Assault & Battery Charges in Oklahoma

Assault in Oklahoma

Assault in Oklahoma is defined in 21 O.S. § 641 as any willful and unlawful attempt or offer with force or violence to do a corporal hurt to another. The punishment for assault is in 21 O.S. § 644. Simple assault is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for up to 30 days, or by a fine of not more than $500, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Assault & Battery In Oklahoma

Battery in Oklahoma is defined in 21 O.S. § 642 as any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another. The punishment for assault and battery is defined in 21 O.S. § 644. It’s a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for up to 90 days, or by a fine of not more than $1,000, or by both fine and imprisonment.

Assault With Intent to Kill

21 O.S. § 653 defines assault with intent to kill. Somebody who is found guilty of assault with intent to kill can be imprisoned for up to five years in the Department of Corrections or spend up to one year in the county jail. The maximum fine is $500.

Assault With Intent to Commit a Felony

21 O.S. § 681 covers assault with intent to commit a felony. Somebody who is found guilty of assault with the intent to commit a felony can be imprisoned for up to five years in the Department of Corrections or spend up to one year in the county jail. The maximum fine is $500.

Does A Victim Need To Be Injured For An Assault Or Battery Charge To Have Occurred?

Generally a victim doesn’t have to be injured or harmed for a battery to occur. What is required is offensive contact. Even though contact is generally not necessary for an assault offense, assault still requires some sort of criminal act. Typically this act must be overt and has to put a reasonable person in fear for their safety. Spoken words alone aren’t enough of an act to constitute an assault unless the offender backs them up with an act or action that put the victim in a reasonable fear of imminent harm.

Aggravated Assault & Battery in Oklahoma

21 O.S. § 646 covers aggravated assault and battery. An assault and battery becomes aggravated when it is committed under any of the following circumstances:

  1. when great bodily injury is inflicted upon the person assaulted, or
  2. when committed by a person of robust health or strength upon one who is aged, decrepit, or incapacitated. Great bodily injury is defined as a bone fracture protracted in obvious disfigurement, protracted loss or impairment of the function of a body part, organ, or mental faculty, or substantial risk of death.

The punishment for aggravated assault and battery is imprisonment for up to five years in the Department of Corrections, up to one year in the county jail, a fine of up to $500, or by both fine and imprisonment.

Assault And Battery with A Dangerous Weapon

Assault and battery with a dangerous weapon is defined in 21 O.S. § 645. Any person who, with the intent to do bodily harm and without justifiable or excusable cause, commits any assault, battery, or assault and battery upon a person or another with any sharp or dangerous weapon, or who without such cause shoots another with any kind of firearm, air gun, conductive energy weapon, or other means, with the intent to injure any person can be found guilty of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Punishment can be imprisonment in the Department of Corrections for up to ten years or up to one year in a county jail.

How Does Intent Affect an Assault Charge?

An individual needs to have only general intent to commit an assault. It’s not possible to accidentally assault another person. The offender must intend the actions that made up an assault. If an individual acts in a way that’s considered dangerous to other people, then that can be enough to support assault charges. It doesn’t matter if they didn’t intend a particular harm to an individual. An intent to scare of frighten somebody could possibly be enough to establish assault charges. Battery generally doesn’t require any intent to harm the victim. Someone needs to only have an intent to contact or cause contact with another individual. If somebody acts in a criminally reckless or negligent way that results in such contact, then an assault may have occurred. Keep in mind that accidentally bumping into somebody, even if the victim considers it to be offensive, does not constitute a battery.

How Does The Degree Of Injury Impact An Assault Charge?

The degree of injury that a victim suffers can affect an assault charge by making it a felony or cause other charges to be filed. This can include battery or assault with a dangerous weapon. The more severe the injury, the more severe the potential punishment will be.

What Defense Strategies Can Be Used In Assault Cases?

charged with assault & battery oklahomaThere’s a variety of defense strategies that can be used in assault cases. The first one is that the defendant didn’t actually have the ability to inflict the force or violence upon the other person. Perhaps the defendant was restrained or in some other state that would render them unable to have actually inflicted the violence they are accused of inflicting. A common defense is self-defense. If somebody assaults and batters another person when they were only acting to defend themselves against another assault and battery, then self-defense could be a good defense. Another defense is that the defendant didn’t act willfully, or with the required intent. This could be accidental contact. For example, just bumping into somebody is insufficient to constitute assault. Finally, a possible assault and battery defense is that the defendant was wrongfully accused. If there was an event going on where there were multiple people fighting each other, then there could have been someone other than the defendant who assaulted and battered the victim. The victim could have been confused, in a state of intoxication, or in some other altered state that rendered them unable to accurately describe who the perpetrator was.

Sources: 21 OS § 68121 OS § 64621 OS § 64121 OS § 64721 OS § 64521 OS § 64421 OS § 642, & 21 OS § 653

Current as of 6/16/2019.

Charged with assault & battery in Oklahoma? Call Oklahoma criminal defense attorney Frank Urbanic in OKC for a free consultation.

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