Justifiable Use of Deadly Force in Oklahoma

There are certain situations in which using deadly force against another person may not be considered a crime. These situations are outlined under three statutes of the Oklahoma criminal code:

  1. Title 21, 731—Excusable Homicide

Homicide is defined as the killing of a person by another person. Under this statute, a person may not be held criminally liable for the death of another that occurs by accident and without intent.

  1. Title 21, 732—Justifiable Deadly Force by Officer

This statute essentially says that law enforcement and peace officers are justified in using deadly force in the line of duty. It outlines several conditions that must be met in order to justify the taking of life, which include a reasonable belief that deadly force is necessary to protect him or herself and others from serious bodily harm.

  1. Title 21, 733—Justifiable Homicide by Other Persons

For most ordinary citizens, this is probably the most important statute regarding deadly force. Oklahoma observes both the Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground law, which are outlined in § 21-1289.25. Under that statute, Oklahomans have an expectation of “absolute safety” in their own homes and businesses, and they are under no obligation to retreat if threatened with great bodily harm or death. In other words, they are legally authorized to meet force with force, up to and including deadly force.

21-733 is the statute that protects Oklahomans from criminal prosecution if they take the life of another person in accordance with § 21-1289.25—that is, killing another person in self-defense.

Learn More

To learn more about Oklahoma’s self-defense laws or to schedule a free consultation for your case, contact the Hunsucker Legal Group. Submit our online form or call our office to speak with an attorney today.

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