This article continues our series on Assault and Battery crimes in Oklahoma. As we previously mentioned, Assault & Battery is a misdemeanor crime in Oklahoma that can sometimes be charged as a felony crime in court. This article will discuss those situations that make the crime a felony instead of a misdemeanor.
The Difference between a Misdemeanor and Felony in Oklahoma
In Oklahoma, a misdemeanor is a crime that is punishable by one year or less in jail, while a felony is a crime that is punishable by a year or more. But more than just differences in possible sentence outcomes, a felony crime carries a much more significant weight in our culture.
Our society view felonies as serious crimes and persons with felony convictions as persons with a serious criminal past. There is a level of distrust that institutions have against persons with felony convictions. While misdemeanor cases can still affect your ability to get a job, our society typically does not view persons with misdemeanor convictions as serious criminals; more as persons with bad judgment.
But those with felony convictions carry a scarlet letter and tend to be in most need of an expungement. Fortunately, persons with felonies in Oklahoma can have their convictions expunged if they meet certain criteria. < hyperlink >
When does Assault and Battery become a felony in Oklahoma?
As we discussed in our last article, simple A&B is a misdemeanor crime. But certain circumstances enhance the crime to a felony.
For example, if any weapon is used during the altercation, the crime is enhanced to a felony. There are multiple versions of this crime, each carrying their own sentencing structure. The crimes range from A&B “with a dangerous weapon” to A&B “with a deadly weapon.”
A person who commits assault and battery on a pregnant woman is guilty of misdemeanor on the first offense, but any subsequent offense is charged as a felony.
A person who commits assault on a police officer (or any type of law enforcement agent) while on duty is guilty of a misdemeanor. But if the person commits a battery along with that assault, the crime becomes a felony. You can see how the line is thin, and threats are treated with less severity than physical action. But physical action against a government agent is treated different than the same physical contact with a civilian person.
Can you expunge Assault and Battery in Oklahoma?
In Oklahoma, you can expunge the misdemeanor version of Assault and Battery, but not the felony versions. That is because each of the felony versions is considered a violent crime, and only non-violent felonies can be expunged.
Going back to Oklahoma expungement basics, if your conviction is a misdemeanor, then it can be expunged, it is simply a matter of time. If you conviction is a felony, it can only be expunged if it was a non-violent felony. And all of the felony versions of Assault and Battery crimes are considered “violent crimes” for purposes of expungement.
However, this does not preclude you from getting a 991 Expungement if you received a deferred sentence for your felony A & B crime.
If you received a deferred sentence, and you complied with the terms and successfully completed the deferment period, then you are entitled to a 991c Expungement, regardless of the type of crime.
Do you have Questions about expunging your case?
If you have questions about expunging your own case in Oklahoma, then send us a message and we will gladly answer your questions!