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The Penalties for Rape and Sexual Assault in Oklahoma

If you have been arrested or are under investigation for rape or sexual assault in Oklahoma, it is important to understand what the statutory definitions for those crimes are, what penalties a conviction would bring, and what steps to take in protecting yourself. Oklahoma law enforcement and prosecutors take rape and sexual assault crimes very seriously, and, while you are innocent until proven guilty, the burden is on you to take the steps necessary to make sure you are treated fairly in any investigation and/or prosecution.

First and Second Degree Rape in Oklahoma

Rape in Oklahoma is defined as an act of anal or vaginal penetration with a man or woman who has not given legal consent to the act, and that person is not the perpetrator’s spouse. When there are no aggravating circumstances, the offender may be charged with second-degree rape, which carries with it a penalty of between 1 and 15 years in prison.

Oklahoma state law lists a number of aggravating circumstances which will lift a second-degree rape to a first-degree rape. These circumstances include: 1) where the rape is done by instrumentation and the victim is under 14; 2) where the rape is done by instrumentation and results in bodily harm; 3) where there is force, violence, or threats of force; 4) the victim was intoxicated; 5) the victim was mentally unable to provide consent; 6) the victim was under 14 and the perpetrator over 18. Those convicted of first-degree rape face a minimum of 5 years in prison and may face the death penalty.

Sexual Assault in Oklahoma

Under Oklahoma law, sexual battery involves the intentional touching, mauling, or feeling of the body or private persons of a person 16 years or older without their consent. The penalty for conviction is between 1 and 15 years in prison. If the victim is under 16, the perpetrator face imprisonment of up to 20 years. Those convicted of sexual assault and rape will also be required to register on sex offender registries following any time served.

When You are Under Investigation for Sex Crimes

In many prosecutions and investigations, the difference between acts that constitute a sex crime and those that are legal comes down to a single question: was there consent? If so, then there is no crime (assuming the alleged victim was old enough to provide consent and otherwise able to consent). But if not, then the alleged perpetrator can face years in prison. In many cases, whether there actually was consent may be unclear even to those involved, and so investigators and prosecutors are often piecing together cases based on difficult-to-verify testimonial evidence from those involved to bring a case against a defendant.

As someone under investigation for a sex crime, you may feel compelled to immediately take action to defend yourself by reaching out to investigators, prosecutors, and even the alleged victim, but doing so without the guidance of an experienced Oklahoma criminal defense attorney can set you up for catastrophic consequences. Police and prosecutors are looking for evidence to build a case against you, and, unlike you, they are experts in what evidence is useful in doing just that, even where the alleged defendant committed no crime. By giving up your constitutional rights through speaking to them without an attorney, you can do very little to help your case while doing quite a lot to harm your situation, potentially resulting in your arrest and conviction.

Work with an Experienced Oklahoma Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are under investigation for a sex crime in Oklahoma, it is critical that you get the best legal assistance you can in defending your rights and your freedom. Oklahoma City criminal defense attorney Patrick Quillian is a former district attorney who has the experience, skills, and dedication to work towards the best possible outcome in your arrest or investigation. Contact his office today at 405.294.4448 to schedule a consultation.