Understanding Oklahoma’s consent laws is critical. Unfortunately, being unaware of the law is not an acceptable defense, so you must be familiar with these statutes. If you are facing charges, consulting with an Oklahoma City sex crimes lawyer is critical to protecting yourself during these challenging times. The following blog explores some of the most common questions regarding consent laws and what to do if arrested for nonconsensual sexual acts.
What Is Consent?
Consent is a term used to describe granting someone permission to do something. While this can be used in many circumstances, such as offering legal consent to a company to send you emails, it is most often associated with sexual intercourse. Consent refers to providing enthusiastic, straightforward, and voluntary affirmation of a sexual act. As such, consent can be revoked at any time and can be inferred in situations where consent is unclear.
However, there are different consent laws that everyone should be aware of.
What Consent Laws Should I Be Familiar With?
In Oklahoma, it is illegal for a person to have sexual intercourse with someone under the age of 16. If a 20-year-old and 15-year-old have sex, even with the 15-year-old’s consent, this is considered statutory rape. This is because the law has determined those under the age of 16 do not have the mental capacity to consent to sex with older adults. However, things become more complicated when “Romeo and Juliet laws” are factored in. Essentially, this means that teenagers close in age who have sex are protected from prosecution. This means a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old can have intercourse if both parties consent to it.
It’s also important to understand that those who are unconscious are legally unable to consent. This is because they are unaware of what is happening to them and cannot encourage or prevent the act from occurring. On a similar note, those who are incapacitated because of drugs or alcohol or who have a mental illness that prevents them from understanding what is happening are also unable to give consent.
Additionally, it’s also necessary to understand what “stealthing” is. This refers to the act of removing a condom mid-intercourse without the consent of the other party. Though there is nothing specifically in Oklahoma law referencing this, this act can constitute first or second-degree rape. This is because the partner did not have informed consent about the act of having unprotected sexual intercourse.
What Should I Do if Charged With Nonconsensual Sexual Acts?
If charged with any nonconsensual sexual acts in Oklahoma, it’s imperative to take the necessary steps to protect yourself. Whether you are facing sexual assault or rape charges, these allegations can have severe impacts on your life. You can face time in prison, strained relationships with friends and family, and severely limited career opportunities. As such, taking the steps to protect yourself is necessary.
You should avoid all contact with the alleged victim. The police may have them call you to ask why you “did it” in hopes that you will apologize or confess. If this happens, you should say, “Please do not contact me,” before hanging up. Even something like, “I’m sorry those things happened to you,” can be twisted as a confession.
Additionally, it’s in your best interest to connect with an experienced sex crime attorney to help fight for your rights during these matters. At the Jones Firm, PLLC, our dedicated team understands how upsetting these matters can be, which is why we will explore all possible avenues to assist you. Contact us today to learn more.