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"I've been practicing law for over 35 years. This gives me the ability to make decisions based on experience and sound reasoning being seasoned in trial combat." 

Juvenile Crime Lawyers Oklahoma

Juvenile crimes are growing in number in Oklahoma and the rest of society as such realities as street gangs and general desperation continue to grow in prevalence. Many may think that most people who encounter issues involving juvenile crimes are those who are impoverished and live in a dysfunctional environment, but the fact is that nothing could be further from the truth. Any juvenile can be charged with a crime, just as any adult can be charged with any crime, and if this is happening to someone you love, you need to take action.

If you or your child or ward is facing an issue involving any juvenile crimes, you need to take immediate action much as you would if you faced a criminal problem yourself. The first step you need to take is to contact Privett Law immediately to schedule an initial consultation. The firm has a wealth of experience in defending clients against juvenile crimes, and you need to assert your rights as soon as possible.

Determining if the Defendant is a Juvenile

The Oklahoma statues lay out extensive provisions as to whether a criminal defendant should be considered a juvenile or an adult in the eyes of the law. Below are a few examples of these provisions:

A. Any person fifteen (15), sixteen (16) or seventeen (17) years of age who is charged with:

  1. Murder in the second degree;
  2. Kidnapping;
  3. Manslaughter in the first degree;
  4. Robbery with a dangerous weapon or attempt thereof;
  5. Robbery with a firearm or attempt thereof;
  6. Rape in the first degree or attempt thereof;
  7. Rape by instrumentation or attempt thereof;
  8. Forcible sodomy;
  9. Lewd molestation;
  10. Arson in the first degree or attempt thereof; or
  11. Any offense in violation of Section 652 of Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes, shall be held accountable for his acts as a youthful offender.

B. Any person sixteen (16) or seventeen (17) years of age who is charged with:

  1. Burglary in the first degree or attempted burglary in the first degree;
  2. Battery or assault and battery on a state employee or contractor while in the custody or supervision of the Office of Juvenile Affairs;
  3. Aggravated assault and battery of a police officer;
  4. Intimidating a witness;
  5. Trafficking in or manufacturing illegal drugs;
  6. Assault or assault and battery with a deadly weapon;
  7. Maiming;
  8. Residential burglary in the second degree after two or more adjudications that are separated in time for delinquency for committing burglary in the first degree or residential burglary in the second degree;
  9. Rape in the second degree; or
  10. Use of a firearm while in commission of a felony, shall be held accountable for his acts as a youthful offender.

What this Means

In general, if given the choice, a young defendant faces a better situation if he or she is to be prosecuted as a youthful offender as opposed to an adult. However, in certain situations, the prosecutor can file a motion to remove jurisdiction from juvenile court and into adult court. Usually, the standard for whether or not this motion is filed is up to the discretion of the prosecutor, and if this has happened to you in relation to any juvenile crimes, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight for your child’s rights to be tried as a youthful offender.

Why Youthful Offender Status is Important

There are two reasons that being tried as a juvenile is much more advisable for a defendant facing any number of juvenile crimes. Each of these is detailed below:

Reason One – Sentence

Generally speaking and depending on the crime involved, a juvenile will likely be sanctioned as a youthful offender, which is a different situation than an adult correctional facility. Many youthful offenders are put through an exercise of rehabilitation instead of simply serving a prison term as an adult would.

Reason Two – Records

Unless a motion is brought before the court, all juvenile records will remain sealed, which means that when the juvenile completes his or her rehabilitation, there will be no public record of the juvenile court proceedings or convictions, which can make all the difference in a person’s future.

Juvenile and Youth Crime Defense Lawyers

Aside from the considerations above, any juvenile has the right to defend his or her position in juvenile court the same as it would occur in adult court. Therefore, if your child or ward is facing any problems with juvenile crimes, you need to assert your Constitutional right to legal counsel. Contact Privett Law immediately to schedule an initial consultation.