ASSAULT AND BATTERY - ELEMENTS
No person may be convicted of assault and battery unless the State has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each element of the crime. These elements are:
Third, use of force or violence;
Fourth, upon another person.
Statutory Authority: 21 O.S. 1991, §§ 641, 642.
Simple assault, simple battery, and simple assault and battery are misdemeanor crimes in Oklahoma. Oklahoma defines an assault in accordance with both of the common law definitions: an attempt to commit a battery, or the intentional placing of another in apprehension of receiving an immediate battery. Minnix v. State, 282 P.2d 772 (Okl. Cr. 1955); Dunbar v. State, 75 Okl. Cr. 275, 131 P.2d 116 (1942), overruled on other grounds, Parker v. State, 917 P.2d 980, 986 n.4 (Okl.Cr. 1996); Tyner v. United States, 2 Okl. Cr. 689, 103 P. 1057 (1909). See generally R. Perkins, Criminal Law 114-27 (2d ed. 1969).
Simple battery is also defined in Oklahoma in accordance with the common law concept. It is an unlawful beating, or use of wrongful physical violence or constraint upon the person of another, without that person's consent. Minnix v. State, supra. See generally R. Perkins, Criminal Law 107-13 (2d ed. 1969).
Every battery, by definition, includes an assault, although an assault can be perpetrated without a battery. The Court of Criminal Appeals has held that, when an assault culminates in a battery, the offense is assault and battery, and prosecution should be commenced for that grade of assault and battery which is reasonably supported by the State's proof of the facts. Hall v. State, 1957 OK CR 34, 309 P.2d 1096.
Specific intent is not an element of simple assault, simple battery, or simple assault and battery. Hainta v. State, 1979 OK CR 61, 596 P.2d 906; Morris v. State, 1973 OK CR 421, 515 P.2d 266.
The "force or violence" constituting a battery will generally be direct and of such a nature as to produce physical injury. However, although there is a dearth of Oklahoma cases defining the nature and degree of "force or violence" required to establish a battery, it is settled in the vast majority of jurisdictions that any unconsented, offensive touching suffices as proof of "force." See, e.g., State v. Brewer, 31 Del. 363, 114 A. 604 (1921); Smith v. State, 85 Ga. App. 215, 68 S.E.2d 719 (1952); Commonwealth v. McCan, 277 Mass. 199, 178 N.E. 633 (1931); State v. Cruikshank, 13 N.D. 337, 100 N.W. 697 (1904); Weaver v. State, 66 Tex. Crim. R. 366, 146 S.W. 927 (1912); Wood v. Commonwealth, 149 Va. 401, 140 S.E. 114 (1927); Lynch v. Commonwealth, 131 Va. 762, 109 S.E. 427 (1921).
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