Domestic Assault and Battery by Strangulation

This is same as Domestic Assault and Battery with one exception, that the alleged incident involved some form of strangulation. In Oklahoma, the courts define this as, “Strangulation means any kind of asphyxia, including but not limited to, closure of the (blood vessels)/(air passages)/nostrils/mouth as a result of external pressure on the head/neck.” It should be noted that not only does strangulation result in an automatic felony charge, but even “attempted” strangulation can result in a felony charge being filed. 

Domestic Assault and Battery Causing Great Bodily Injury

This is Domestic Assault and Battery except that it takes into consideration the severity of the injuries suffered by the alleged victim. Oklahoma courts define great bodily injury as any bone fracture OR any protracted and obvious disfigurement OR any protracted (lengthy time) loss/impairment of the function of a body part/organ/mental faculty OR that caused substantial risk of death of the alleged victim.

Domestic Assault and Battery With Dangerous Weapon

This Domestic Assault and Battery except that an object/weapon was involved. 

Domestic Assault and Battery With Deadly Weapon

This Domestic Assault and Battery except that an object/weapon classified as “deadly” under the law was involved.

As you will note, there are four types of domestic assault and battery which are classified as misdemeanors. These are what we refer to as predicate offenses.  If you ever plea to one of these misdemeanors, you will be informed that another occurrence or charge of the same or similar offense will result in the second or subsequent charge being filed as a felony; this is regardless of the severity of the allegation/injury.  The other remaining types of domestic assault and battery are automatically charged/filed as a felony. 

EXAMPLE: Let’s consider, hypothetically, a defendant is charged with a domestic A&B charge and he/she enters into a plea agreement. That defendant goes to court and he/she decides to accept a plea bargain agreement.  The defendant then enters a plea of guilty or no contest.  The court will then inform or advise the defendant that a second or subsequent charge will be an automatic felony.  Then, several years later, the same defendant, and just for hypothetical purposes we say he/she simply pushes a person that meets the statutory requirements, the defendant can, and will likely, be charged with a felony domestic A&B charge.  Without consideration of how slight the injury was, the issue is that this is the SECOND instance of the defendant committing the act of domestic assault and battery.  

EXAMPLE: Now consider, another hypothetical situation where the defendant gets into an argument with their significant other.  The argument escalates to the point that the defendant grabs the significant other by the throat and pushes that person against the wall, just for a brief moment, but the force of that act left a mark on the significant other’s throat. The police arrive and the significant other states that the defendant “choked” him/her, and the police see a mark on the throat (or even if they don’t but the significant other is believable), the Defendant is likely going to be arrested for Domestic A&B by Strangulation; this is an automatic felony, with a much higher bond and more serious consequences. 

EXAMPLE: This is an example from a case I have actually had where the defendant got into an argument with his ex-girlfriend while he was moving out of their apartment. While packing, she insisted that a pool cue he was packing was hers. The argument escalated into a shouting match and in anger he took the cue out of its carrying case (two pieces) and threw it back into the bedroom. The smaller section of the cue grazed her leg and left a scratch.  The police were called, and she claimed that he threw the pool cue at her, to which he admitted he did. He was subsequently charged with Domestic Assault and Battery by Dangerous Weapon; an automatic felony, with a substantially higher bond, and creating a lot more problems.  This felony was all from a scratch. The end result, after I entered the case, was that the matter was reduced to misdemeanor domestic assault and battery and eventually dismissed.  

Understanding charges of Domestic Assault and Battery can be confusing. When charged with this type of crime you need an attorney who can gather the facts of your case together and defend you the way you deserve. 

Lee Berlin
Dedicated to defending clients accused of domestic violence, sex & violent crimes throughout eastern Oklahoma.