Can assault with a deadly weapon charge still be held against someone if the victim is no longer living?

Asked on November 13, 2015 under Criminal Law, Oklahoma


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, a criminal charge, including for assault with a deadly weapon, is NOT voided due to the victim's death; in fact, if the assault led or contributed to the death, the attacker could now be charged with manslaughter or murder. Now, if the victim's testmony was critical to the case (e.g. there were no other witnesses or little other evidence), it may be difficult to get a conviction; but legally, the charge does not go away, may be upgraded if the facts support upgrading it, and may be pursued by the authorities.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.