We might think of a Saturday night barroom brawl when we think of assault and battery in Oklahoma. But do we really understand what these two terms refer to legally?
If you are facing charges for assault and battery in McAlester, Oklahoma, you might want to know exactly what each term refers to and how and why we often see the two terms linked.
What is Assault and Battery in Oklahoma?
Because we hear the terms assault and battery linked together most of the time, it is easy to believe that these are two aspects of one crime. However, the reality is that they are two separate crimes that often occur together and as such, are often charged together.
Under Oklahoma law, an assault is defined as an intentional attempt or threat of force or violence against another person. (Okla. Stat. tit.21 § 641) It is an intentional crime. Here, the threat or attempt at harm that is the crime.
No contact is required to be charged with assault, and the measure of threat or attempted harm is that which would make a reasonable person fear for their immediate safety. If your actions are meant only to scare another person and they reasonably cause a person to experience fear for their own safety, that could be sufficient for an assault charge.
It is important to know that angry words alone are not enough to constitute an assault in McAlester. There must be an accompanying overt action that is threatening for it to be the crime of assault. Brandishing a gun or swinging a bat in another’s direction may be sufficient to be charged.
A battery on the other hand, is defined as an intentional and unlawful use of force or violence against another. (Okla. Stat. tit.21 § 642) While assault is the attempted contact, battery is the contact. It is a contact that is intentional, and either unwanted, harmful, or offensive to the victim of the contact.
The intended contact must be intentional for there to be a crime, but there is no requirement that you intend to actually hurt another for you to be charged with battery. So if cocking your fist is an assault, punching is the battery, whether the victim is hurt or not.
Likewise, if you hit, shoot, or make any other kind of contact with another that is either injurious or unwanted, that will be enough to be charged with a battery in McAlester.
Penalties for Assault and Battery in Oklahoma
A simple assault is a misdemeanor crime punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine up to $500.
But assault usually occurs in conjunction with a battery. When the two occur together, you could face up to 90 days in jail and a fine up to $1,000. (Okla. Stat. tit.21 § 644)
However, the penalties for assault and battery in Oklahoma can be dramatically enhanced depending on who the victim is, what weapons are used, and how much injury the victim suffers.
If the victim is a current or former spouse, a present spouse of a former spouse, a parent, a foster parent, a child, a person otherwise related by blood or marriage, or a person with whom the defendant is in a dating relationship, this becomes a domestic abuse issue punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000 for a first offense.
For a subsequent offense, the crimes become felonies and you could face up to four years in prison as well as fines. If a dangerous or deadly weapon is used, you could face up to 10 years in the custody of the Department of Corrections or one year in prison. If you actually shoot a partner, you could face life in prison.
Finally, if the assault and battery occur upon a law enforcement official, the crime is a felony and you could face at least five years of incarceration.
Free Consultation: McAlester Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or someone you know has been accused of assault and battery in Oklahoma, please contact a McAlester criminal defense attorney to discuss your available legal options.
Consult with an experienced attorney at the Wirth Law Office – McAlester today, by calling 918-302-9656.
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