Assault and Battery in General
In order to understand what assault and battery on a police officer is, it is important to first understand what assault and battery is. In Oklahoma, assault is one crime and battery is another.
In Oklahoma, an assault is defined as an intentional attempt or threat of force or violence against another person. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 641. Battery is defined as the intentional and unlawful use of force or violence against another. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 642.
One is the threat and the other is the action. Once a battery is completed, the assault is subsumed into the crime and as a result, assault and battery are most often charged together. However, an assault by itself is a chargeable crime in Wagoner, Oklahoma. Just threatening physical force against another, if the threat is physical, immediate and urgent, is considered assault.
Angry words by themselves are not enough for an assault. But, angry words, coupled with a cocked fist might be. The punch is the battery.
These are the elements of an assault and battery charge. A prosecutor must prove each element beyond a reasonable doubt in order to secure a conviction.
The prosecution must prove the act:
- was willful,
- was unlawful,
- used force or violence, and
- was upon another person.
Simple assault, simple battery, and simple assault and battery are misdemeanor crimes in Oklahoma. A simple assault can be either an intent to commit a battery or intentionally placing another in the apprehension of receiving an immediate battery. A simple battery is an unlawful beating or use of wrongful physical violence or constraint without that person’s consent. Specific intent is not an element in a simple assault or battery. The action itself is enough.
Assault and Battery on a Police Officer
Assault and battery on a police officer moves beyond simple assault and battery. In Oklahoma, it is defined as knowingly, and without justifiable or excusable cause, committing an assault, battery or assault and battery upon a police officer. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 649. Any police officer, sheriff, deputy sheriff, highway patrolman, corrections personnel or state peace officernin the performance of his or her duties qualifies as a police officer. Any attempt to take a police officer’s gun qualifies as an assault and battery under the law.
If the arrest is unlawful, reasonable force may be used to resist. This is a defense that may be available to you. Likewise, if the police officer was off duty, you may have a defense depending on the circumstances. Case law is a bit tricky in this area of the law. When a police officer is off duty and pursuing other private employment, the arrest may be unlawful since the police officer is not in the performance of his or her duties.
If anyone assaults a police officer without just cause, that person faces as many as six months in jail. And you could be fined as much as $500. If convicted of an assault and battery, you could face imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections as many as five years in county jail. And you could be fined as much as $500.
If you are facing charges for assault and battery on a police officer, there may be defenses available to you. Consult an experienced Wagoner criminal defense attorney as soon as possible, and certainly before you make any attempt to explain the situation to the police. Don’t forget, that the police can and will use anything you say against you if they can.
Call for a Free Consultation With an Experienced Wagoner Criminal Attorney
You need someone to fight for you. The prosecution is doing their best to convict. Do your best to acquit. For a free consultation with a Wagoner Oklahoma criminal lawyer call the Wirth Law Office – Wagoner at (918) 485-0335 or toll-free at (888) Wirth-Law. Or, as always, you may enter a legal question in the form at the top right of this page.