Who’s making the threat or allegation? Does their version of kicking the person’s ass involve great bodily harm or death? Is it even a physical possibility that it can happen? If this threat is coming from a gal that weighs 90 pounds dripping wet and her significant another boyfriend, family member, whoever it was that she made this threat against, is a 6 foot tall, 250-pound guy, her threat of coming over to the house to kick his ass does not rise to the level of serious bodily harm or death. Now again, there are plenty of assistant district attorneys out there who are either too stupid to figure that out or too lazy to even read the statute!

These counts get charged all the time, even though a simple reading of the statute would tell the prosecutor the crime of threatening a violent act didn’t actually happen. Most often due to the absence of a threat that involves serious bodily harm or death the charge is defensible. The Oklahoma uniform jury instructions for this are found in Oklahoma Uniform Jury Instruction (OUJI) CR-2-24. OUJI CR-2-24 states: No person may be convicted of threatening to perform an act of violence unless the state, the prosecution, has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each element of the crime

These elements are:

First willfully;

Second threatening;

Third, to perform an act of violence; and,

Fourth, involving or intending to involve serious bodily harm or the death of another person.

The requirement that the threat involves serious bodily harm or death is the key element to the Threatening a Violent Act charge.

Threatening an act of violence is not a charge that is unique to domestic violence. This threatening violent act can occur between any two or more individuals regardless of what their relationship is. So, the statute does not have the same requirements as to the class of the victim, and the victim does not need to be family members, they don’t have to be in an intimate relationship nor have lived with somebody or been a former lover of your current lover, none of that. This charge is, however, quite often charged collaterally or added in addition to the underlying domestic violence charge itself.

Lee Berlin
Dedicated to defending clients accused of domestic violence, sex & violent crimes throughout eastern Oklahoma.