Oklahoma Violent Crimes Defense Lawyer
Violent crimes are among the most vigorously prosecuted and harshly penalized criminal offenses in Oklahoma. Because of the toll violence takes on its victims, often including serious bodily harm or even death, public outrage often accompanies a violent crime charge, and prosecutors and judges work aggressively to assuage and appease the public by inflicting severe penalties for even attempted crimes. Many violent felonies are subject to the “85 percent rule,” meaning that anyone convicted of one of these crimes must serve at least 85 percent of his or her sentence before becoming eligible for parole. When a prison sentence for a violent felony conviction means decades in prison, the 85 percent rule offers little relief for those convicted of violent crimes in Oklahoma.
If you have been charged with a violent crime, quickly hiring an experienced defense lawyer is your best option for defending yourself against zealous prosecution and inflated charges. Attorney Ryan Coventon successfully represents clients accused of violent crimes and weapons offenses, using every available resource to create a strong defense strategy that delivers results.
Fighting a criminal charge can feel like an uphill battle. With Ryan Coventon on your side, your fight is backed by skill, expertise, and an arsenal of tools and knowledge that can help you overcome the difficulty you face.
;Violent Crimes in Oklahoma
Violent offenses are those which cause bodily harm or threaten to cause bodily harm to another person or people. Assault, domestic violence, rape, and homicide are among the most commonly charged and prosecuted violent crimes. In some cases, such as DUI manslaughter, a person may be charged with a violent crime even though he or she had no intent to harm the victim. In other cases, such as attempted assault or enabling child abuse, a person may be charged with a violent offense even if he or she did not actually inflict physical harm on another person.
Crimes considered to be violent crimes in Oklahoma include:
- Assault – Aggravated Assault, Assault and Battery, Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, Assault with a Deadly Weapon
- Armed Robbery
- Domestic Violence
- Gun Crimes and Weapons Offenses – Illegal Possession of a Firearm, Possession of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, Pointing a Firearm
- Homicide – Murder, Manslaughter, Vehicular Manslaughter
- Rape and Violent Sex Crimes
Some violent crimes, including assault and domestic abuse may be charged as misdemeanors on the first offense; however, subsequent offenses or certain aggravating conditions can quickly elevate the charge to a felony.
The crime of assault illustrates how the circumstances of your particular case can dramatically affect the charge and potential penalties you face:
- Assault – On its own, assault does not actually require physical contact or harm to a victim. A person can be charged with assault simply for threatening, harassing, or intimidating an alleged victim with the apparent power to inflict harm. Assault is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 and a maximum of 30 days in county jail.
- Assault and Battery – Battery is an offense that includes unwanted physical contact. A victim need not sustain bodily harm in order for the perpetrator to be charged with battery. Pushing, shoving, and unwanted sexual contact (sexual battery) can all be charged as battery. Often, this offense is charged in conjunction with assault. Assault and Battery is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1000 and a maximum of 90 days in county jail.
- Domestic Abuse – Assault against a family member or dating partner is a misdemeanor on the first offense, punishable by a fine of up to $3000 and a maximum of one year in jail. If the alleged abuse is committed in front of a child, the offense is subject to a minimum sentence of six months in jail; subsequent domestic violence offenses are prosecuted as felonies, and if the repeat offense was also committed in the presence of a minor, conviction carries a minimum sentence of one year in prison and a fine of up to $5000. Anyone convicted of domestic abuse must undergo court-ordered domestic violence counseling.
- Aggravated Assault – If an assault results in serious bodily injury, or if an assault is perpetrated by a strong, healthy individual against an elderly or incapacitated person, assault and battery is elevated to the felony charge of Aggravated Assault and Battery. Aggravated Assault is punishable by a maximum of five years in prison on the first offense.
- Assault with a Dangerous Weapon – Any assault perpetrated with a weapon that can cause bodily harm is considered assault with a dangerous weapon. “Dangerous weapons” are not explicitly defined, and therefore, almost any implement or tool can be considered a dangerous weapon. Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon is a felony punishable by up to ten years in prison on the first offense.
- Assault with a Deadly Weapon - If an assault is carried out with a gun, knife, weapon, or any item that can inflict fatal injuries and carries considerable risk of death to the victim, the assailant may be charged with Assault and Battery with a Deadly Weapon. Much like dangerous weapons, deadly weapons are not explicitly defined under Oklahoma law, and they include not only firearms and knives, but also vehicles and any other item that is used in a manner likely to cause death. This violent crime is punishable by life in prison, even on the first offense. Anyone convicted of Assault and Battery with a Deadly Weapon must serve at least 85 percent of his or her sentence before becoming eligible for parole.
Other enhancing factors in an assault case include assault on a police officer, corrections officer, emergency personnel, or school employee.
To fully understand the charge against you and to build an assertive and effective defense, it is imperative that you seek legal counsel as quickly as possible. There are at least two sides to every story, and attorney Ryan Coventon can let your voice be heard. Call today to find out how he can help you.