If you are accused of threatening physical harm to someone, committing a crime through use of force, or physically assaulting another person, then you are likely to face significant legal penalties if convicted as a violent criminal.
In Oklahoma, some violent crimes are prosecuted as misdemeanors, but most violent crimes are felonies which carry lengthy prison sentences and other life-altering consequences.
A person charged in an assault or a domestic dispute may not be the instigator of the fight. Often a person attempting to defend himself or herself from an aggressor may be charged with the crime based on circumstantial evidence. Often, the person who talks to police first is considered to be the victim. Other times, if there is question about who started a fight, the arrest will be made based upon who has the least serious visible injuries. A defense attorney can help you tell your side of the story without compromising your case, clearing up misunderstandings and allowing you to walk free.
In other cases, the implications of a criminal charge are greater than those of a simple assault charge. Murder, manslaughter, and armed robbery are offenses that carry decades in prison—even a life sentence--if a defendant is convicted.
Being charged with a violent crime requires quality legal representation by a lawyer who is skillful, knowledgeable, and has the resources to adequately investigate your case and build an aggressive defense.
Property crimes are typically those involving theft or vandalism—crimes that do not involve threat to a person’s physical well being. Violent crimes, on the other hand, are those which directly victimize a person, placing him or her in fear of physical harm or death. It is important to note that for most crimes, the threat or attempt alone is enough to bring criminal charges. “Assault,” for example is defined not as the use of force or violence against another person, but rather the “attempt or offer with force or violence to do a corporal hurt to another” (21 O.S. §641).
Similarly, the statute for armed robbery includes attempted armed robbery as an equal offense, and it includes use of either a dangerous weapon or an imitation firearm.
Law Firm of Oklahoma offers innovative and effective defense across the spectrum of violent crimes:
Often when a person is arrested for a violent crime, prosecutors file the most serious charges possible. A person suspected of accidentally killing someone finds himself of herself charged with first degree murder. A person who gets into a scuffle is charged with aggravated assault. Filing harsher than necessary charges is a common tactic of district attorneys, and a competent defense lawyer should be able to get inflated charges reduced.
In some cases, the charges are completely frivolous. An attorney may be able to successfully demonstrate evidence that a defendant was acting in self defense during a fight, or may be able to show that the prosecution’s evidence is shaky and insufficient to meet the necessary burden of proof.
Oklahoma statutes require that certain violent offenses carry mandatory prison time. These crimes, known as 85 percent crimes, require a convicted person to serve a minimum of 85 percent of his or her sentence prior to parole eligibility. These 21 offenses are stipulated in 21 O.S. § 13.1 and include the following crimes:
Because a person convicted of one of these crimes must serve the majority of his or her sentence, the prison terms associated with these crimes is extensive. Many of the above offenses carry a maximum sentence of life in prison. For the purposes of parole, a life sentence is calculated at 45 years. Therefore, anyone sentenced to life for an 85 percent crime must serve at least 38 years and 3 months in prison before even being considered for parole.
Being convicted of a violent felony has lifetime ramifications: lengthy prison terms, a felony record, loss of firearm rights, and registration Oklahoma Violent Offender Registry. To protect your rights and your future, call (405) 608-4990 to speak with a lawyer who can help.