When Is the Use of Force Justified?

Under most circumstances, the unwanted use of physical force or violence against another person is considered assault and battery—a crime that carries considerable penalties in Oklahoma. However, there are certain situations in which the use of force is justified under our state’s law.

Use of Force by Police

First and foremost, section 21-643 of the Oklahoma Statutes authorizes law enforcement officers to use force or violence against suspected criminals in the interest of public safety.

Self Defense and the Defense of Property

This same statute also permits citizens to use force against an assailant to prevent injury or harm to themselves or another person. This law also provides you the right to protect your property from trespass, so long as the force or violence used is proportional to the threat.

Parents and Caretakers

This statute also states that parents and legal guardians have the authority to restrain or correct their child in a reasonable manner. It also provides for caretakers of mentally impaired persons to exercise force of restraint if there is a danger of harm to the person or someone else.

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