Can I be charged with a crime in Oklahoma if I shoot or harm someone who is trying to break into my home?
Answer: The short answer is yes, you can be charged. We go back to the laws, though. There are laws in the state of Oklahoma: the Stand Your Ground law, there is what they call a Castle Defense. You do not have to—in Oklahoma, you do not have to have a license to own a weapon. You just cannot be a convicted felon or anyone on probation.
If someone is trying to break into your home, and you have a reasonable fear for your life, or for the lives of your guests—anybody in the house that is there with your permission—you have the right to defend yourself and those people. It is recommended that you provide some type of warning. You know, “Hey, get out of here or I’ll shoot.” But it is not required currently under the laws of Oklahoma. With that being said, if you, if someone shoots somebody, whether they injure them or kill them, in the state of Oklahoma, they are going to more than likely be taken down, finger printed, handcuffed mug shot taken, those kinds of things because the incident is going to be investigated as if it was an illegal act. Officers do that in order to preserve any evidence that may be needed if it is believed that this was an illegal act, that the homeowner acted in a reckless or wanton manner. However, and again, you have the right. You have the Stand My Ground, and the Castle Defense laws to fall back on, and to rely on; again, affirmative defenses just like the defense of self-defense. Once you raise it, the state has to show that your actions were not reasonable, or your fears were not reasonable. So those are always taken on a case-by-case basis and analyzed as such. Because you may have a young woman—a single mother—with one, two, three, four kids in the house. Or a woman that is you know, living alone, has never received any type—other than her firearm safety handling class—but never received really any type of defensive training, no hand-to-hand combat or anything like that. It is more reasonable to believe that she would be afraid for her life at two o’clock in the morning when somebody tried to kick her door in, then it would be to believe that an individual who was a former Navy SEAL would be afraid of somebody kicking in their door. That person—the Navy SEAL—would be held to what is a reasonable standard. Still a reasonable person standard. The reasonable person standard for the Navy SEAL would be much higher, as far as his restraint in using deadly force unless deadly force was presented against himself.