Understanding the Difference Between Second-Degree and First-Degree Rape

Rape in the first degree includes various situations, such as assaulting a person under 14 years old, assaulting someone who cannot give consent due to mental illness, or assaulting an unconscious person. It also covers cases where force, threats, or drugging are used to compel the victim, in addition to rape by instrumentation causing bodily harm.

Date rape is the most common type of first-degree rape case we see in our firm. Typically, we see a young man, somewhere between the ages of 17 and 25, who has been accused of date rape after attending a party where everyone was drinking heavily. Sometimes, other drugs were also present. He believed the sex was consensual and is genuinely surprised to find himself charged with such a serious offense.

Second-degree rape is simply rape that does not meet the specific criteria outlined for a first-degree rape charge. One example of a case that would likely be charged as second-degree rape is a consensual sexual activity where one person later withdraws their consent, and the other person continues against their will. Another common example would be a statutory rape chase where an 18- to 20-year-old is being charged for a relationship with a 15- or 16-year-old.

It is important to understand the nuances of these charges is crucial, and the relevant Oklahoma Statutes Title 21. Crimes and Punishments. §21-1114 covers rape in the first and second degree, providing legal guidance and framework for these offenses.

3 Key Steps to Take if You’re Facing a Second-Degree Rape Charge in Oklahoma

I understand that the situation seems bleak, but help is available. Just remember these three key steps.

1. Get an Attorney

There’s no way around the fact that you need an experienced criminal defense attorney with a history of success in sexual assault cases. At Berlin Defense, we’re known for our focus on sex crimes charges and cases that involve elements of coercive control in intimate partner relationships. When you choose me as your attorney, you’ll have an advocate who will fight to provide the best possible outcome for your case while allowing you to share your side of the story.

2. Learn About the Legal Process

Request a copy of our free guide, Fighting the Guilt Machine, to learn how sex crimes are prosecuted in Oklahoma. This informative resource was created to help our clients understand what they’re up against.

3. Keep Quiet

Keep the details of the case private and refrain from discussing it with anyone other than your attorney. Confidentiality is crucial to safeguarding your case and avoiding potential complications. Stay off social media, don’t attempt to contact the victim, and never talk to the police without your attorney present.

Lee Berlin
Dedicated to defending clients accused of domestic violence, sex & violent crimes throughout eastern Oklahoma.