You live in Oklahoma, a state known for its strong sense of self-reliance. But what happens when a violent threat challenges that self-reliance? Does Oklahoma’s law allow you to stand your ground and defend yourself, even with deadly force?

The answer is yes: Oklahoma has a “Stand Your Ground” law. It is codified in Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes, § 1289.25(D).

What is Stand Your Ground?

Simply put, Stand Your Ground removes the “duty to retreat” in self-defense situations. Traditionally, some states required a person facing danger to attempt to escape before using force, even deadly force, in self-defense. Oklahoma’s Stand Your Ground law eliminates this requirement.

Here’s the important part of the law: As long as you’re not committing a crime yourself and are in a place you legally have the right to be, you have no duty to retreat if attacked. You can stand your ground and use reasonable force, including deadly force, to protect yourself or others from serious harm.

But navigating the legalities after a violent encounter, especially one resulting in death, can be incredibly stressful. At Cannon & Associates, we understand the complexities of self-defense laws and how they apply in Oklahoma.

Stand Your Ground Key Points to Remember

  • The Threat Must Be Real and Imminent: You can’t claim Stand Your Ground if the threat seems minimal or isn’t actively unfolding.
  • You Must Be in a Legal Location: You have the right to defend yourself wherever you have a lawful right to be, like your home, workplace, or a public sidewalk.
  • Innocence is Key: You can’t use Stand Your Ground if you’re the initial aggressor or committing a crime.
  • Reasonable Force is Essential: Your response must be proportional to the threat. Using excessive force could negate your self-defense claim.

What Stand Your Ground Doesn’t Cover

While Stand Your Ground offers self-defense flexibility, it’s not a license to use deadly force whenever you feel threatened. There are some situations where it wouldn’t apply:

  • Mutual Combat: If you willingly enter a fight, you generally lose the right to claim self-defense.
  • Defense of Property: Stand Your Ground is primarily for defending yourself or others from violence, not for protecting property.
  • Under the Influence: Being intoxicated can cast doubt on your judgment and make it harder to claim self-defense.

What to Do After Being Involved in a Self-Defense Incident?

  • Call 911: Report the incident immediately.
  • Contact an Attorney: It’s in your best interest to have an attorney present when police officers are questioning you about the incident. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights. 
  • Stay at the Scene: Don’t leave before law enforcement arrives.
  • Seek Medical Attention: If you’re injured, get medical help right away.

What To Expect After a Self-Defense Incident

Even in a clear-cut Stand Your Ground scenario, you may still have to interact with law enforcement.

  1. Police questioning: Cooperate with the police, but politely decline to answer questions about the incident until you speak with an attorney.
  2. Investigation: The police will investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident. This may involve witness interviews and evidence collection.
  3. Charges: Depending on the investigation, you might not face any charges. However, if the circumstances are unclear, prosecutors might file charges. This is where a skilled criminal defense attorney becomes essential.

Why You Need an Attorney

Self-defense laws are complex, and even in Stand Your Ground states like Oklahoma, the line between justified use of force and criminal action can be blurry, and the prosecution may question your actions. Here’s how an attorney from Cannon & Associates can help you:

  • Understanding Your Rights: We’ll explain the nuances of Stand Your Ground and how it applies to your specific situation.
  • Investigating the Incident: We’ll gather evidence and witness statements to support your claim of self-defense.
  • Negotiating with Prosecutors: If charges are filed, we’ll fight to have them dropped or reduced.
  • Trial Representation: In the worst-case scenario, we’ll provide aggressive and experienced legal representation in court.

Understanding Oklahoma’s self-defense laws, including Stand Your Ground, can empower you to protect yourself and your loved ones. Keep in mind that it is a legal defense, not a license to use excessive force.

Complex legal matters require professional guidance. If you face a self-defense situation or criminal charges, know that the specific circumstances of each case can be heavily scrutinized. Don’t take chances with your future! We’ll help you understand your rights and fight for the best possible outcome in your situation.  Contact Cannon & Associates today at (405) 657-2323 to book a free case strategy session.