Oklahoma has some of the toughest drug laws in the country, but when it comes to self defense we actually have fairly lenient laws. While you can’t claim self defense anytime you get in a fight, but self defense is a completely valid and useful legal defense.
When Can You Use Self Defense?
The rule of thumb for self defense is, don’t throw the first punch. If you start the fight, you can’t claim self defense.
You’re allowed to use self defense when another party interferes with you or your property. The term “interferes” can sometimes cause debate in a trial, so before you claim self defense be sure the interference is blatant.
How Much is Too Much?
In most situations the level of force you use to defend yourself must be equal to the level of force the other party used against you. Example-
You get into an argument with the umpire at your son’s T-Ball game. It gets heated and he pushes you. Then you grab a T-Ball bat and hit him across the face.
This would most likely not be considered self defense.
You’re walking home one night and a mugger jumps out of a dark alley and puts you in Stone Cold Steve Austin’s signature move the “stone cold stunner.” You quickly recover and counter with a Chuck Norris style round house kick to the face.
This would most likely be considered self defense.
Stand Your Ground
Oklahoma laws support both stand your ground and castle doctrine. These laws allow you to stand your ground and meet force with force, including deadly force, if you reasonably believe it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm.
These laws are somewhat controversial, but it seems to be here to stay.
Self defense laws aren’t always straightforward, so if you’re planning on claiming self defense you need to get a lawyer on your side.