The age of consent and statutory rape in Oklahoma are closely related and used as a criminal defense in sexually based crimes. As it is not the law’s place to judge whether individual young people are emotionally and physically mature enough for sex, bright line age restrictions govern the legality of whether any given teenager is lawfully permitted to engage in sexual relations or not. Its sometimes even more important for sexually active young people to understand that the age of consent can impact a statutory rape crimes. Each state has specific regulations that outline the so-called “age of consent and statutory rape” within that state’s borders. As a result, it may be lawful for a 16-year-old to have sex in some states but not in others.
If you are either a teen or the parent of a teenager, it is important to understand both Oklahoma’s age of consent and some of the exceptions made regarding this age restriction. Knowledge is power when it comes to one’s rights and options under the law. Read on to become more informed and empowered about this critical, sensitive subject.
Oklahoma’s Age Of Consent
According to Oklahoma law, if an individual has penetrating sex with someone under the age of 16, the minor in question is legally considered a victim of rape. This classification of minors aged 15 and younger as rape victims place Oklahoma’s age of consent at 16. If a teenager has reached the age of 16, they can lawfully consent to sexual relations with someone aged 16 or older.
Note that age is not the only legal “test” that one is subject to when consenting to sexual relations. For example, if someone is either temporarily or permanently of unsound mind, they cannot consent to sexual relations under state law. It is, therefore, a good idea to speak with an attorney about the boundaries of Oklahoma’s consent laws before engaging in sexual relations. This idea may sound strange, but as sexual relations are governed by state law, it is good to understand your rights, obligations, and options before taking this step that could result in severe legal consequences if approached in certain ways.
The “Romeo And Juliet” Exception
It is not surprising that many young teens, who are subjected to waves of intense hormones regularly, do not wait until they are 16 before engaging in intercourse. When young teens engage in sexual relations with adults aged 19 or older, the statutory rape provision of Oklahoma law—discussed above—applies. However, there is a so-called “Romeo and Juliet” exception to Oklahoma’s rape laws. Essentially, this legal exception insulates teens aged 16-18 from prosecution for rape, provided that their sexual partner is aged 14 or 15.
The Romeo and Juliet exception maintains that teens cannot lawfully consent to sexual relations until they are 16 or older. However, this exception allows for the reality that teen love and lust do not always adhere to strict age requirements. Therefore, if a teen is at least 14 and their partner is no older than 18, the older teen cannot be convicted of rape if they engage in consensual sexual relations.
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Statutory Rape Attorneys Near You
If you have questions or concerns about Oklahoma state law concerning sexual relations or the state’s age of consent and statutory rape charges, don’t hesitate to connect our office. All too often, Oklahomans wait until they are in deep legal trouble to call an attorney. In reality, lawyers often serve as excellent advisors who can help to ensure that some troubling circumstances never evolve into legal challenges. Schedule a private and confidential consultation with our dedicated legal team instead of waiting and wondering what your rights and options are under the law. Our firm’s attorneys have decades of combined experience representing the interests of Oklahomans just like you. To learn more about our approach to legal representation, reach out to Kania Law Office by calling (918) 743-2233 or contacting us online. We look forward to speaking with you.
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