According to Oklahoma State law, the violent crimes of assault and battery are actually considered two separate criminal acts. When assault escalates into a form of battery, however, the two are combined into an even more serious crime known as "assault and battery." This could be considered a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the individual circumstances of the case and claims.
To understand assault and battery charges, you need to first understand its components:
- Assault: Threatening or attempting to cause physical harm to another.
- Battery:Intentionally using force to cause harm or offense to another.
Therefore, assault and battery usually involves physically intimidating someone and then hurting them. It should be noted that verbal interactions do not constitute assault in Oklahoma, as it does in other states. This means it could be difficult to accuse someone of assault, even if they made a verbal threat.
Even though assault and battery is actually an escalation of two separate crimes, it can be further intensified by becoming aggravated assault and battery. There are two stipulations that create an aggravated assault and battery charge. The first is if the crime was committed by an "able-bodied" individual against an elderly, disabled, or otherwise incapacitated person. The second is if great bodily injury is caused.
A wound may constitute great bodily injury if it consists of:
- Broken bones or fractures
- Disfigurement that may be permanent
- Long-lasting loss of body part function
- Brain injury
- Serious risk of death
What Penalties Could Someone Face if Convicted?
The answer to this question is a little less clear. Aggravated assault and battery charges are nearly guaranteed to be treated as a felony crime, but that does not guarantee the sentences that could be used to penalize the offender. In many cases, punishments will include five years in prison and $500 in fines. However, if a special victim is involved with the incident, such as a law enforcement officer or emergency medical staff, the penalties can more than double. In fact, it opens up the opportunity for the court to use a life imprisonment sentence.
If you have been charged with aggravated assault and battery in Oklahoma, you need to act quickly to start building a defense that protects and respects your rights as the accused.