Oklahoma Felonious Assault Law Explained

Requires Intent to Commit Another Specific Felony

definition of felonious assault in OklahomaIn Oklahoma, felonious assault is defined as an assault with the intent to commit any felony except an assault with the intent to kill. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 681.  Felonious assault occurs when a person commits an assault during the commission of another felony. Without specific intent to commit a specific felony, felonious assualt does not occur. 

A felonious assault charge is often used in the context of rape and attempted rape cases. For example, attempted rape in the first degree rape can include both the attempted rape charge and the lesser offense of felonious assault.  

The penalty for felonious assault is up to 5 years of prison time or up to 1 year of county jail time, a fine of up to $500 or both fines and incarceration.

Oklahoma takes threats upon a person’s health and safety seriously. Threats made against the health and safety of an individual, whether made during the commission of another crime, or alone, can mean serious consequences in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma law has codified a web of possible assault and battery charges to ensure that when a threat is made on a person, no matter the circumstances, that the person who made the threat may be prosecuted. 

Punishment for Attempt

Felonious assault can be somewhat different than attempted crimes described in the Punishment for Attempt statute. Okla. Stat. tit.21 § 42. A person cannot be convicted of attempting a crime if evidence shows they completed the crime. And failure to complete an intended crime does not absolve a person for other crimes committed during the attempt.

Even though a felonious assault fails to gain compliance of a robbery victim, the felonious assault may have been completed even though the robbery attempt failed. A person might be charged with attempted robbery or felonious assault.

The attempted crime statute states that if one attempts a crime and for whatever reason, the attempt fails, the punishment for the attempt will be 1/2 the longest term if the attempted crime, if completed has a sentence of 4 or more years, or up to one year if the completed crime is sentenced at less than 4 years. 

For a conviction of attempted crimes, the maximum fine that may be imposed is 1/2 of the maximum which would be imposed if the crime is completed. And if the sentence for a completed crime allows for both a fine and imprisonment, both are halved. Okla. Stat. tit.21 § 42.  Attempt may be charged as a lesser included offense related to charges of a completed crime if the situation warrants it and if the prosecutor cannot prove the attempted crime was in fact perpetrated.

Planning or Threatening a Violent Act

Oklahoma defines planning or threatening a violent act as attempting or conspiring to perform a violent act, involving serious bodily harm or death, upon another. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1378. 

Attempting, conspiring or endeavoring to perform a violent act in Oklahoma is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Merely threatening the same act is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in county jail. 

Threatening a violent act is considered a crime against public peace.  A person may publicly or privately threaten a violent act without the intended victim every knowing about the threat. Threatening a violent act differs from assault because in assault the victim is directly threatened.

Planning a violent act, whether done alone or as part of a conspiracy, is a felony punishable by up to 10 years. Planning is different than attempting a violent act in so far as a plan may be constructed without performance of any act toward commission of the crime. 

Extortion Induced by Threats

Extortion induced by threats in Oklahoma is defined as threatening to unlawfully injure a person or property, or to accuse a person of a crime, or to threaten to expose a fault or disgrace, or to threaten to expose another person’s secret as extortion to achieve an intended end by the person threatening the other. Okla. Stat. tit.21 § 1482.

Extortion is defined as the obtaining of another’s property through the wrongful use of force or fear of force, or under a cloak of an official right. Okla. Stat. tit.21 § 1481. Extortion is a felony punishable by a prison term up to 5 years. Attempted extortion is punishable by a jail term of up to 2 years. Okla. Stat. tit.21 § 1483.

Simple Assault and Battery

In Oklahoma, a simple assault can be defined as an intentional attempt or threat of force or violence against another person. Okla. Stat. tit.21 § 641. In Oklahoma, a simple battery is defined as the intentional and unlawful use of force or violence against another. Okla. Stat. tit.21 § 642. So, assault is a menacing action that threatens the victim, while battery is the contact. These two crimes are often combined and charged together.

Robbery: A Crime of Threat and Fear

Robbery in Oklahoma is defined as the wrongful taking of another person’s property, either directly from that person’s body or from their immediate surroundings, against their will, and through the use of force or fear. Okla. Stat. tit.21 § 791.

The fear required may be either the fear of immediate or future injury to self, property or family, or the fear that a companion of the robbed person will be immediately injured. Okla. Stat. tit.21 § 794. Robbery of the first degree is a felony punishable by at least 10 years in prison. Okla. Stat. tit.21 § 798. Robbery in the second degree is a felony punishable up a prison term of up to 10 years. Okla. Stat. tit.21 § 799.

Many of statutes related to assault, use of force and attempted crimes overlap. A matrix of similar but narrowly defined statutes allows prosecutors a lot of leeway in terms of how they want to charge a defendant.

Some of these statutes have more lenient sentencing guidelines, some more stringent. Each requires proof of particular facts to obtain a conviction. When those facts cannot be proven, the defendant must be found not guilty. 

Free Consultation:  Tulsa Criminal Defense Attorney

Crimes involving the threat of fear or force are severely treated in Oklahoma. If you are being charged, it is important to understand how charges may affect you and how they may overlap. Each charge requires proof of specific elements based on alleged facts.

For defense against felonious assault charges, retain an experienced Tulsa criminal defense lawyer. A local attorney will know the court system and judges in the area. Do not delay. Your initial consultation is free.

Call the Wirth Law Office at (918) 879-1681 (or toll free at (888) Wirth-Law) or submit the question form at the top right of this page. 

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