Oklahoma Assault and Battery Laws

By , Attorney · New Mexico School of Law
Updated 4/28/2023

In Oklahoma, assault and battery are separate crimes that can be charged individually or together. They can be misdemeanors or felonies depending on the circumstances.

Assault and Battery in Oklahoma

Depending on the facts surrounding the offense, someone can be charged with either assault, battery, or assault and battery in Oklahoma. Here's a breakdown of the differences between the three crimes.

Assault. Under Oklahoma law, someone who threatens or attempts to cause physical harm to another person is guilty of assault. Threatening words alone aren't enough: The offender also must take some menacing action such as drawing a fist or charging toward the victim.

Battery. Battery is the intentional use of force against another person, which causes harm or offense to the victim. Hitting someone or spitting on them are both acts that constitute battery.

Assault and Battery. Someone is guilty of "assault and battery" when their assault results in a battery. For example, threatening with a raised fist to hit someone is an assault. But if the person actually follows through and punches the victim after making the threat, they can be charged with assault and battery.

(Okla. Stat. tit. 21, §§ 641, 642 (2023).)

Assault or Battery Against Particular Victims

Assault or battery committed against certain categories of people make the crime more serious.

Special Victims

Assault and battery offenses committed against particular types of victims can increase the punishment for the crime. These special victims include:

  • law enforcement officers who are engaged in the performance of their duties
  • sports officials (referees and umpires)
  • emergency medical providers while performing medical duties
  • judges, court officers, and jurors (if the assault was retaliation for the victim's court-related actions and occurred within six months of those actions)
  • school employees while performing their duties, or students participating in school activities, and
  • corrections officers while performing their duties (when the crime is committed by an inmate).

Assault or battery against some special victims, such as medical care providers, also requires an intent to injure rather than just an intent to use force.

Domestic Violence

Assault or battery offenses committed against a spouse, family member, or someone you're dating are considered domestic abuse and subject to higher penalties than general assault and battery. For more information about domestic abuse laws, see Domestic Violence Laws in Oklahoma.

Aggravated Assault and Battery in Oklahoma

The crime of assault and battery is aggravated (more serious) if:

  • the attack results in great bodily injury to the victim, or
  • the crime is committed by someone with "robust health or strength" against an elderly, disabled, or incapacitated person.

Great bodily injury includes:

  • bone fracture
  • visible disfigurement that is more than temporary
  • loss of function of a body part or organ of the body that is more than temporary
  • long term brain injury, or
  • injury involving serious risk of death.

(Okla. Stat. tit. 21, § 646 (2023).)

Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon in Oklahoma

Assault, battery, or assault and battery with a dangerous weapon results when the defendant uses a "sharp or dangerous weapon," during the crime and intends to cause physical harm.

A dangerous weapon (also called a deadly weapon) is anything designed to inflict life-threatening or great bodily injury, or is used in a manner that could cause such injury. To be a dangerous weapon, the object must be capable of causing great bodily injury.

Firearms and knives are deadly weapons by definition. But a large rock, steel-toed boots, or a baseball bat can be deadly weapons if used in a way that could cause great bodily injury.

(Okla. Stat. tit. 21, § 645 (2023).)

Penalties for Assault and Battery in Oklahoma

The punishment for assault and battery offenses varies depending on the seriousness of the offense. Here are some of the penalties for various types of assault, battery, and assault and battery.

When an assault isn't committed against a special victim and doesn't involve a dangerous weapon, it's a misdemeanor that carries up to thirty days in jail or a $500 fine, or both. When it's a battery or assault and battery that doesn't involve serious injury, it's punishable by up to ninety days, and the maximum fine increases to $1,000.

When an assault involves special victims like officers, school employees, court officers, and others, it's still a misdemeanor, but it carries more possible jail time—up to a year for some categories of victims. The fine also varies depending on who the victim is. Assaults against other special victims, such as corrections officers, are felonies when committed by inmates.

Assault, battery, or assault and battery involving deadly weapons can be punished by as much as 10 years in prison. In less serious cases, the judge can instead choose up to one year in jail.

Aggravated assault and battery is generally a felony punishable by up to five years. But when it involves certain victims, the penalties are harsher and can vary significantly depending on who the victim is. For example, when the victim is a medical care provider, the penalty is still up to five years, but the judge must impose at least two years. And if the victim is a police officer, the defendant can get life in prison.

Depending on the type of offense and the facts of the case, a court might also impose additional fines, put the defendant on probation, and order other sentencing alternatives. The court can also make the defendant pay victim restitution.

(Okla. Stat. tit. 21, §§ 644, 649, 650, 650.2, 650.5, 650.6, 650.7 (2023).)

Talk to a Lawyer

If you're charged with assault, battery, or any other crime, you should contact an Oklahoma criminal defense attorney immediately. An experienced lawyer can advise you on the strength of the case and any possible defenses. And a lawyer who's familiar with the local criminal court system and cases like yours should know whether a good plea deal is possible or if you should instead consider going to trial.

Talk to a Defense attorney
We've helped 95 clients find attorneys today.
There was a problem with the submission. Please refresh the page and try again
Full Name is required
Email is required
Please enter a valid Email
Phone Number is required
Please enter a valid Phone Number
Zip Code is required
Please add a valid Zip Code
Please enter a valid Case Description
Description is required

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you