Assault: A Ubiquitous Crime
In Oklahoma, assault is defined as an intentional attempt or threat of force or violence against another person. Okla. Stat. 21 § 641.
Assault is a threat of or an attempted act of violence. Let’s imagine you see me in a back alley and don’t like the looks of me. You cock your fist back to deliver a punch to my gut. Just cocking your fist back is a threat of violence. The threat can be the crime of assault.
Battery is defined in Oklahoma statutes as the intentional and unlawful use of force or violence against another. Okla. Stat. tit.21 § 642. An assault is threatened violence or harm, a battery is the harm itself. So in our illustration, the battery is the punch delivered.
The penalties for a simple assault and battery are as follows. A simple assault is penalized by a jail term up to 30 days, a fine up to $500 or a combination of both. Okla. Stat. 21 § 644. The penalty for a simple assault and battery is up to 90 days in jail, a fine of up to $1000 or a combination of both.
From the perspective of a Rogers County lawyer, assault is rather common. Everyday assaults often go uncharged. Various forms of assault are often part of or coupled with the crime of battery, so that when the battery is completed, we often see the two crimes described as one–assault and battery. Assault is a crime that moves beyond simple assault rather quickly and depending on the circumstances, you could end up spending quite a bit of time in jail or even in prison if you are convicted.
The crime of assault has other forms in Oklahoma, including aggravated assault, assault and battery of a police officer or a police animal such as a dog or horse, assault and battery in a domestic assault and battery, and assault and battery upon an emergency medical care provider, among others. We examine aggravated assault and battery and domestic assault and battery more closely below.
Aggravated Assault and Battery
Perhaps the most prevalent assault crime beyond simple assault is aggravated assault and battery. This kind of assault and battery is defined as either an assault 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. 21 § 646. Let’s say, I am a little old lady from Pasadena and you are a 22-year-old weight lifter. If you punch me, that is aggravated assault and battery.
If convicted, you could face up to 5 years in prison or up to 1 year in county jail in addition to a possible $500 fine for this felony. Okla. Stat. 21 § 647.
Domestic Assault and Battery
Domestic assault and battery occurs in troubled relationships. It is considered to be domestic abuse. and is defined as assault and battery upon a spouse or partner, former spouse or partner, upon a parent, child or foster child, or upon a person with whom that person has had a child. The crime is punishable by a jail term of up to 1 year and/or a fine up to $5000. Domestic abuse is often repeated, a subsequent conviction is punishable by either up to 4 years in jail, a fine up to $5000 or a combination of both. Okla. Stat. 21 § 644.
Domestic abuse against a pregnant woman with knowledge of the pregnancy is a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to 1 year in jail for the first conviction. But a subsequent conviction is treated as a felony and punishable by a jail term of not less than 10 years.
Assault and battery by use of strangulation against a domestic relation with the intent to cause grave bodily injury, is punishable by either 1 to 3 years in prison, a fine up to $3000 for the first conviction or a combination of both. A subsequent conviction is punishable by either 3 to 10 years in prison, a fine up to $20,000 or a combination of both. Okla. Stat. 21 § 644. Finally, shooting a domestic relation is punishable by a life term in prison.
Assault can result in years behind bars. If you are facing assault charges of any kind, hire an experienced criminal defense attorney in Claremore to help you protect your freedom.
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