Merely planning or threatening a violent act in Oklahoma can mean years of jail time. Here is what you need to know about how the crime is handled in Stillwater.
Defining Threatening A Violent Act In Oklahoma
Planning or threatening a violent act in Oklahoma is as follows:
- A person who attempts, conspires or endeavors to perform an act intended to involve serious bodily injury or death is guilty of a felony in Stillwater. The crime is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
- Someone who threatens to perform an act of violence involving serious bodily injury or death is guilty of a misdemeanor crime. This is punishable by up to six months in jail.
- A person who devises a plan or scheme of action to cause the serious bodily injury or death of another with the intent to perform the violence — either alone or in conspiracy with others — is guilty of a felony. This is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1378
That statute is broad in its effect and application. Merely threatening an act of violence intended to create serious bodily injury is a misdemeanor. So, threatening to kill someone can land you in the county jail.
However, moving beyond threatening to planning, conspiring, and making concrete steps toward forwarding the action — either alone or with others — can put you behind bars for a long time.
It is important to understand that no action needs to be taken to further the plan in order to be found guilty. Planning in and of itself is sufficient action to be found guilty of a felony under this statute.
The difference between threatening a violent act and planning a violent act may feel like splitting hairs, but the difference could be quite important in terms of the penalties you could face if convicted.
Facts and their chronology become very important in building defenses in these cases. At what point does the threat end and the planning begin?
Arguably, making the threat to someone’s face to kill them is merely a threat. But once you go across the street and buy a gun, you could be convicted of a felony and spend the next 10 years in prison.
Serious Bodily Injury Or Death Must Be At Stake
The threat or planning must involve an intention to inflict either serious bodily injury or death. If the threat or plan does not involve serious bodily injury or death, it does not constitute threatening a violent act in Oklahoma.
For many, this is an area to explore with your attorney in building a viable defense to the crime. Oklahoma courts like ordinary meaning in statutory interpretation.
While this standard is somewhat imprecise, it allows a court some freedom in determining whether the involved injury is serious enough to warrant charging an individual with this crime. And it is this lack of precision upon which defenses are built.
If the intended injury is minor, it will not be sufficient to be found guilty. The prosecution carries the burden of proving that the intent was to threaten or cause serious bodily injury or death in order to secure a conviction, and that will depend upon the facts of each case.
You need an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you through every step of a criminal prosecution against you. Your Stillwater criminal defense attorney will help preserve your freedom when it counts.
Free Consultation With A Stillwater OK Attorney
Wirth Law Office – Stillwater is here to help you when you need it the most.
We offer a free consultation with an experienced Stillwater OK attorney to help you defend your legal rights. Don’t try to handle your legal matter by yourself.
Call 405-673-1600 for a free consultation or submit a question through this website.