Murder is the most serious and violent crime that you can be charged with in Oklahoma. If you have been charged with murder, you will face serious and life changing penalties and social consequences. What follows is a brief discussion of the defense strategies to a murder charge in Oklahoma.
Murder in Oklahoma
You may be charged with murder if you caused the death of another individual, either intentionally or unintentionally. So in Oklahoma, the crime of homicide, which pertains to murder, is broken down into two categories:
- Murder; and
You may be charged with murder if you intentionally cause the death of another, whether it was premeditated or not. Manslaughter on the other hand, occurs when you cause the death of another by accident.
Murder then is separated into two further categories:
- First degree murder; and
- Second-degree murder.
Murder in the first degree cover killings which are intentional and with “malice aforethought”, while murder in the second degree covers killings which are lacking the element of “malice aforethought”, or that happen in the heat of the moment, such as that which may result from a heated and unexpected quarrel with a total stranger.
The punishment for Murder in Oklahoma
Murder in the first degree is a capital offense and punishable by life imprisonment and even the death penalty. Murder in the second degree may be punished by minimum of ten years in prison and as much as a lifetime behind bars. Manslaughter is punishable by up to 4 years in prison, for the most serious offenses, and a $1000 fine.
Defenses to murder in Oklahoma
Murder is certainly one of the the most serious of all crimes, which is evident in the fact punishment can include the death penalty. So, it is important that have an attorney that can identify defenses applicable to your specific case and that can obtain expert witnesses specifics to the circumstances of your case. Common defenses can generally be broken down into two categories:
- That the wrong person is on trial; and
- That the killing was justified.
The most common strategies in defense of a murder charge are as follows:
- Mistaken Identity;
- An airtight alibi;
- Self Defense; and
- In defense of others.
A homicide may be determined to be justifiable:
- When resisting any attempt to murder person, or to commit any felony upon him, or upon or in any dwelling house in which such person is; or
- When committed in the lawful defense of such person, or of his or her husband, wife, parent, child, master, mistress, or servant, when there is a reasonable ground to apprehend a design to commit a felony, or to do some great personal injury, and imminent danger of such design being accomplished; or
- When necessarily committed in attempting, by lawful ways and means, to apprehend any person for any felony committed; or in lawfully suppressing any riot; or in lawfully keeping and preserving the peace.
A homicide may be determined to be excusable:
- When committed by accident and misfortune, in lawfully correcting a child or servant, or in doing any other lawful act, by lawful means, with usual and ordinary caution, and without any unlawful intent.
- When committed by accident and misfortune in the heat of passion, upon any sudden and sufficient provocation, or upon a sudden combat provided that no undue advantage is taken, nor any dangerous weapon used, and that the killing is not done in a cruel or unusual manner.
No Cost, No Obligation Consultation: Oklahoma City Criminal Defense Attorney
Because of the seriousness of a murder charge, it is extremely important to contact an experienced Oklahoma City criminal defense attorney for a more in-depth explanation of the available defenses to a murder charge in Oklahoma. If you are a loved one has been charged with murder in Oklahoma contact an Oklahoma criminal defense attorney immediately.
There’s no cost and no obligation for an initial consultation with our Oklahoma City criminal defense attorney. Call today for answers to your questions. Before you let police or prosecutors tell you what’s best for you, talk to a criminal defense attorney in Oklahoma City who’s business is to protect the interests of people in your position.
Call Criminal Defense Law Office of Oklahoma City at (405) 588-4529 (588-4LAW). If you prefer, you may send your question using the contact form at the top right side of this page.