Everyone in Oklahoma should understand some vital details about the age of consent. Without understanding age of consent laws, even consensual relationships can lead to negative long-term consequences.
What is the Age of Consent in Oklahoma?
In the state of Oklahoma, the age of consent is 16 years old. While this might seem like a simple fact, many complexities can arise from this point.
The phrase “age of consent” refers to the age when a person is mature enough to agree to sexual intercourse. The federal and Oklahoma age of consent is currently 16 years old. For many people, it can be challenging to distinguish between federal and state law. In short, the federal age of consent only applies when sexual acts are federal. This involves acts like travel between states or other countries as well as sex acts that occur on federal property.
Each state has its own approach to deciding the age of consent. In Oklahoma, the law considers the age of both parties when determining age of consent. The law recognizes an age difference of two years between people. This means that a person cannot be convicted of rape with anyone over the age of 14 if the older individual was 16 years of age or less. If a person was 18 or older at the time of the offense, however, that person could be convicted of statutory rape.
The Offense of Statutory Rape
Statutory rape is an offense different from forcible rape. The classification of statutory offense involves sexual contact with someone who is below the legal age of consent. Statutory rape laws are in place to prevent adults from having sex with children. Sometimes, however, Oklahoma teenagers are charged with statutory rape. This occurs when a teenager is older than the age of consent but when their partner is below the legal age of consent.
A person need not have forced a minor to have sex to be convicted of statutory rape. When both people agree to have sex but one person is below the age of consent, a statutory rape conviction is possible.
Defense of Mistake of Age
People who are charged with statutory rape often claim that they did not know the age of the other person.
This is a frequent occurrence and one that is best avoided. Under Oklahoma law, a person is unable to raise the defense of mistake of age in response to a charge of statutory rape. Instead, the prosecution for this offense need not establish that a person was aware of the other individual’s age.
All that is needed to convict a person of this offense is proof of the victim’s age and that the defendant had intercourse with the victim.
Contact an Oklahoma Sex Offense Attorney
If you or a loved one faces a statutory rape charge in Oklahoma, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced attorney.
Contact attorney Tracy Tiernan today to schedule a free case evaluation. Attorney Tiernan appreciates the various challenges that can arise from age of consent violations and will remain committed to fighting for the results you deserve.