In today’s day and age, facing a rape accusation can shatter your life. However, when these accusations are elevated to formal criminal charges, it can be even more detrimental. Unfortunately, what you thought was a consensual encounter with another party may be deemed the opposite. As such, it’s important to understand what constitutes rape, the penalties you can face for this offense, and how our Oklahoma City sex crimes lawyer can assist you through these difficult times to fight for the best possible outcome when you are facing a rape charge.

What Constitutes a Rape Charge?

Generally, most people know that rape is an act of non-consensual intercourse. However, you may not know that there are different degrees for which you can be charged. You can be charged after a consensual sexual encounter if the courts find the victim was unable to consent.

First-degree rape is charged in the following circumstances:

  • An adult over the age of 18 engages in sexual penetration with a child younger than 14
  • Sexual penetration with someone who is under a narcotic intentionally administered to subdue the victim
  • Sexual penetration with someone who legally cannot provide consent due to a mental illness or disability
  • Sexual penetration in which the victim is unconscious and the accused is aware of this fact
  • Sexual penetration by means of force, violence, or threats of violence
  • Use of instrumentation that results in severe bodily harm regardless of the age of the accused
  • Use of instrumentation on someone under the age of 14

Rape by instrumentation is any sexual penetration using an object, which can include a finger, that does not amount to intercourse.

Second-degree rape is generally any other form of non-consensual penetration that does not fall under the first-degree umbrella. This is often referred to as statutory rape, as the act may be consensual but one of the parties involved legally cannot consent. Instances of this include:

  • Deception by which the victim agrees to intercourse because they are made to believe their spouse is the other party
  • The victim is under the legal custody of a local, state, or federal agency and has intercourse with an employee of a local, state, or federal agency
  • The victim is between 16 and 20, is a student in high school or public vocational school, and engages in intercourse with someone over 18 who is an employee of the location where the victim is a student

What Penalties Can I Face for This Offense?

If you are charged with first-degree rape in Oklahoma, you can face intense consequences. You will face a minimum of five to 99 years, or life in prison for this offense. When charged with second-degree rape, you’ll find that you can face one to 15 years behind bars for this offense. In addition to spending time in jail, you will have to register as a Level III sex offender in Oklahoma. This can have immeasurable impacts on your life, as it will prohibit where you can live and work, in addition to damaging your reputation and social relationships.

If facing a rape charge in Oklahoma, it is imperative to connect with a criminal defense attorney. Not only can they help examine the circumstances to determine the best defense for your situation, but they can help you navigate the legal system.

When you’re in trouble, the Jones Firm, LLC, can help. We have experience handling these matters so you can trust that your case is in competent hands, as we will fight tirelessly on your behalf. Contact us today to learn how we can fight for you.