In Oklahoma, nonconsensual sex, or sex without legal consent, is prosecuted as either first degree rape or second degree rape. While second degree rape usually involves statutory rape, or seemingly consensual sex with a minor or other person who is legally unable to provide consent, first degree rape generally involves no apparent consent of the victim.
First degree rape is the more serious of the two classifications of rape charges in Oklahoma, and the legal ramifications include the possibility of life in prison without parole. It is a felony sex offense that has a tremendous impact on one's freedoms and privileges following conviction, including lifetime sex offender registration, loss of firearm possession rights, and loss of voting rights. A convicted sex offender is saddled with residency restrictions, employment restrictions, and even limitations on the places he or she may attend for recreation, leisure, or religious purposes.
If you are accused of rape, you may be tempted to try to explain your way out of the situation. Maybe you were falsely accused. Maybe your charge is the result of a misunderstanding. Maybe you had too much to drink and didn't realize the severity of your actions. Regardless, you must not speak with police, your alleged victim, or anyone else about the incident or your case, even in an attempt to demonstrate your innocence. Anything you say can be used as evidence of your guilt, and even protestations of innocence can be manipulated and used against you.
The only person with whom you should discuss your case is your attorney. If you do not have a defense lawyer to represent you, stop now and call for a free consultation. Police, prosecutors, and your accuser are looking for a conviction at all costs. You need someone in your corner to let your side of the story be heard. You need someone looking out for your rights who can help you avoid critical mistakes that can destroy your case. Call the Law Firm of Oklahoma to find your advocate.
If Oklahoma charges rape as either Rape in the First Degree or Rape in the Second Degree, what sets these two offenses apart?
In 21 O.S. 1111, the Oklahoma Criminal Code defines a number of acts of nonconsensual sexual intercourse that constitute rape. In 21 O.S. 1114, the statutes stipulate which of these acts are considered first degree rape:
Although the United States Supreme Court ruled the death penalty unconstitutional in all but certain aggravated murder cases, Oklahoma state law statutorily prescribes death as a possible penalty of first degree rape. However, because the death penalty is prohibited in such a case by United States law, conviction of first degree rape in Oklahoma is punishable by a minimum of five years in prison and a maximum of life without parole.
First degree rape is among the crimes subject to Oklahoma's Eighty-Five Percent Rule. Certain violent crimes enumerated in 21 O.S. 13.1 are considered "85 percent crimes." Anyone convicted of one or more of these crimes must serve at least 85 percent of the sentence before becoming eligible for parole.
A person sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole under this rule, would have to spend more than 38 years in prison before appearing before the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board in an attempt to be granted early release.
As a Level 3 Sex Offense, first degree rape also brings mandatory lifetime sex offender registration. As a registered sex offender in Oklahoma, a person faces numerous restrictions:
Failure to comply with the terms of the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registration Act may result in felony prosecution and additional prison sentencing.
If you have been accused of rape, it is important to act quickly to retain legal counsel and representation. You need someone who can guide you through the justice process while aggressively defending you against unfounded, unsubstantiated, or unlawful charges.
To speak confidentially about your case with a qualified, experienced defense lawyer, call (405) 608-4990 or submit the online case review form found on this page.