The potential consequences of a conviction on assault charges are very serious, and if you’ve been accused, you may be unsure where to turn. Crucial information will empower you, as well working with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Oklahoma.
Types of Assault Charges in Oklahoma:
Oklahoma law recognizes various degrees of assault, each with its own specific elements and penalties. Assault does not require physical contact for charges to be levied. As outlined in 21 O.S. § 641, assault encompasses both attempts or threats to inflict bodily harm through force or violence. Conversely, battery, as defined in 21 O.S. § 642, involves the actual execution of force or violence.
Assault as a Standalone Charge
When considered independently, assault is categorized as a misdemeanor. The repercussions for a standalone assault charge include a jail term of up to 30 days and a fine not exceeding $500. However, it’s most common for assault to be paired with battery charges.
The Combined Charge of Assault and Battery
When assault and battery are charged together, they still fall under the misdemeanor category when at their most basic level. This combined charge can lead to a maximum jail term of 90 days and a potential fine of up to $1,000.
Simple assault and assault and battery represent the least severe end of the spectrum. Offenses resulting in serious bodily harm or demonstrating an intent to kill escalate to felony charges.
Potential Defenses to Assault Charges in Oklahoma
While the prosecution has the burden of proving your guilt, you have avenues to defend yourself. Here are some common strategies often employed in assault cases:
Imagine yourself in a cornered alley, facing an attacker. You act out of instinct, pushing them away to protect yourself from immediate harm. This classic “self-defense” scenario is a key defense strategy. In Oklahoma, you have the right to use reasonable force to defend yourself or others from imminent threats of bodily harm.
However, the emphasis lies on reasonable force. This means your response should be proportionate to the danger you felt. Using a gun in a fistfight, for example, might not stand as justified self-defense unless the other person was much larger and stronger than you, or you were otherwise helpless to stop them.
Defense of Others
The principle of self-defense extends beyond protecting yourself. The law recognizes your right to intervene and use reasonable force to protect them from imminent harm. The same principles of proportionality and reasonableness apply here.
Mistake of Fact
Imagine encountering a stranger who you mistakenly believe is about to attack you. Reacting in self-defense in such a situation, even though your perception was wrong, could fall under the defense of mistake of fact. Your lawyer will help show that you had the genuine belief, based on reasonable circumstances, that your actions were necessary to defend yourself from imminent harm.
The Role of a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Oklahoma
Your attorney will vigorously defend your rights and thoroughly investigate the incident to uncover all possible avenues for defense. Your attorney should not only be familiar with assault cases but also with Oklahoma law. Visit https://okc-criminal-lawyer.com/ to get help.
Each assault case is unique, and the best strategy for defense will depend on the specific circumstances and evidence of your case. Always work with a qualified lawyer for the best result.