Tulsa Defense Attorneys for Assault & Battery
Assault and battery are two of the most common charges brought against individuals in Tulsa. Despite the fact that rates have been steadily declining since the decade’s high in 2008, assault and its close brother battery are significantly higher in Tulsa than the national average.
Because these high rates have jaded some judges and juries into assuming the guilt of those brought before the court, you need an aggressive Tulsa defense attorney who believes in you even more in Tulsa than elsewhere in the nation. At Keesling Law Firm, you’ll find that kind of defense attorney – one who will stop at nothing to achieve justice for you, regardless of your situation.
What Is Assault and Battery?
Assault and battery are two different crimes, but they are often charged together as “assault and battery.” Assault is the threat of or attempt to cause harm, while battery is the actual infliction of such harm. Notice that you can be found guilty of assault without battery if you threatened harm in such a way that a reasonable person would have believed battery was imminent. However, it’s uncommon to be convicted of battery alone because with a purposeful attack (battery) always comes an attempt at causing injury (assault).
Types of Assault and Battery
Not all types of assault and battery are equal before the law, which is one reason why it’s so important to hire an experienced defense attorney. Even if you are guilty of a crime, the prosecution will sometimes try to elevate your assault charge to the next highest level, which could result in a much harsher sentence than you deserve. With a lawyer to help you fight back, you can prove your innocence of either all charges, if wrongly accused, or of the elevated charges, if guilty of a lesser crime.
Simple Assault and Battery
Simple assault and battery is a misdemeanor, or “minor crime” in Tulsa in which a person was harmed or threatened with impending harm, but no weapon was used and only minor injuries, such as scrapes and bruises, were sustained. The maximum sentence for simple assault is 30 days in jail and/or a $500 fine.
Such injuries are not considered battery if the action was performed in self-defense, in defense of someone else, or in defense of one’s own property. If you were charged with assault while acting defensively, know that you have been wrongfully charged and that a good attorney can prove this.
Simple Assault and Battery Against Special Victims
Notwithstanding the laws on simple assault, there are certain cases in which even a minor injury can be a serious crime. If the offense is against a “special victim,” the offense can carry heavier penalties or, in certain cases, be elevated to a felony. Special victims include:
- Police officers
- Emergency medical providers
- Judges, jurors, and members of the court
- School employees
- Corrections officers
- Sports officials
Note that these individuals are only considered special victims if attacked while they are clearly identified as such and performing their duty.
Another group of special victims are family members and those who are dating, have dated, or have had an intimate relationship with the accused in the past. If a simple assault is committed against one of these individuals, the maximum penalty is up to a year in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000. Any subsequent offenses are a felony.
Aggravating factors can also increase these sentences, including:
- A pattern of domestic abuse
- Abuse committed in the presence of a child
- Abuse committed against a pregnant woman
- Abuse by strangulation
- Abuse resulting in great bodily harm
Aggravated Assault and Battery
Unlike simple assault and battery, an aggravated offense is a felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and/or up to $500 in fines plus restitution (reimbursement for medical expenses). As with simple assault, if the crime was committed against a special victim or against a family member, the sentence can be considerably harsher.
An assault is considered aggravated if no weapon was used, but there is “great bodily harm.” Such harm may be as serious a permanent brain injury or as minor as a broken bone. Usually, the injury or disfigurement is long-term or carries long-term consequences.
Assault and Battery With A Dangerous Weapon or with Intent to Kill
One of the most serious assault and battery charges involves performing the act with a dangerous weapon. Although the term “weapon” brings to mind firearms and knives, you might also be charged with this crime for using a baseball bat, a brick, or even a common household object. A conviction under this charge can result in up to 10 years in prison.
Assault and battery with Intent to Kill usually also involves a weapon (or poison), but to be convicted of this crime, the prosecution must prove that it was your intention to kill and not just to harm. If convicted, however, the penalty is up to life in prison.
Assault and Battery With the Intention To Commit A Felony
A final classification of assault and battery is with the intention to commit a felony. For example, if a man were to break into your house to steal and then threatened you with a gun, he could be charged not only with attempted burglary, but with Assault with the Intention To Commit a Felony. This crime carries a penalty of up to five years in prison on top of any penalty associated with the other felony.
KLG – Tulsa’s Best Defense Against Assault and Battery Charges
As you can see, there are many nuances to assault, battery, or assault and battery charges. Our job as experienced defenders against assault and battery charges are to make sure the nuances match the facts and to ensure that you get no greater penalty than your circumstances necessitate – including a clearing of all charges if you were wrongfully accused or acted in self-defense.