Being accused of a sex crime in Oklahoma is no joke. I recently read that the United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world and that Oklahoma has the highest incarceration rate in the United States. That means Oklahoma has the highest incarceration rate in the world.
It also means that if you are accused of crime, especially a sex crime, in Oklahoma that the government has no issue putting you away, maybe even until you die. Even if that doesn't happen to you, you could be subject to registration as a sex offender for life with all the restrictions that entails. I've defended many people on for crimes such as:
- Rape in the First Degree
- Rape in the Second Degree
- Forcible Sodomy
- Sexual Abuse of a Child (including Rape, Forcible Sodomy, Lewd Acts, and Indecent Proposal to a Child)
- Failure to Register as a Violent or Sex Offender
- Use of a Computer for Prurient Purposes
As an example, a first degree rape charge in Oklahoma is an extremely serious matter carrying a potential sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Any person facing such a charge has several big problems including a high bail amount and evidentiary rules that limit the cross-examination of the complaining witness. Many cases have the he-said/she-said dynamic built into them and turn on matters such as whether an admitted sexual liaison was in fact consensual.
A second degree rape charge is only somewhat less serious and typically involves what is known as "statutory rape". With this charge consent isn't an issue because the sexual liaison (if admitted or otherwise proved) is illegal regardless of the consent of the "victim" who is under 16 years of age. There are complications that can arise from the defendant and the complaining witness being of similar ages that can work in the Defendant's favor. Also, few District Attorneys are fully immune from arguments regarding the consent of the complaining witness and can sometimes be persuaded to substitute a different charge such as outraging public decency. The advantage of such a substitution is that the defendant can then avoid being a registered sex offender which carries a heavy reporting requirement along with other restrictions that make life difficult for most people.
Sex crimes against children are the most difficult of all cases to defend in this area of sex crimes. In addition to the usual restrictions on the cross examination of victims you have to deal with forensic interviews and other testimony that you will never really have an opportunity to address accept with the testimony of expert witnesses who can evaluate the credibility of such interviews for the jury. The fact that the evidence is often very old is a two-edged sword because often neither the State nor the Defendant can produce any physical evidence of the alleged crime. Such cases take on a he-said/she-said character leading to inconsistent verdicts and confusion for all involved regarding the likely outcome of the case.
If you have been charged with a sex offense you have a truly serious problem. Call now for a free consultation.