Understanding the Elements and Punishment of Assault
I’m James Wirth. As a Tulsa Attorney, one of the most common questions I receive is what is assault under Oklahoma criminal law? Assault is a misdemeanor crime that is often confused with battery. However, it is important to note that both are distinct crimes. Assault is defined by Oklahoma law, and certain elements must be proven for someone to be guilty of assault.
The elements of assault include willful, unlawful, attempt, or offer with force or violence to do bodily harm to a person of another. This essentially means attempting or offering to cause bodily harm to another person. For example, if you act like you’re going to punch someone and put them in apprehension that they will be hit or struck, that is considered assault.
What is the Difference between Assault and Battery?
Assault and battery are often used together, but it is essential to note that they are two distinct crimes. Assault is an attempt or offer to cause bodily harm, while battery is the physical contact that results in bodily harm. Usually, when there is a battery, there is an accompanying assault. However, if there is only an attempt or offer to cause bodily harm, that is considered a distinct crime of assault.
It is important to note that assault is a misdemeanor offense and carries a punishment of up to 30 days imprisonment in the county jail. If there is physical contact involved, it becomes a battery. In such cases, each element of the crime must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
What is Willful Element in Assault?
The willful element in assault is a general intent crime. This means that intent to cause apprehension is enough to prove the willful element. Willful in this case means purposeful. However, it does not require any intent to violate the law or intent to injure or acquire any advantage. Therefore, if you attempt or offer to cause bodily harm to another person, it is enough to prove the willful element of assault.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Tulsa Attorney
If you are facing an allegation of assault or battery or any other criminal charges, it is essential to consult with an attorney for legal advice specific to your circumstances. At my office, we provide private and confidential legal advice to our clients. To schedule a free consultation with an Oklahoma criminal defense lawyer, please visit makelaweasy.com.