Threatening violence in Oklahoma can land you in trouble. How much trouble depends on many factors. One factor is the response from the person threatened. This response is considered in light of what other reasonable people might believe if the same threat was made against them. A truth about this type of crime is its not uncommon that the threat is nothing more than puffing on the part it the person making it. Its also a charge that is associated with domestic violence. Family members make threats of violence in times of heated arguments and often those threats amount to a misdemeanor crime filed by the State of Oklahoma.
What Is An Illegal Threat of Violence In Oklahoma?
What constitutes Threatening Violence In Oklahoma is a question jury? This is because if the threat was a crime is a question of fact and those are always questions for the jury to decide. An unlawful threat must concern an act of violence. That act of violence threatened must involve or intend to result in death or serious bodily harm to another person. Additionally, the making of the threat must be willful.
Based on these elements, it’s easy to see that not all threats are unlawful in Oklahoma. First, a threat made accidentally, unintentionally, or under duress is not considered willful and would not fit the definition of an illegal threat in Oklahoma. Next, the threat must be made against another person—thus, threats to harm oneself or property would not be punishable under the law in Oklahoma either.
What Is Serious Bodily Harm In Oklahoma?
Common sense clarifies the basic definition of serious bodily harm, but another Oklahoma law (that concerns aggravated assault and battery) provides some legal specifics. The following are considered examples of serious or great bodily harm:
- substantial risk of death
- obvious or extensive disfigurement
- broken or fractured bones
- protracted loss of the function of a body part
- protracted loss of the function of an organ
- protracted loss of the function of mental faculties
- impairment of the function of a body part
- impairment of the function of an organ
- impairment of the function of mental faculties
Punishment For Making An Illegal Threat
Making an illegal threat in Oklahoma is a misdemeanor offense. If convicted of making a threat in Oklahoma, you may face six months in county jail.
Crimes In Oklahoma That Are Similar To Unlawful Threats
Several crimes in Oklahoma are similar to the crime of making unlawful threats. These crimes include attempting, conspiring, or endeavoring to commit a violent act. The violent act attempted, conspired, or endeavored to be committed must involve death or serious bodily harm to another person. This felony offense is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The crime of conspiracy requires that two or more people are involved. Conspiracy also requires that some step, beyond merely planning, has been taken in furtherance of the crime in question.
Another similar crime involves devising a plan, scheme, or program of action intended to result in a malicious act of violence. This malicious act of violence must be intended to cause serious bodily harm or death. This crime is a felony that can be punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
An additional crime that may be confused with making unlawful threats is assault. Assault is an attempt or threat to do violence or harm to another. Assault is often confused with battery, but battery involves actual harm, whereas assault concerns threatened or attempted harm. The difference between assault and making unlawful threats is that assault generally involves a physical action, whereas threats involve words only.
An individual may be found guilty of both making unlawful threats and of one or more of the crimes described above.
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