What Constitutes Assault and Battery with a Deadly Weapon in Oklahoma?

Assault and Battery With a Deadly Weapon

Assault and Battery with a Deadly WeaponIn Oklahoma, assault and battery with a deadly weapon is the intentional and wrongful use of a deadly weapon such as a firearm. It is a serious felony and is punishable by up to life in prison. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 652. In some cases, assault and battery with a deadly weapon explicitly means using a firearm with intent to kill, but there are important exceptions.

Although shooting with intent to kill can be charged as assault and battery with a deadly weapon, a person may be convicted of assault and battery with a deadly weapon without proof that they intended to kill the person.

Also included in this statute is the use of a vehicle to facilitate the intentional discharge of any sort of firearm, crossbow or other weapon in conscious disregard for the safety of others. This is meant to cover the typical drive-by shooting which is a type of assault and battery. There need not be a direct intent to kill in this scenario. The intent is rather a sense of disregard for the safety of others. It is a serious felony, punishable by a prison term of 2 years to life. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 652.

Likewise, the assault and battery upon an unborn child by the use of a deadly weapon or other force or means that is likely to produce death, can be charged as assault with a deadly weapon. The crime is not meant to capture legal abortion or other sanctioned medical procedures, but is meant to protect an unborn child from the harm of domestic abuse or other physical harm. The crime is punishable by a up to life in prison. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 652.

How Other Oklahoma A&B Laws Compare

Oklahoma has a number of laws that cover assault and battery including assault and battery with a deadly weapon, vehicular assault with intent to kill, shooting with intent to kill and even attempted murder.

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.

Beyond those simple definitions of widely used terms, the type of assault and battery that might be charged can depend on the elements of the alleged crime, including intent, weapons used, severity of an attack, relationship with the victim and the role of a victim, such as assault on certain public employees.

Assault With Intent to Kill

If convicted of assault with intent to kill in Oklahoma, the law prescribes an alternate punishment if the elements of assault and battery with a deadly weapon in Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 652. 

Assault with intent to kill can be charged when the elements of assault are present but questions remains as to whether a battery occurred. It could also be a lesser included offense in assault and battery with a deadly weapon, where juries could chose the lesser offense if they found insufficient proof of the greater offense. 

When found guilty of assault with intent to kill, you could be convicted of a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison, or 1 year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $500. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 653.

Additionally, intent-to-kill crimes are subject to the 85% rule. Under Oklahoma law, assault and battery with a deadly weapon is an intent to kill crime. The law specifies that if convicted, you must serve 85% of your sentence before becoming eligible for parole or release. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 13.1.

Where no intent to kill was proven, and a vehicle was not used such as in a drive-by shooting, a person who deliberately discharges a firearm to injure someon might be charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Attempted Murder Compared

Facts that give rise to a shooting with intent to kill charge could also raise the possibility of an attempted murder charge. Attempted murder in Oklahoma is defined as a failed attempt to intentionally murder another person. Murder can be of the first or second degree. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 701.7. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 701.8.

Attempted murder requires both an intent and an action. The intent required is often called malice aforethought. It is also sometimes called premeditation. The intent is to take away the life of that specific person. The intent is specific to the act and to the victim. The action is deliberately taken to end that person’s life.

Murder, and attempted murder can also occur if the death of the victim results from the murder or attempted murder of another person, the shooting of a firearm or crossbow, done with the intent to kill, the intentional discharge of a firearm or the like into a dwelling, from a forcible rape, robbery with a dangerous weapon, a kidnapping, attempted escape from lawful custody, first degree burglary or arson, the unlawful distribution of controlled dangerous substances and the like. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 701.7.

Attempted murder of the second degree occurs when the act taken is imminently dangerous to another and shows a depraved mind, or regardless of human life . Premeditation is not required. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 701.8.

Attempted murder is punishable by a prison sentence that is 1/2 the longest time prescribed for a conviction for the crime if it were completed. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 42.

Penalties for first degree murder can be life in prison and a minimum of 10 years to life for second degree murder. If convicted of attempted murder in the first degree or second degree, you could serve up to half of a life sentence in prison. You could spend twenty years or more in prison. A conviction for shooting with intent to kill could result in a longer sentence than a conviction for attempted murder.

Free Consultation With a Tulsa Criminal Defense Attorney

Assault and battery with a deadly weapon is a serious crime in Oklahoma. It is important that you hire an experienced Tulsa criminal defense attorney. In Tulsa, a Tulsa attorney best knows the court system and judges in the area. 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. We pride ourselves on providing our clients with excellent representation at reasonable prices.

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