If you are being charged with assault and battery in Oklahoma City, you should understand how it is handled and then get help to mount a strong defense. Here is what you need to know.
Assault and Battery in Oklahoma City Defined
We hear the term “assault and battery” all the time on the news, on television and in the movies, but you might be surprised to learn that assault and battery is not one crime but two. The crimes often occur together. Thus, they are usually charged and referred to together.
Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 641 defines assault as any intentional attempt or threat of force or violence against another person. It is instilling the fear of immediate violence by threat.
A hand raised to slap someone is an assault. No contact is needed for an assault to take place. An open hand heading toward another person’s face is both an attempt and a threat of impending injury.
A battery is defined as the intentional and unlawful use of force or violence against another. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 642
If the open hand was an assault, the battery is the slap itself. One way to think about it is that a battery is a completed assault. Thus, every battery includes an assault — although, an assault can be committed without a battery.
Elements of the Crime
Every element of a crime must be proven by the prosecutor beyond a reasonable doubt in order to secure a conviction. If any element cannot be proven, there can be no conviction for that crime.
Here are the elements for a completed assault and battery:
- the willful and
- use of force or violence
- upon another person
Many, though not all defenses, grow out of elements that are left unproven by the prosecution.
The assault and battery must have been willful and intentional. If the actions occur by accident or as a joke and a reasonable person would have known it was a joke, you may have a viable defense. For example, if you kidding around with friends in a physical way and a person was hurt but there was no intent to threaten or hurt that person, the contact may have been accidental.
The assault and battery must be unlawful. If the use of force or violence was lawful, there is no assault or battery. Some examples of lawful use of force or violence include self-defense, defense of others, defense of property, or resisting an unlawful arrest. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 643
Parents, carriers of passengers, and others when preventing a mentally ill person from committing an act dangerous to others may also be entitled to use a degree of lawful force in certain circumstances.
The amount of force used must not be more than is needed to prevent the offense. This is true even if the danger to the other is not real as long as it appears to have been real to a reasonable person and the amount of force used was reasonable under the circumstances. OUJI-CR 8-4
Even deadly force may be used when resisting any attempt by another to commit a felony upon or in any dwelling. Defense of habitation is a defense to assault and battery, even if the danger is not real, as long as a reasonable person in those circumstances would have thought it to be real. OUJI-CR 8-14
Penalties for Assault and Battery
Simple assault, simple battery, and simple assault and battery are misdemeanors in Oklahoma City.
If convicted of simple assault, you could face up to 30 days in jail, or a fine up to $500, or both. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 644
The penalty for a simple assault and battery includes a jail term of up to 90 days, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
It is important to note that assault and battery becomes a much more serious crime when dangerous weapons are used or when the crime occurs against a police officer or elderly person.
When you are building a strong defense, you want to make sure and recount all of the facts of your case with your Oklahoma City attorney. Small facts can sometimes make a big difference.
Free Consultation: Oklahoma City Criminal Defense Attorney
Our lawyer is well positioned to advise you accordingly, as he has the necessary training and experience. He has the wit and tenacity to match the skill of the Oklahoma City prosecutors.
For a free consultation with an Oklahoma criminal defense attorney, call Wirth Law Office – Oklahoma City at 405-888-5400.
You can also submit an email question from the top right corner of this page. We will respond to all questions as soon as possible.