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Criminal Attorney Oklahoma Defense Lawyer Adam R. Banner OKLAHOMA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY AT LAW
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Homicide Attorney in Oklahoma

In terms of harm, there is no greater criminal violation in Oklahoma than homicide. Homicide is defined in Oklahoma as the killing of one human being by another. Moreover, under Oklahoma homicide law the term “human being” includes an unborn child. Furthermore, the crime committed in an Oklahoma criminal homicide prosecution is generally determined by the state of mind of the Defendant.

A homicide attorney can argue for different charges based on different states of mind. Regardless of how one is charged, convictions for homicide in Oklahoma can carry severe repercussions and possibly lead to capital punishment. In Oklahoma, homicide is classified as manslaughter, murder, excusable homicide, or justifiable homicide.

Below is a brief overview of the possible homicide offenses in Oklahoma:

Oklahoma Manslaughter Charges

In Oklahoma, manslaughter is divided into 2 degrees:

First Degree Manslaughter occurs in the following cases:

  1. When perpetrated without a design to effect death by a person while engaged in the commission of a misdemeanor.
  2. When perpetrated without a design to effect death, and in a heat of passion, but in a cruel and unusual manner, or by means of a dangerous weapon; unless it is committed under such circumstances as constitute excusable or justifiable homicide.
  3. When perpetrated unnecessarily either while resisting an attempt by the person killed to commit a crime, or after such attempt shall have failed.

Second Degree Manslaughter is defined as:

Every killing of one human being by the act, procurement or culpable negligence of another, which, under the provisions of this chapter, is not murder, nor manslaughter in the first degree, nor excusable nor justifiable homicide, is manslaughter in the second degree.

Due to such a broad definition, prosecutors usually use Second Degree Manslaughter charges as a catch-all for criminal activity they cannot prosecute under any of the other homicide related statutes.

Oklahoma Murder Charges

In Oklahoma, murder is also separated into 2 degrees:

First Degree Murder is defined in Oklahoma as follows:

A person commits murder in the first degree when that person unlawfully and with malice aforethought causes the death of another human being. Malice is the deliberate intention to unlawfully take away the life of a human being, which is manifested by external circumstances capable of proof.

A person also commits the crime of murder in the first degree, regardless of malice, when that person or any other person takes the life of a human being during, or if the death of a human being results from, the commission or attempted commission of murder of another person, shooting or discharge of a firearm or crossbow with intent to kill, intentional discharge of a firearm or other deadly weapon into any dwelling or building, forcible rape, robbery with a dangerous weapon, kidnapping, escape from lawful custody, eluding an officer, first degree burglary, first degree arson, unlawful distributing or dispensing of controlled dangerous substances, or trafficking in illegal drugs.

Furthermore, a person commits murder in the first degree when the death of a child results from the willful or malicious injuring, torturing, maiming or using of unreasonable force by said person or who shall willfully cause, procure or permit any of said acts to be done upon the child. It is sufficient for the crime of murder in the first degree that the person either willfully tortured or used unreasonable force upon the child or maliciously injured or maimed the child.

Moreover a person commits murder in the first degree when that person unlawfully and with malice aforethought solicits another person or persons to cause the death of a human being in furtherance of unlawfully manufacturing, distributing or dispensing controlled dangerous substances, as defined in the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Act, unlawfully possessing with intent to distribute or dispense controlled dangerous substances, or trafficking in illegal drugs.

Lastly, a person commits murder in the first degree when that person intentionally causes the death of a law enforcement officer or correctional officer while the officer is in the performance of official duties.

Second Degree Murder in Oklahoma occurs in the following cases:

  1. When perpetrated by an act imminently dangerous to another person and evincing a depraved mind, regardless of human life, although without any premeditated design to effect the death of any particular individual; or
  2. When perpetrated by a person engaged in the commission of any felony other than the unlawful acts set out in Section 1, subsection B, of this act.

Excusable Homicide in Oklahoma

Homicide is excusable in the following cases:

  1. When committed by accident and misfortune in doing any lawful act, by lawful means, with usual and ordinary caution, and without any unlawful intent.
  2. 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.

Justifiable Homicide in Oklahoma

Homicide is also justifiable when committed by any person in either of the following cases:

  1. When resisting any attempt to murder such person, or to commit any felony upon him, or upon or in any dwelling house in which such person is; or,
  2. 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,
  3. 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.

Penalties for Homicide in Oklahoma

Punishment for First Degree Manslaughter:

Any person guilty of manslaughter in the first degree shall be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for not less than four (4) years.

Punishment for Second Degree Manslaughter:

Every killing of one human being by the act, procurement or culpable negligence of another, which, under the provisions of this chapter, is not murder, nor manslaughter in the first degree, nor excusable nor justifiable homicide, is manslaughter in the second degree.

Punishment for First Degree Murder:

A person who is convicted of or pleads guilty or nolo contendere to murder in the first degree shall be punished by death, by imprisonment for life without parole or by imprisonment for life. A person who is convicted of or pleads guilty or nolo contendere to murder in the first degree, shall not be entitled to or afforded the benefit of deferment of the sentence.

Punishment for Second Degree Murder:

A person who is convicted of or pleads guilty or nolo contendere to murder in the second degree shall be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment in a state penal institution for not less than ten (10) years nor more than life.

 

If you or a loved one has been charged with homicide in Oklahoma, time is of the essence. You need an experienced Oklahoma criminal defense homicide attorney, and you need one right now. Call the Law Offices of Adam R. Banner, P.C., and retain an accomplished murder attorney ready to fight for your rights. Call us today at (405) 778-4800 for a free consultation.

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