The Answer Is Yes and No
Video Transcribed: Is adultery a crime in Oklahoma, I’m an attorney in Tulsa, Oklahoma, James Wirth. That’s the question that comes before us is, is adultery a crime? The answer is yes and no.
Oklahoma statutes from basically the beginning of statehood, the first set of Oklahoma laws passed in 1910, does make adultery a crime. That law has not been amended since. It is still on the books and it does make it illegal for there to be voluntary sexual intercourse when a married person is involved and it’s not with that person’s spouse.
It’s a crime not only for the married person but also for the other person involved, even if that person is not married. It is adultery and it is a felony under Oklahoma law. In fact, it has a potential of up to five years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $500.
However, that’s just the Oklahoma statute that says it’s still a law. Lots of states still have it on the books. Nationwide, approximately 18 states. But there hasn’t really been enforcement of the law mostly anywhere since the 1960s.
Although it’s still on the books, it’s not readily enforced. It’d be hard to find a case where it’s been enforced in recent decades. That’s even more so recently since the United States Supreme Court case of Lawrence v. Texas.
That is where the United States Supreme Court overturned and struck down a Texas sodomy law saying that it violated privacy rights because that was sexual conduct that was essentially consensual, that it was in somebody’s home.
The court said that is consensual contact inside the person’s home. There’s no real victim here. That’s going to violate the right to privacy. They struck down that law.
Although it is still on Oklahoma books, it is not a law that is enforced, and it is a law that is likely to be considered unconstitutional in light of Lawrence v. Texas and similar cases that have been decided since that time.
If you’ve got a question about specific circumstances though, you’re not going to want to take this general advice. You’re going to want to talk to an attorney privately, confidentially about that. To get that scheduled, you can go online to makelaweasy.com.