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Oklahoma Rape Defense Lawyer: First Degree Rape

At its briefest definition, rape is non-consensual sex. Under Oklahoma law, however, not all rape is created equal. The state divides rape into three classifications: Rape in the First Degree, Rape in the Second Degree, and Rape by Instrumentation.

Second degree is more commonly known as statutory rape. In general, this type of rape offense involves sexual intercourse that is legally nonconsensual, even though the “victim” may have willingly expressed consent to sex. Despite this apparent consent, however, the subject is legally unable to provide consent due to age, custodial status, or other condition defined by statute. Read more about second degree rape here.

First degree rape is the offense most people think of when they hear the word “rape.” It is nonconsensual sexual penetration that is typically committed through threat or force. Not all acts of first degree rape are violent, however. In some cases, rape in the first degree occurs when a person is incapacitated in some manner.

Oklahoma defines Rape in the First Degree in 21 O.S. § 1114. State law lists seven specific acts which constitute first degree rape:

  • Child rape, or rape of a child aged 13 or younger by a person aged 18 or older
  • Rape of a person who cannot provide legal consent to sexual intercourse due to “mental illness or unsoundness of mind”
  • Rape accomplished through the administration of narcotics or anesthetics as a means of forcing the victim to submit to the act
  • Rape of a person who is “unconscious of the nature of the act” when the perpetrator knows his or her victim is unaware of what is happening
  • Forcible rape, or rape accomplished through force, violence, or the threat of force or violence accompanied by the apparent power to make good on the threat
  • Rape by instrumentation resulting in great bodily harm to the victim
  • Rape by instrumentation of a person aged 13 or younger

By statute, first degree rape is punishable by death, although the United States Supreme Court has ruled that the death penalty is unconstitutional except for capital murder. In practice, first degree rape carries a minimum sentence of five years in prison, and it is punishable by a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole.

As a violent sex offense, rape is one of Oklahoma’s “85 Percent Crimes.” This means that anyone convicted of first degree rape must serve at least 85 percent of his or her sentence before becoming eligible for parole. For purposes of parole, a life sentence is calculated at 45 years, so a person sentenced to life in prison for first degree rape would serve more than 38 years before parole eligibility. 

Furthermore, Rape in the First Degree is a Level III Sex Offense. Anyone convicted must register as an Oklahoma Sex Offender for life, providing address verification every 90 days. The registered sex offender’s address, crime, and other personal information is made publicly available on the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry.

First Degree Rape by Instrumentation

Nonconsensual sexual penetration which is not sexual intercourse is considered rape by instrumentation. Rape by instrumentation includes any act of vaginal or anal penetration by a foreign object or body part which does not equal coitus.

Rape by instrumentation is prosecuted as first degree rape if the victim is under the age of 14 or if the act results in serious bodily injury. It is prosecuted as second degree rape if the victim is statutorily unable to provide legal consent.

Effective Rape Defense Representation

A rape accusation has immediate personal and legal repercussions for the person accused of the crime. Being called a rapist can cause you to lose your family, your friends, and your freedoms. Whether you are arrested based on a false accusation hurled through revenge, regret, or misunderstanding, or whether you are charged after an impulsive mistake, Coventon Criminal Defense offers sound legal counsel and thorough defense representation to preserve your rights and protect you against unnecessary consequences.

To find out how we can help or to schedule a confidential, no-risk consultation with an experienced defense lawyer, call (405) 417-3842.

The National Trial Lawyers

  • Oklahoma Association for Justice
  • Oklahoma Bar Association
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

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