If you’ve been charged with assault and battery, your first instinct may be to assume you’ll be heading to jail. However, while Oklahoma law does allow assault and battery to be punishable by up to 90 days in jail, a deferred sentence may be offered as an alternative to jail time.
About Deferred Sentences
A deferred sentence means that the court is going to delay your sentencing until a probationary period has been completed. If you complete your probation successfully, you will not be required to spend any time in jail.
Sometimes, you may hear a deferred sentence referred to as a “slap on the wrist” in recognition of the fact the court is being very lenient. Instead of sentencing you right away, you are getting one last chance to show remorse and indicate that your behavior has changed.
Typically, deferred sentences are most likely to be offered to individuals who have no previous criminal record and present a low risk of reoffending. You will not be eligible for a deferred sentence if you are a convicted felon or received a deferred judgment for a felony within the past 10 years.
Deferred sentences in Oklahoma are covered 22 O.S. § 991c.
Probation is a period of court-ordered supervision that requires you to follow certain rules. This may include:
- Regularly checking in with a parole officer, agreeing to random searches, and getting permission if you need to travel outside the state
- Paying monthly parole fees
- Refraining from the use of drugs and/or alcohol
- Agreeing not to associate with people who have been charged with a crime, are on probation, or who have criminal records
- Maintaining employment
- Attending anger management classes
- Obeying all laws and not being found guilty of a new crime
Penalties for Probation Violations
Violating the terms of your probation can have stiff consequences if you were given a deferred sentence for your Oklahoma assault and battery charge. The court can choose to enter a judgment of guilt and sentence you to the maximum time in jail for the assault and battery charge.
A Deferred Sentence Can Prevent the Stigma of a Criminal Record
Deferred sentences are often confused with suspended sentences. While both options allow an offender to avoid jail time, a deferred sentence is often preferable because the charges will be dismissed entirely if you can successfully complete your probation. Getting the charges dismissed means you won’t have a criminal record that could affect your career opportunities or personal reputation.
A deferred sentence is not a conviction under Oklahoma law. Your court record will be sealed, but certain parties may still be able to access your arrest record. If you wish to have the arrest record sealed, you will need to complete the expungement process.
Why You Need to Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’re facing assault and battery charges in Oklahoma, do not assume that you’ll be able to resolve the issue on your own. You should meet with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options and determine the best way to proceed. Depending on the circumstances of your case, this might include advocating for a deferred sentence.
Berlin Defense is committed to providing aggressive representation for Oklahoma residents accused of violent crimes such as assault and battery—placing a special emphasis on crimes involving elements of coercive control in intimate partner relationships. We know that your future is at stake, and we’ll fight to make sure your voice is heard.
Have You Been Charged With a Violent Crime in the Tulsa, OK Area?
If you or a loved one has been charged with a violent crime in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area, you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call 918.384.0850 for your initial strategy session. We are proud to serve Tulsa and all surrounding areas.