Assault and Battery on a Police Officer

Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer

It’s illegal to knowingly assault a police officer, sheriff, deputy sheriff, highway patrolman, corrections personnel, or state peace officer while the officer is in the performance of his or her duties.

This crime is a misdemeanor. The maximum punishment in the county jail is six months. The maximum fine is $500.

Assault and Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer

assault battery police officer oklahoma

It’s illegal to knowingly commit a battery or assault and battery upon a police officer, sheriff, deputy sheriff, highway patrolman, corrections personnel, or other state peace officer while the officer is in the performance of his or her duties. An attack on an officer is wrong unless it occurs during the course of reasonable resistance by the defendant to an unlawful arrest.

This crime is a felony. The maximum punishment in the Department of Corrections is five years, and the maximum punishment in the county jail is one year. The maximum fine is $500.

“Corrections personnel” means any person, employed or duly appointed by the state or by a political subdivision, who has direct contact with inmates of a jail or state correctional facility. This includes but is not limited to, Department of Corrections personnel in job classifications requiring direct contact with inmates, people providing vocational-technical training to inmates, education personnel who have direct contact with inmates because of education programs for inmates, and people employed or duly appointed by county or municipal jails to supervise inmates or to provide medical treatment or meals to inmates of jails.

Assault and battery upon law officers includes any attempt to reach for or gain control of the firearm of any police officer, sheriff, deputy sheriff, highway patrol, corrections personnel, or any peace officer employed by any state or federal governmental agency to enforce state laws. If an officer is off duty and the nature of the assault or assault and battery relates back to, or in any manner or circumstances has to do with, his or her official position as a law enforcement officer then it falls within the meaning of “in the performance of his or her duties” as an officer.  

If an off-duty police officer accepts private employment and is receiving compensation from the private employer, the officer is a private citizen when engaged in this employment and is therefore representing his private employer’s interest and not the public’s interest. This means the officer becomes a private citizen. Therefore, to make a valid arrest the officer must comply with the law applicable to a citizen’s arrest. The situation is different when the officer is simply off duty and not working for a private employer. Any time a police officer, whether in uniform or not, takes it upon him or herself to enforce the law in order to maintain peace and order for the general benefit of the public, the officer is acting in the performance of his or her duties as a police officer. An off-duty officer not acting under the employment of a private enterprise but would be considered to be acting for the benefit of the public in general with the aim of maintaining peace and order.

Aggravated Assault and Battery on a Police Officer

It’s illegal to knowingly commits any aggravated assault and battery upon the person of a police officer, sheriff, deputy sheriff or highway patrolman, corrections personnel, or any state peace officer employed by any state or federal governmental agency to enforce state laws, while the officer is in the performance of his or her duties. Aggravated assault and battery upon law officers includes the physical contact with and in attempt to gain control of the firearm of any police officer, sheriff, deputy sheriff, highway patrolman, corrections personnel, or any peace officer employed by any state or federal governmental agency to enforce state laws.

An assault and battery becomes aggravated when 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” means bone fracture, protracted and obvious disfigurement, protracted loss or impairment of the function of a body part, organ or mental faculty, or substantial risk of death.

This crime is a felony. The maximum punishment in the Department of Corrections is life. The maximum fine is $1,000.

The punishment increases for anyone who, without justifiable or excusable cause, commits any aggravated assault and battery upon a person that the violator knows or should reasonably know is a police officer, sheriff, deputy sheriff or highway patrolman, corrections personnel, or any state peace officer employed by any state or federal governmental agency to enforce state laws, that results in maiming, while the officer is in the performance of his or her duties. Maiming is defined as any injury that disfigures someone’s personal appearance or disables any member or organ of the body or seriously diminishes the victim’s physical vigor.

The range of punishment in the Department of Corrections is five years-life. The maximum fine is $5,000.

Sources: 21 O.S. §§ 646, 751, 649, & 650

Current as of 6/16/2019.

Charged with assault on a law enforcement officer in Oklahoma? Call Oklahoma criminal defense lawyer Frank Urbanic in OKC for a free case consultation.

Don’t panic! Call Urbanic.® 405-633-3420