Even when culpability is not in doubt, assault and battery charges can sometimes be easily resolved with deferred, suspended or minimal sentences. However, assault and battery on a police officer in Oklahoma is treated with more seriousness in a Muskogee court and in Oklahoma law.
The main difference between simple assault or battery charges and “A&B on an LEO” is that a police officer is the victim. Like the crimes of assault and battery, which might be charged separately or together, assault or battery against a police officer can result from either allegations of assault or battery or both assault and battery.
Let’s first look at the definitions of assault and battery. Assault is defined under Oklahoma laws as the deliberate and intentional threat of violence or force against another. Threatening words need to be accompanied by an action for the perpetrator to be charged with assault. For instance, advancing menacingly towards a person you are threatening while shaking your fist at them can be charged as assault. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 641
You do not have to carry out your threat to attack the other person to be charged with simple assault. If you do carry out your threat and attack the person you have threatened, you could face assault and battery charges. Battery is the unlawful, deliberate, and intentional use of force on another person. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 642
If you happen to threaten and use force on someone in self-defense, you cannot be convicted of assault and battery. For instance, if a burglar breaks into your house and you brandish a gun at him, threaten to shoot him, and then punch him, you cannot be charged with assault and battery.
What is Assault and Battery on a Police Officer in Oklahoma?
The laws prohibit assault on any police officer, state peace officer, corrections personnel, highway patrolman, deputy sheriff, or sheriff if they are performing their duties. The law considers any attempt to take a peace officer’s gun an assault and battery. If threatening a police officer is unlawful, common sense says carrying out the threat, or attacking without a threat is also unlawful.
If the assault and battery in Oklahoma maims an officer by causing him grave bodily harm, the perpetrator could be tried in court for aggravated assault and battery. As in most, if not all states, in Oklahoma, aggravated A&B on an LEO carries more severe penalties than assault and battery on an officer.
Burden Of Proof
The state must prove beyond a shadow of a doubt, the following elements of the crime to secure a conviction.
- An assault, a battery, or an assault and battery
- upon a police officer, sheriff, deputy sheriff, highway patrolman, corrections personnel, or State peace officer
- known by the defendant to be a police officer, sheriff, deputy sheriff, highway patrolman, corrections personnel, or State peace officer
- without justifiable or excusable cause
- committed while the police officer, sheriff, deputy sheriff, highway patrolman, corrections personnel, or State peace officer was in the performance of his or her duties in his or her official capacity.
- A willful attempt to reach for or gain control
- of the firearm
- of any police officer, sheriff, deputy sheriff, highway patrolman, corrections personnel, or a peace officer employed by a state or federal government agency to enforce state laws
- known by the defendant(s) to be a police officer, sheriff, deputy sheriff, highway patrolman, corrections personnel, or peace officer
- without justifiable or excusable cause
- committed while the police officer, sheriff, deputy sheriff, highway patrolman, corrections personnel, or peace officer was in the performance of his or her duties in his or her official capacity.
Penalties for Assault and Battery on a Police Officer in Oklahoma
Assault on a police officer is punishable by up to six months in jail, a $500 fine, or both.
The penalty for battery or assault and battery of a police officer in Oklahoma is up to a year in jail or up to five years in prison. A fine of up to $500 may be assessed in addition to or in lieu of incarceration. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 649
If the officer is maimed, the perpetrator could spend five years to life in prison. A fine of up to $5,000 may be required in addition to or instead of prison time.
If you or a loved one is facing charges of assault and battery on a police officer, talk to a Muskogee attorney as soon as you can. Do not speak too much to the police and investigators, as you could implicate yourself a lot without a legal expert there to stand up for you.
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