Do you often say things you don't mean when you're angry? While having a hot temper isn't a criminal offense on its own, Oklahoma law makes it a crime to threaten, plan, or otherwise attempt a violent act that would seriously injure or kill another person.
Berlin Defense understands that good people can say things they don't mean in the heat of the moment and make mistakes that put their future at risk. That's why we are committed to providing aggressive representation for Oklahoma residents accused of violent crimes—focusing on crimes involving elements of coercive control in intimate partner relationships. If you've been charged with threatening to commit a violent act, we're here to help.
What Oklahoma Law Says About Making Violent Threats
Oklahoma statute § 21-1378 covers attempting, conspiring, or endeavoring to perform an act of violence involving serious bodily harm or death. The statute reads:
- Any person who shall attempt, conspire or endeavor to perform an act of violence involving or intended to involve serious bodily harm or death of another person shall be guilty of a felony, punishable upon conviction thereof by imprisonment for a period of not more than 10 years.
- Any person who shall threaten to perform an act of violence involving or intended to involve serious bodily harm or death of another person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable upon conviction thereof by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not more than six months.
- Any person who shall devise any plan, scheme or program of action to cause serious bodily harm or death of another person with intent to perform such malicious act of violence, whether alone or by conspiring with others, shall be guilty of a felony, punishable upon conviction thereof by imprisonment for a period of not more than 10 years.
In this context, serious bodily injury refers to broken bones, obvious or protracted disfigurement, and any long-term loss or impairment in the function of a bodily organ.
How Violent Threats Are Different From an Oklahoma Assault and Battery Charge
Please note that a charge for threatening to commit a violent crime is different than an Oklahoma assault and battery charge. If you followed through with your threat by punching a person, kicking a person, or taking some other action to harm them physically, you would likely be charged with assault and battery.
If the victim of the assault is a person you were related to by blood or marriage or is a person you are romantically involved with, you can be charged with domestic assault and battery. This offense carries enhanced penalties and is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in the county jail, a fine of up to $5,000, or both. Second or subsequent offenses are felonies that are punishable by up to four years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
In many cases, we see the charges for threatening a violent act added to a domestic assault and battery charge. This is often done even though the requirement that the threat involves serious bodily harm or death is not actually present.