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The crime of rape, or nonconsensual sexual intercourse, is divided by Oklahoma law into two categories: rape in the first degree and rape in the second degree. Second degree rape, also known as statutory rape, is the lesser offense, but still a serious criminal charge.
First degree rape is considered a violent sex offense. It is often committed by force or threat of violence; however, it can also be committed through incapacitating a victim or taking advantage of a victim's mental illness in order to achieve the act.
In 21 O.S. 1111, state law defines rape using nine specific acts of nonconsensual sexual intercourse, including those in which a victim appears to give consent, but is legally unable to do so. A few sections later, in 21 O.S. 1114, the offense of Rape in the First Degree is articulated through a list of seven acts of rape:
Oklahoma law still lists first degree rape as a capital offense; however, the death penalty for non-homicide crimes was ruled unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court in 2005. Rather, first degree rape is punishable by a minimum of five years in prison and a maximum of life without parole. Considered an egregious sexual offense, it is subject to Oklahoma's "Eighty Five Percent Rule," which means that anyone convicted of the crime must serve at least 85 percent of his or her sentence before becoming eligible for parole.
If convicted of first degree rape, a defendant will be designated a Level 3 sex offender, the category designated for violent offenders and those considered to be at highest risk of reoffending. He or she must register as a sex offender for life and verify his or her address with local law enforcement every three months.
Rape is a serious criminal allegation. If you are accused of rape, suspected of rape, or questioned about your sexual activity, do not talk to police or anyone else without the advice and presence of a qualified attorney.
Rape by instrumentation is a subcategory of rape that includes vaginal or anal penetration by an object or body part, but which does not amount to sexual intercourse. For instance, foreign objects, sex toys, or fingers could all be considered "instruments" when used for sexual penetration.
This type of carnal knowledge is considered to be rape by instrumentation when a victim does not consent to the act, whether or not the non-consenting party is married to the perpetrator. If a person agrees to the act, but is under the age of 16, a student committing the act with a school district employee, or a person in the custody or supervision of a government agency, his or her consent cannot be legally granted, and the act is therefore considered rape.
Rape by instrumentation is only considered first degree rape if it is committed upon a minor under the age of 14 or if it results in serious bodily injury. In all other circumstances, it is second degree rape.
If you are charged with rape, there may be a number of mitigating circumstances that can aid in your defense. False accusations, mistaken identity, and lack of evidence can bring a dismissal of charges or an acquittal at trial.
However, this evidence to support your defense may never be brought to light without qualified legal counsel. Your rights, your freedom, and your future are in jeopardy. Do not delay in getting an assertive rape defense lawyer to handle your case. Call now to see how we can help.