for your domestic violence case. However, we NEVER accept the prosecution’s initial offer. We will present the mitigation and extenuation we develop over the course of your domestic violence defense to show the prosecutor why you should receive a better plea agreement.
Knowing the prosecutor on each individual case plays a major role in how successful we are in obtaining the best outcome possible in your domestic violence case. Some prosecutors are very focused on the course of treatment our clients have taken since their arrest. However, some prosecutors are focused on other issues such as remorse from our clients or their employment status.
Whatever the issue the prosecutor on your case focuses on, we seek to build a narrative to support you are focused on that issue, if you decide to resolve your case by a plea agreement. We use our experience and relationship with prosecutors to develop knowledge on what each prosecutor focuses on, so that we can help you obtain the best outcome in your domestic violence defense.
What goes into a Plea Agreement in Domestic Violence Cases?
Plea agreements in domestic violence cases in Oklahoma contain a number of elements, including the sentence and terms of the sentence. The potential sentences for an Oklahoma domestic violence case include the following:
- Deferred Sentence in Domestic Violence Case: a deferred sentence means your sentencing “date” is delayed until a set time in the future. Your case will be dismissed on that date, if you complete the required terms of probation. Other than a dismissal, this is the best possible outcome on domestic violence cases in Oklahoma; therefore, we fight to obtain a deferred sentence for every client we represent, if we are unable to obtain a dismissal of their domestic violence case.
- Suspended Sentence in Domestic Violence Case: a suspended sentence means you have been sentenced and found guilty; however, the service of your jail sentence (misdemeanor domestic violence) or prison sentence (felony domestic violence) is set off for a specific period of time. You will not be required to serve any jail or prison time, if you complete the terms of your probation and you are not accused of subsequent crimes.
- Sentence Suspended-in-Part on Domestic Violence Case: a sentence suspended-in-part means you have been sentenced, found guilty, and you must serve a portion of your sentence in custody, either jail or prison. You will not be required to serve the entire sentence, if you complete certain terms of probation upon your release. These sentences are reserved for very serious domestic violence cases, such as habitual offenses, Domestic Abuse by Strangulation, or Domestic Abuse with a Dangerous Weapon.
- Time to Serve Sentence on Domestic Violence Case: a time to serve sentence is a period of incarceration either in jail or in prison. We fight to avoid this outcome for every client; however, if this is a result in your case, we will ensure you understand what the sentence means and how long you should be in custody on your case.
When you work with a Fierce Advocate® with the experience and resources to present your domestic violence case in the best light possible, you greatly increase your changes of a less serious outcome in your domestic violence case. We never settle for a fair deal in our clients’ cases. We demand great outcomes for clients and we fight for the best results possible for every client we have the privilege to serve.
What Happens at a Domestic Violence Trial?
When we are unable to obtain a dismissal of a client’s domestic violence case and the client does not want to accept the best plea offer we have been able to obtain in their domestic violence case, the options are limited to trial or allowing the Court to decide the outcome.
We will never encourage a client to take a plea deal on their case, unless we know it is in their best interest. At trial in your domestic violence case, the prosecution is required to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. You have no burden at the trial on your changes of domestic violence; however, we come prepared to present a compelling story of your defense.
We work with our entire team to prepare your case the best way possible for trial, including our investigator identifying witnesses and evidence with you and your domestic violence defense attorney that tells a compelling story of your innocence.
Trial in domestic violence cases are all or nothing, meaning you are either found not guilty, which is always our goal, and your domestic violence case is dismissed or you are found guilty and will be sentenced.
Domestic Violence Defense in Oklahoma
The information contained in this article explains milestones in your Oklahoma domestic violence case; however, it is far from all encompassing. There is far too much important information for you to know to put down in one article. We encourage you to visit the rest of our website for more information and our YouTube Channel for additional free resources.
CONTACT CANNON & ASSOCIATES TODAY – YOUR FIERCE ADVOCATES® AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DEFENSE ATTORNEYS
If you are facing domestic violence charges or are under investigation for domestic violence, it is important to work with an experienced Oklahoma City domestic violence defense attorney to increase your chance of having your case dismissed or obtaining the best outcome possible in your first-time domestic violence case, felony domestic violence case, or strangulation defense.
Additionally, by taking a strategic approach to your Oklahoma domestic violence case, you increase your chances of obtaining a dismissal or the best outcome in your domestic violence case.
Your Fierce Advocates® at Cannon & Associates are dedicated to answering your questions and preparing you for whatever lies ahead in your Oklahoma domestic violence defense case. Our owner is a Judge Advocate and former domestic violence prosecutor and we take pride in assisting clients through the difficult times of facing the criminal justice system.CALL NOW 405-591-3935 for your free confidential case planning session to develop a plan for your defense in your Oklahoma domestic violence defense.