What is the Difference Between Assault and Battery in Oklahoma?

Oklahoma assault and batterySimple Assault, Simple Battery

In Oklahoma assault and battery are separate crimes and are defined differently. Assault is defined as an intentional attempt or intentional threat of force or violence against another. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 641

In contrast, battery is defined as the intentional and unlawful use of force or violence against another. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 642

These are two separate crimes that often occur together and as such, are often charged together. In essence, many assault and battery charges are of the “simple” kind.

An example of a simple assault and battery might be a bar brawl. After a couple of drinks, Jake gets upset when another guy keeps eyeing his girl friend. He tells the guy to knock it off. The guys swears at Jake and Jake raises a fist in the guy’s face. When the guy laughs, Jake takes a punch at him.

In this example, when Jake raises his fist in the other guy’s face, a simple assault has been committed. When Jake throws his punch, he has unlawfully used force against another and a simple battery has been committed. He might be charged with assault and battery.

The penalty for simple assault is up to 30 days in jail, a fine of up to $500, or both. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 644

In contrast, the penalty for a simple assault and battery is up to 90 days in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.

Oklahoma Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon

In Oklahoma, assault and battery can be charged in a number of different ways depending upon the circumstances of the attack. Contrast a simple assault and battery above with one committed with a sharp or dangerous weapon.

Assault and battery with a dangerous weapon is defined in Oklahoma law as:

  • an unjustifiable assault or battery or
  • an assault and battery
  • upon another person
  • with any sharp or dangerous weapon — including any type of firearm, air gun, or conductive energy weapon (e.g., a taser) and
  • committed with the intent to injure that person.

A weapon is needed for this type of assault and battery charge. A knife, any kind of firearm, or even a taser is sufficient.

In our example above, if Jake takes out a knife or a gun in the barroom brawl, he could be charged under this statute.

Oklahoma law treats assault and battery with a dangerous weapon as a serious felony punishable up to a year in county jail or up to 10 years in state prison. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 645

Aggravated Assault

Aggravated assault and battery is defined as an assault and battery in which great bodily injury is inflicted upon a victim or an assault by a perpetrator who is strong or in robust health against a victim who is elderly or otherwise incapacitated. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 646

Note that in contrast to an assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, in an Oklahoma aggravated assault and battery, a weapon is not necessary for the crime to have been committed. A severe beating or an assault and battery upon an elderly or incapacitated person is sufficient.

In our example above, if the man that Jake punched was elderly or otherwise frail, Jake could be charged with aggravated A&B. It’s often informally called “agg battery” or “aggravated battery.”

Under Oklahoma law, aggravated assault and battery is punishable by up to a year in jail or up to five years in the state penitentiary. A conviction may carry a fine of up to $500 in addition to or in lieu of incarceration. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 647

Free Consultation with a Tulsa Criminal Defense Attorney

In Oklahoma, a felony conviction can mean jail or prison time. Many assault and battery charges carry long prison sentences.

If you charged, it is important that you hire an experienced Tulsa criminal lawyer. Do not delay. Your initial consultation is free.

For your free, confidential consultation, call 918-879-1681 or toll free at 1-888-Wirth-Law (1-888-947-8452). You can also submit the question form at the top right of this page.

"Make law easy!"