What are some possible defenses against assault and battery charges in Oklahoma?
Answer: First of all, if you’re not the instigator of an incident, f you’re not the aggressor in an incident, if you are attacked, you have the right in Oklahoma to defend yourself. But you can only respond with like force. For example, if a person comes up and is using hands, feet, non-deadly weapons, then you cannot pull out a gun and shoot them. That is, that’s an escalation of violence that is above, the response was not proportionate to the threat. Basically if you’re acting in self-defense, that is a defense to assault and battery. Or if you could show that it was an accident, that would be a defense—that could be a defense to assault and battery. Assault is verbally accosting someone, basically. Battery is where you’re actually laying hands on somebody in an unwelcome manner. So if you yell an obscenity at somebody and they take offense and think, “Well, I’m afraid he’s going to come hit me.” “Well, what I said was not directed at you.” That could also be considered a defense because you’re not directing that at them, they had no reason to believe that you were threatening harm against them. With a battery if you could show that you didn’t touch the person, or that it was an accident, that you had no intent to harm them or even touch them, that could be a defense.