Defendants can take some steps to get a head start on probation requirements and potentially improve the plea deal. These include classes and counseling.
Batterer’s Intervention Program
A mandatory condition of a suspended sentence or probation for domestic abuse crimes is that the defendant participates in counseling or undergo treatment for domestic abuse by a counselor. This program is known as the Batterer’s Intervention Program (BIP). It’s a 52-week course with one session per week. The cost is generally $20 a session. Three unexcused absences in succession or seven unexcused absences in a 52-week period is considered a violation of conditions of probation. If you have too many absences, then you will be kicked out of the class and have to start all over. Failure to attend the classes could result in a conviction, jail, or prison.
In addition to BIP, some counties require that prior to attending BIP, the defendant must undergo either a mental health evaluation or a domestic violence inventory. These evaluations can range from $150 to $250. I get my clients who are charged with domestic abuse into BIP as soon as possible. I provide them a list of locations that offer BIP and the various evaluations.
I Recommend Pre-Trial Classes For My Clients
Completing classes while a case is pending does a couple of things. First, it can often improve the plea recommendation from the prosecutor. We can usually decrease the number of years of incarceration or probation and/or bring it down from a suspended sentence to a deferred sentence. This could be the difference between an automatic conviction and never receiving a conviction. There are also other classes that may be requested by the prosecutor based on the actual situation. An example of this is anger management classes.
There is a misconception that doing classes or going to counseling prior to pleading demonstrates the defendant’s guilt. That is absolutely not the case. Most cases end in a negotiated plea. Prosecutors place great value on the classes or counseling a defendant attends. Knocking out some probation requirements prior to a plea almost always improves the plea offer. Sometimes, the facts in a case are so bad that the only way to improve the outcome is to take classes. Delaying or not taking classes will not help a defendant’s case. Getting as many classes and other probation requirements quickly completed impresses prosecutors and demonstrates to them that you are taking your situation seriously. If you want to improve the outcome in your case, then you should start the recommended classes and/or counseling as soon as possible.
For more information on Domestic Abuse Counseling In Oklahoma, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (405) 633-3420 today.