How Do “Stand Your Ground” and Self-Defense Laws Apply in Oklahoma?

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What is Considered ‘Self-Defense’ Under Oklahoma Law?

Many of us shudder to imagine a scenario where we would be forced to defend our lives against another person. And some of those who do imagine such unfortunate occurrences tend to think of themselves as easy victims. In an attempt to defend against potential harm befalling themselves or their loved ones, many take important self-defense training to know what to do if the worst should ever happen. Some may take it a step further by purchasing deadly weapons to use for self-defense purposes in case of situations like break-ins, muggings, assaults, and more.

In Oklahoma, self-defense is an act in which an individual uses force to defend themselves against imminent threat of physical violence. Though this may seem like a straightforward doctrine, there are actually many complexities to Oklahoma self-defense laws, which may make it challenging for someone to argue self-defense in the event of a deadly shooting.

If you are ever accused of using deadly force against another individual but you were forced to use this deadly countermeasure in order to protect yourself or your loved ones, you may be able to argue self-defense. However, it is not wise to argue self-defense without the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. By going at it alone, you run the risk of your defense strategy being dismissed by the courts as they question your self-defense argument.

Oklahoma allows self-defense in the following circumstances:

  • If a person enters a domicile illegally or by force, then it can be reasonably considered that they are doing so with the intent of committing an illegal act. This illegal act could involve the assault or murder of an individual living at that property, which would make self-defense a valid legal argument should you be forced to use deadly force to repel the invaders. This understanding of self-defense law extends to private property, homes, apartments, businesses, and occupied motor vehicles.
  • If you were using your home, business, or motor vehicle for illegal acts, then you cannot argue self-defense as a means of protecting yourself from harm or separate Illegal acts.
  • Self-defense laws do not extend to defending yourself against someone who has the legal right to be in your home, business, or vehicle. For example, you cannot fire upon your spouse for entering your shared home and claim you did so in self-defense.
  • In addition to examples of someone breaking into a piece of property illegally, you may also argue self-defense if you are defending yourself against being kidnapped or illegally held against your will.
  • Aiming your firearm or other weapon at someone who you believe to be an imminent threat to your life is considered lawful under Oklahoma law.
  • If an invader or aggressor attempts to run away after you fire a shot with your gun, you are not permitted to continue firing upon them until they are dead. If one shot disables them, you are not allowed to unload additional rounds into them until they are dead. However, if more than one shot is necessary to neutralize the threat, then additional shots may be permitted.

Our law firm has years of experience representing clients in complex legal matters such as self-defense arguments following deadly shootings and Stand Your Ground scenarios. To learn more, please contact our Tulsa, Oklahoma-based law offices to schedule your free consultation today.

How Does the Oklahoma ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law Work?

The Oklahoma Stand Your Ground law is a near copy of the similar Florida Stand Your Ground law that made national headlines in 2012. Some consider these laws controversial. Even among those who agree with the laws, there is some agreement that the law can be read as convoluted and difficult to understand. If you have a Stand Your Ground case, it is absolutely vital that you retain professional legal counsel.

Oklahoma Stand Your Ground doctrines state that a person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in an area where they are legally allowed has the right to meet force with force. This extends to deadly force. The force must be to prevent further harm from befalling themselves or another person or to prevent a forcible felony.

Can You Shoot Someone Who is Breaking into Your Home?

Yes, under most circumstances, this is legal under the Castle Doctrine of Oklahoma self-defense laws. If someone forcibly breaks into your home, you are justified in firing upon them and potentially killing them in defense of your home. There is no legal responsibility to retreat from any home invasion intruder.

What is Oklahoma’s ‘Make My Day’ Law?

The Make My Day Doctrine extends the protections of Oklahoma’s Castle Doctrine. Under the standard Oklahoma Castle Doctrine, someone who is legally welcome in your home does not necessarily have the legal right to use deadly force to protect that home or its occupants. Under the Make My Day law, an individual like a babysitter watching your kids has the right to use deadly force to defend your home and your children from someone breaking in with ill intent.

What Are Potentially Legal Self-Defense Weapons in Oklahoma?

Any weapon that is considered legal under Oklahoma state law may be used to defend yourself or another person against physical harm. In such situations, you may be able to argue self-defense in the use of your lawful weapon. There is no definitive list of lawful weapons for self-defense in Oklahoma. However, if you are a felon and cannot legally possess a firearm, then the use of a firearm in self-defense could still result in legal consequences. Additionally, the use of a firearm when you are not legally allowed to possess a gun could negate any pretrial immunity found under Oklahoma’s Stand Your Ground laws.

Is Killing in Self-Defense Considered Manslaughter or Murder in OK?

No, killing in self-defense is not considered murder or manslaughter in Oklahoma. However, certain important criteria must be met in order for your case to be legally considered a self-defense case.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Highly Skilled Legal Team Today

Our legal team has years of experience representing complex legal issues, including Oklahoma’s Stand Your Ground laws. While there are many self-defense laws in place to protect the rights of residents using self-defense tactics and weaponry to defend themselves and others, one should not assume that your case will be a simple one. It is highly likely that you would benefit from professional legal representation for your Stand Your Ground shooting case.

To learn more about our legal services, please contact us for a free case evaluation today. 918-553-5771.

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