You hear the words thrown around a lot on TV crime shows and might read them as charges in daily arrest reports, but what is assault, and what is battery as defined by Oklahoma law?
Oklahoma has separate laws for assault and battery, but depending on the crime, you can be charged for both.
What is assault?
Under Oklahoma law, assault is defined as threatening or trying to cause physical harm to someone else. But words alone are not enough to be charged with assault. In order for it to be considered assault, you have to use a threatening action along with the words, like running toward the potential victim or making a threatening gesture.
What is battery?
In Oklahoma, battery is defined as using physical force against another person intentionally. In order to be considered battery, the victim had to be physically harmed or offended by the use of force.
What is assault and battery?
A person in Oklahoma can be charged with both assault and battery if they threaten to harm someone and then carry out the threat with actual physical harm. The severity of the charge — whether its a felony or misdemeanor — depends on the severity of the injuries to the victim and what type of weapon was used.
When is assault and battery a more serious crime?
If you are accused of committing assault and battery against certain victims as outlined by Oklahoma law, you can face harsher penalties.
These “special” victims can include:
- School employees who were in their capacity at school at the time of the attack, or students who were in class or participating in an after-school activity at the time of the alleged attack.
- Emergency medical service workers and other first responders who were rendering medical aid at the time of the attack.
- Sports officials, such as umpires or referees who were working a sporting event at the time of the attack.
- Police officers, deputies, or corrections officers who were in the line of duty at the time of the incident.
- Judges, members of a jury, bailiffs or other officers of the court who were working for the court at the time of the incident.
What are the penalties for assault and battery convictions?
Here are the possible penalties associated with assault and battery convictions:
- Assault – If there is no special victim or dangerous weapon involved, assault is considered a misdemeanor conviction. You can be sentenced to up to 30 days in jail, a $500 fine, or both.
- Assault and battery – If the conviction does not involve a special victim or a dangerous weapon, the maximum sentence for the misdemeanor is 90 days in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both.
- Restitution – If the victim had any expenses related to the attack, such as medical bills, lost wages, or damaged property, the person convicted can be forced to pay money to cover those costs. This is known as restitution.
If you have been accused of assault, battery, or assault and battery, you need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can work on having your sentence deferred or suspended, as well as exploring pre-trial options or getting your case thrown out altogether.
If you or someone you care about has been accused of assault and battery, contact Jacqui Ford’s office today for help.