Harboring a fugitive is not an outdated crime that only exists in movies and crime novels. It is a real occurrence and still happens here in Oklahoma. For example, in the 1986 Oklahoma case of Shockley v. State a father refused to allow police to speak with his 15 year old son, who was suspected of murder. He then helped his son attempt to flee by providing him with a vehicle and cash. The father received a seven year prison sentence and the label of felon for aiding his son. While many family members would protect a loved one from the consequences of serious action, it can create a harsh legal backlash.
Oklahoma Prosecutor Must Prove That You:
Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 440A describes what constitutes harboring a fugitive. Before you can be convicted by the prosecutors in Oklahoma they must prove all the elements of the crime. The following is a description of those elements. This includes aiding or concealing a felon, outlaw, or any person attempting to escape punishment. Aiding and equipping can occur in many forms: feeding, clothing, lodging, arming with weapons, and giving resources to the fugitive in order to facilitate escape. Even the act of refusing to allow law enforcement to question a suspected felon can count as harboring a fugitive.
Penalties for Harboring a Fugitive:
In Oklahoma, harboring a fugitive comes with steep penalties. The person who “knowingly” harbors a fugitive is guilty of a felony and faces up to 10 years in prison. Further, the fugitive does not need to have committed the felony in the state of Oklahoma, or even be an adult. Harboring minor fugitives results in the same penalties. This means, even if you believe you are protecting your child, you may be guilty of a felony.
Tulsa Criminal Lawyers Harboring a Fugitive Defenses:
If you are facing charges of harboring a fugitive, call us. A conviction for harboring can subject you to jail time and if convicted a criminal record that can follow you for life. Our attorneys at Tulsa Criminal Lawyers Law Firm understand that precarious situation of protecting loved ones, even if it is from punishment. We can help you establish a case to protect your rights. Call us at 918-416-0358 or fill out this form