A Closer Look At The Different Homicide Offenses In Oklahoma

In the state of Oklahoma, there are many different categories of homicide. Which murder charge you or your loved one could face will depend on the circumstances. Each also carries different penalties in the event of a conviction.

Murder

Generally, there are two different types of murder categories: first-degree murder and second-degree murder

First-Degree Murder In Oklahoma

Individuals are likely to be charged with first-degree murder if:

  • The offense was deliberate and intentional and committed with malice, or
  • The offense was committed during the commission of a felony, such as burglary or robbery with a deadly weapon (Felony Murder).

First-Degree Murder Penalties

The penalties for a first-degree murder conviction will vary, including a life sentence (classified as 45 years in the state of Oklahoma with eligibility for parole after serving 85 percent of the sentence), a life sentence without the possibility of parole, or death (referred to as capital murder).

Second-Degree Murder In Oklahoma

Individuals are likely to be charged with second-degree murder if evidence shows that they are engaged in an "imminently dangerous act" that killed another without any deliberate intent to kill or premeditation.

Second-Degree Murder Penalties

Individuals convicted of second-degree murder can expect to serve a minimum of 10 years in prison to a life sentence (45 years with parole eligibility after serving 85 percent of the sentence).

Manslaughter

Generally, there are two different types of manslaughter offenses: first-degree manslaughter and second-degree manslaughter.

First-Degree Manslaughter In Oklahoma

Individuals are likely to be charged with first-degree manslaughter if the crime occurred:

  • In the heat of passion (e.g., during an uncontrollable fight) or,
  • During the commission of a misdemeanor, such as Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

First-Degree Manslaughter Penalties

Those facing a first-degree manslaughter conviction will serve a minimum 4-year prison term to a life sentence (with the possibility of parole after serving at least 85 percent of the sentence).

Second-Degree Manslaughter In Oklahoma

Individuals are likely to face second-degree manslaughter charges if a killing occurs, but does not fall under the requirements of any other murder or manslaughter offense. A dog attack that proved fatal to someone would be an example.

Second-Degree Manslaughter Penalties

Individuals convicted of second-degree manslaughter are likely to face a 2 to 4-year prison sentence.

Negligent Homicide

Drivers who kill another in an auto accident due to a "reckless disregard for the safety of others" are likely to face negligent homicide charges. Individuals could face higher penalties if the fatality occurred while driving under the influence.

Penalties For A Negligent Homicide Conviction

A conviction for negligent homicide carries up to a 12-month jail sentence and/or a $1000 fine. The driver's license for the defendant is also suspended in the event of a conviction.

Contact Us

To learn more about these offenses as they pertain to individual circumstances, reach out to our criminal defense team in Norman, Oklahoma. Call 405-546-1292 or email one of our lawyers.