Tulsa Attorney BlogWhat Is Murder in the First Degree in Oklahoma?

Murder I Is if You Intentionally Kill Somebody Without Justification

Video Transcribed: What is murder in the first degree in Oklahoma? My name is Brian L. Jackson. I am a Tulsa criminal defense attorney with Wirth Law Office, and today I want to go over the definition of murder in the first degree and what constitutes murder in the first degree in the state of Oklahoma.

Now, to start with, I’m going to take your attention to Title 21 Section 701.7, which defines murders in the first degree as follows. “A person commits murder in the first degree if they unlawfully and with malice and forethought caused the death of another human being.” That’s the statutory definition.

Now, what that really means is a couple of things. In Oklahoma, it’s Murder One, obviously, if you intentionally kill somebody without excuse or without justification. That could be Murder One.

attorney in OklahomaIt’s also Murder One, regardless of intent, if you take the life of another human being during or if the death of a human resulting from the commission or attempted commission of murder of another person shooting or discharging a firearm or crossbow with intent to kill, intentional discharge of a firearm or other deadly weapon into any dwelling or building, forcible rape, robbery with a dangerous weapon, kidnapping, escape from lawful custody, eluding an officer, first-degree burglary, first-degree arson, unlawful distributing or dispensing of CDS, synthetic controlled substances, trafficking illegal drugs, or manufacturing or attempted manufacture of a controlled, dangerous substance.

That particular role, the second part is called the Felony Murder Rule, and basically, it’s if you kill someone in the commission of one of these enumerated felonies, it’s considered Murder One whether you intended to kill that person or not.

It’s also a Murder One if you commit an act of child abuse such as injuring, torturing, maiming, or using unreasonable force against the child and it results in the child’s death. And it’s also Murder One if you solicit a third party to kill someone.

That is, if you hire a hitman or ask someone else to commit a murder, you’re on the hook for that. And it’s also murder in the first degree if you intentionally cause the death of a law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or corrections employee while that officer or employee is in the performance of official duties. Murder One is the most serious crime you can commit in Oklahoma and it comes with rather stiff penalties.

The penalties basically are life, life without parole, or if the state chooses to pursue it, the death penalty. And if you’re dealing with an allegation of murder, this is a big deal. It should be taken seriously. You need an attorney right away, and I would encourage you to go to make laweasy.com, and we’d be happy to help you out.

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