Is a crime to play around at your job acting like you going to shoot somebody?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is a crime to play around at your job acting like you going to shoot somebody?

I was playing with another co-worker who was joking with me and I jestered back acting like I

was going to shoot at him.

Asked on February 13, 2018 under Criminal Law, Oklahoma


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

1) It is not clear that it was a crime: under Oklahoma statutes section 21-641, assault is "any willful and unlawful attempt or offer with force or violence to do a corporal hurt to another." A threat of force can be assault, but it must be more than words--it generally (to constitute an "offer") must involve a threatening gesture, brandishing a weapon, or the like. And furthermore, it must be a credible threat to a reasonable person. So it is *possible* that if you acted "like was I going to shoot him" in such a serious way that a reasonable person would believe it was a legitimate threat, that is a crime--but clearly joshing or joking around would not be.
2) However, regardless of whether it is a crime or not, unless you had a written employment contract guarantying or protecting your job, you were an employee at will and could be terminated for this reason (since employees at will may be terminated for *any* reason).

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.

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