Is it true that you can be charged with assault and battery in Oklahoma even if you were, in your personal opinion, acting in self-defense?
Answer: You can always be charged with a crime, even if self-defense is your defense. Because self-defense is an affirmative defense. Once you raise self-defense as an affirmative defense, it is then appoint you to show that you were—that you had reason to believe you were in fear for your life, or for your well-being. The state then has a duty or has the burden to show that your belief or your fear was not reasonable. So it’s when you raise, when you raise self-defense, you can act in self-defense but you have to make sure that you are acting, truly acting in self-defense, because they can still charge you with a crime, you just use self-defense as your defense.
And I’ll give you a prime example: Let’s say that you were at a nightclub and someone came up and started pushing you, and shoving you, calling you dirty names, and took a swing at you. And you swung back and knocked him out. One punch knocked him out. And to you, that was the end of it, and you walked away. And the person come to and says, “Well, I had to have been sucker-punched. Because there’s no way that he could knock me out.” So now he’s going to sue you, or press charges for assault and battery. Well, they’re going to come and arrest you, they’re going to come fingerprint you, and take your mugshot, and file charges against you for assault and battery. But your defense is, there was no assault and battery; he accosted me, he attacked me. I acted in self-defense. So usually the defense of self-defense only comes up when you’re responding to allegations against yourself. Or against that person.