Tahlequah Attorney BlogDefining Shooting With Intent To Kill In Tahlequah

shooting with intent to kill in TahlequahFacing a charge for shooting with intent to kill in Oklahoma can be a frightening experience. It can help to understand how the crime is handled in Tahlequah and what defenses may be available to you. Here is what you need to know.

Shooting With Intent to Kill Defined

Shooting with intent to kill in Oklahoma is defined as the intentional and wrongful firing of a firearm at another person with the intention of killing that person, including an unborn child. Okla. Stat. tit.21 § 652

One way to think about the crime is as attempted murder. The crime is a felony in Tahlequah, punishable by up to life in prison.

Elements Of The Crime

In Oklahoma, all crimes have certain elements that must be proven by the prosecution. The prosecution’s burden of proof is high — beyond a reasonable doubt. The elements for shooting with intent to kill are:

  • the intentional and wrongful
  • shooting of another or discharging a firearm; and
  • done with the intent to kill any person.


Because every element must be proven, facts and evidence that tend to disprove any element are important to building a strong defense. Thus, many defenses arise out of the ability of a Tahlequah criminal defense attorney to challenge the prosecution’s evidence.


There are two common defenses that arise out of the first element: lack of intent and a justified or excusable shooting.

The prosecution must prove that a defendant had the intent to kill a person at the time the firearm is discharged. The intent is specific.

The prosecution can show intent from the defendant’s actions, conversations, and even from postings in social media apps. For example, if the defendant told his best friend that he was really irate with the victim, that could be one form of evidence of intent.

The defense can attack the prosecution’s evidence if it is weak and provide evidence that the defendant had nothing but great feelings for the victim, if circumstances warrant.

Self-defense or shooting in defense of others are types of justified or excusable shooting. Oklahoma laws regarding self-defense are complicated.

In Oklahoma, a person is justified in the use of deadly force in self-defense if that person reasonably believed that the use of deadly force was necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to themselves or to prevent or end the commission of a forcible felony against themselves.

Self-defense is a defense even when the danger to life or personal security may not have been real if a reasonable person, under those circumstances, would reasonably have believed they were in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm. OUJI-CR 8-46

Accidental shooting is also a defense. Firearms can and do discharge accidentally, causing injury and death.

Facts are important in these cases. Your Tahlequah attorney can advise you regarding the facts of your case.

Drive-By Shootings

In Oklahoma, it is against the law to use a vehicle to facilitate the intentional discharge of a firearm, crossbow, or other weapon in conscious disregard for the safety of another person. The penalty upon conviction is two years to life in prison. Okla. Stat. 21 § 652

The 85% Rule Applies To Shooting With Intent To Kill

Shooting with intent to kill is a violent crime. If convicted, you must serve 85% of your prison term before you will be eligible for parole. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 31.1

Free Consultation: Tahlequah Criminal Defense Lawyer

Please contact a Tahlequah criminal defense lawyer to discuss your available legal options if you are facing charges for shooting with intent to kill in Oklahoma.

For a free consultation, call Wirth Law Office – Tahlequah at 918-458-2677 or toll-free at 1-888-447-7262.

Or, if you prefer e-mail, you may enter a legal question in the form at the top right of this page and we’ll contact you by e-mail as soon as possible.

Bookmark and Share