Oklahoma's Most Experienced Homicide Defense Team

At the Law Offices of Adam R. Banner we focus EXCLUSIVELY on defending our clients from criminal charges. Murder can put you behind bars for life.  

Entrust your legal defense to the firm with a laser focus on protecting your rights at every step of the legal process. You wouldn't take a Ferrari to just any mechanic, would you? No. You would take it to a Ferrari expert.  

The same goes for legal defense. You NEED the team with experience in fighting homicide charges.

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

A homicide defense attorney can argue for different charges based on different states of mind. Regardless of how one is charged, convictions for murder carry severe repercussions and possibly lead to capital punishment.

Oklahoma Law

Homicide is classified as manslaughter, murder, excusable homicide, or justifiable homicide.

Below is a brief overview of the related offenses:

Manslaughter Charges

Manslaughter is divided into first and second degree

First Degree Manslaughter

  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.


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.

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 statutes.

Murder Charges

When a 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.

First Degree Murder

The following are the circumstances under which someone can be charged with murder in the first degree:

  1. Takes the life of a human being.

  2. 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. Willfully tortured or used unreasonable force upon the child or maliciously injured or maimed the child.
  3. 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.
  4. Intentionally causes the death of a law enforcement officer or correctional officer while the officer is in the performance of official duties.


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.

Second Degree Murder

  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.


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.

Excusable Homicide

  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

  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.

Homicide Legal Defense Strategies

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