As an offense, domestic violence charges carry a lot of emotional weight. Once alleged, they paint the perpetrator in an extremely dark light and the law is often swift to deal with such matters. Of course, this response is only fitting when a domestic violence charge is justified.
Unfortunately, accusations of domestic violence can and have often been put to wrong use. For instance, such allegations are often used to gain a stronger position in a custody battle between spouses. Once these allegations are uttered, they can severely damage the case of the targeted party, making the court and jury hostile to them.
Needless to say, such allegations also have weighty criminal consequences. There are aggravating circumstances that can make a domestic violence charge very serious indeed. For example, punishment is enhanced if strangulation is alleged or if a child was present during the incident. Often, the only way out of a domestic violence charge is to contact a knowledgeable domestic violence Tulsa attorney.
If you are facing a domestic violence charge, it can affect many areas in your life. And, if the charge ends in a conviction, it can affect you for the rest of your life.
At Greer Law Firm, we understand the base uses to which a domestic violence allegation can be put. We have helped many clients fight for their rights by exposing the wrong and hurtful motives behind the allegations against them. We can expertly vindicate the innocently charged. We can fight for your rights by carefully examining the evidence brought by the alleged victim and doing all that is legally possible to help you reach a positive conclusion.
What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence is the use of verbal or physical abuse against a person. While this definition talks about the actual use, domestic violence also covers the threat of physical or sexual violence.
Domestic violence usually anticipates behavior used by one person in a relationship to hurt or dominate the other person. It can include physical violence and sexual assault, intimidation, emotional abuse, and isolating the victim from others.
It applies to partners, whether they are married or unmarried, living together or simply dating. It also applies in a parent-child relationship.
Women are not the only ones who can suffer abuse in an intimate relationship. Men also suffer abuse, though the percentage of men in this category is relatively smaller in comparison to the women. Children also suffer in an abusive relationship, either through trauma from watching a parent being abused or by being direct recipients of the abuse themselves.
Domestic violence can take the form of intimate partner violence, which includes sexual or physical violence, psychological aggression and stalking. The perpetrator may be a former intimate partner or a current one.
It could take the form of child abuse, which includes the emotional, sexual or physical abuse of a child. It could also be neglect of a child by a parent, custodian or caregiver that results in harm or potential harm to the child. This scenario can actually result in serious felony charges that carry up to life in the penitentiary.
Domestic violence could also take the form of elder abuse, which is a failure to act or an intentional refusal to act by a caregiver, which results in a risk of harm to the elder.
In Oklahoma, domestic violence means any act of physical harm or the threat of imminent physical harm which is committed against a person. The abuser could be an adult, an emancipated minor, or a minor child thirteen years of age or older. They could be family or household members or people who are, or were, in a dating relationship.
Types of domestic abuse/violence
There are several types of acts that constitute domestic violence. While some can be prosecuted in a court of law, others do not entirely amount to crimes. They include the following:
- Psychological abuse: This covers behavior or comments that undermine a person’s sense of self. It could be name-calling and putdowns, intimidation, and any behavior that is geared towards making the other person uncomfortable or look bad. It also includes sulking, threatening to withhold money, disconnect the telephone, take the car away, and lying to family/friends about the other person.
- Verbal abuse: Includes constantly putting down the other person, name-calling, making harassing or threatening phone calls and saying things to scare the other
- Physical abuse: This includes actual or threatened physical harm, denial of needed medical care and driving recklessly while one’s spouse and/or children were in the car.
- Social abuse: This includes controlling where one’s spouse goes, who he/she sees or what he/she wears. It could also involve keeping that spouse from contacting family and friends or preventing them from leaving the house. Other forms of social abuse include:
- Sexual abuse: It includes forcing one’s spouse to take part in unwanted sexual contact/activity or pressuring that spouse to have sex when there was a clear lack of consent. It also includes forcing one’s spouse to have sex or do sexual acts he/she does not want or like. Acts that include sexual penetration here may amount to the criminal offence of rape.
- Financial abuse: This includes taking advantage of a spouse’s financial affairs against his or her will. Preventing one’s spouse from having access to money by denying access to bank accounts and forcing the surrender of credit cards also fall under financial abuse. Also, preventing that spouse from seeking or maintaining employment, making your spouse ask for money for basic items and forcing him/her to provide receipts to account for spending are all forms of financial abuse.
- Stalking: This is behavior intended to harass, intimidate and torment another It includes behavior such as repeated phone calls, sending letters, faxes or emails, using social media. It also includes loitering near a person’s home, spying on or openly watching them, following them, sending unwanted flowers or chocolates, or organizing unwanted home deliveries.
What defenses can be employed against a domestic violence charge?
Your first line of defense against a domestic violence charge is to secure the services of a Tulsa domestic violence attorney. Your domestic violence attorney will be able to evaluate the police report of the incident and come up with a suitable defense for you.
The following are some defense tactics that a Tulsa domestic violence attorney can employ on your behalf:
- Claim of innocence: In trying to establish your innocence, your domestic violence attorney will look for material to support the claim such as establishing your whereabouts at the time the crime was committed. This would involve coming up with a credible alibi while being on the lookout for any piece of evidence that might incriminate you. Physical evidence, the testimony of eyewitnesses or a 911 recording that may have picked your voice are all valuable here.
- Discrediting the testimony of the other person: Where there is a likelihood that the other person fabricated the allegation against you, this defense may come into play. In establishing the defense, your attorney will need to establish whether the injuries on the victim support their version of the story. He or she will also need to ensure that your story checks out with the crime report. For instance, if you say the victim got injured while falling down the stairs, there must be injuries on the body of the victim which will resemble injuries likely to be sustained from tumbling down the stairs.
- Self-defense: Your domestic violence attorney could help you establish that you were trying to defend yourself from an attack when the victim sustained the
- Disproof of evidence: Your attorney can push for a mistrial if there was an investigative error on the part of the police.
These defenses indicate that a domestic violence charge is by no means cut and dried. At Greer Law Firm, we are familiar with all the tactics that are involved in a false domestic violence accusation. We can fight for your rights by respectfully, but firmly, interviewing involved parties to help you establish the truth of the matter. We do not stop there. We can gather our own evidence to present. As a former state and federal prosecutor, we know a prosecutor does not want to see credible evidence countering their perception of a criminal case.
If you have been arrested on domestic violence charges, our domestic violence Tulsa attorneys can help you find a positive conclusion. Call us on 918.430.4596 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to start a conversation today.