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

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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

Answers:

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.
 


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