The most commonly perceived violent crimes include assault and battery, forcible rape, and homicide. However, there are many other crimes that unlawfully use violence, threats, or intimidation in order to further one's own interests or as the means to an end. These crimes are often based solely on threatened or perceived harm and do not actually physically injure anyone.
Any violent crime is punishable by significant prison sentences, whether or not the attempt to commit such a crime reached fruition or whether or not anyone was injured as a result.
If you are accused of any of the following offenses, it is imperative that you obtain the legal counsel and representation of an experienced defense lawyer. Your attorney can help you fight the criminal charge or charges against you and can ensure that your constitutional rights are upheld throughout the justice process.
Stalking and Harassment Law in Oklahoma
Harassment or intimidation of another person is prohibited by law, especially when such communication is threatening or obscene. Even "prank phone calls" are expressly forbidden if they are lewd, sexually explicit, threatening, or intimidating.
State law prohibits such harassment under 21 O.S. § 1172. Obscenity, Threats, or Harassment by Telephone or Other Electronic Communication is a misdemeanor on the first offense and a felony upon a second or subsequent conviction. This statute forbids using phone, email, mobile technology, internet, or any other electronic device to:
- Make a comment or proposal that is "obscene, lewd, lascivious, indecent or filthy"
- Make communication that is intended to "terrify, intimidate or harass, or threaten to inflict injury or physical harm" to a person or his or her property
- Make communication that puts the recipient in fear of physical harm or death
- Make anonymous threatening, intimidating, annoying, harassing, or abusive comments
It is further prohibited to allow an electronic device that one owns to be used for such a purpose or to conspire with others to harass another by means of telecommunication or electronic communication.
Harassment occurs not only through electronic communication, but also by physical presence and other means. While people typically think of "stalking" as following a person or watching his or her moves, it can actually take a number of forms under 21 O.S. § 1173. It is defined by state law as the willful, malicious and repeated following or harassing of another person in such a way that would cause a reasonable person to feel fearful for his or her own safety or that of his or her family.
Unconsented contact that may warrant a criminal charge includes not only physical or verbal contact with the victim, but any act in disregard of a victim's expressed desire to be avoided or discontinued:
- following or appearing within the sight of that individual,
- approaching or confronting that individual in a public place or on private property,
- appearing at the workplace or residence of that individual,
- entering onto or remaining on property owned, leased, or occupied by that individual,
- contacting that individual by telephone,
- sending mail or electronic communications to that individual, and
- placing an object on, or delivering an object to, property owned, leased, or occupied by that individual
If the willful harassment or following causes a reasonable victim "to feel frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested," the stalker is guilty of a misdemeanor on the first offense. Subsequent offenses and violation of Victim Protective Orders (VPO) are felonies.
Kidnapping (21 O.S. § 741) involves unlawfully taking a person with the intent to confine or hold captive the victim, send or carry the victim out of state against his or her will, sell the person as a slave, or force the person into servitude. People generally think of an abduction as a forcible seizure of the victim, but it can also involve trickery to entice a victim to go with the kidnapper. Consent of the victim is not a defense unless the victim is over the age of 12 and such consent was not extorted by threat or given under duress.
Kidnapping is punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison; however, other offenses are often charged in conjunction, including rape (https://www.oklahoma-criminal-defense.com/rape) or human trafficking (read more here). If the crime was committed for ransom or extortion, it is punishable by a minimum of 10 years in prison.
Stalking, Kidnapping, & Harrasment Defense in Oklahoma
If you are charged with any of these crimes or if you are subject to a VPO as a result of a stalking or harassment allegation, consult an attorney to determine how to best handle your case. Call Phillips & Associates at (405) 418-8888 or submit our online case review form for a confidential case analysis.
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