In Oklahoma, there are juvenile crimes for those under age 18. See Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes. For some crimes, the law treats the accused (the person charged) as a “youthful offender” who can be prosecuted in adult or juvenile court depending on the circumstances.
“Child” or “juvenile” means any person under eighteen (18) years of age, except for any person charged and convicted for any offense specified in the Youthful Offender Act or against whom judgment and sentence has been deferred for such offense, or any person who is certified as an adult pursuant to any certification procedure authorized in the Oklahoma Juvenile Code for any offense which results in a conviction or against whom judgment and sentence has been deferred for such offense. See 10A Okla. Stat. § 2-1-203.
“Youthful offender” means a person:
a. thirteen (13) or fourteen (14) years of age who is charged with murder in the first degree and certified as a youthful offender as provided by 10A Okla. Stat. § 2-5-205,
b. fifteen (15), sixteen (16), or seventeen (17) years of age and charged with a crime listed in by 10A Okla. Stat. § 2-5-206(A), which includes: 1. Murder in the second degree; 2. Kidnapping;
3. Manslaughter in the first degree; 4. Robbery with a dangerous weapon or a firearm or attempt thereof; 5. Robbery in the first degree 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,and
c. sixteen (16) or seventeen (17) years of age and charged with a crime listed in 10A Okla. Stat. § 2-5-206(B), which also includes 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.
For certain crimes (generally violent or serious crimes), the burden is on the accused to show that he or she should be certified as a child. Otherwise, the child will be treated as an adult, charged in adult court and face adult consequences (including serving time in an adult prison).
The lawyers at the Wyatt Law Office can help clients in both the juvenile and youthful offender categories. Our goal is to keep the case in juvenile court where possible. That gives the client the opportunity to keep the matter out of the public view and also offers options that might avoid custody or a “conviction.” Custody may be required even in a juvenile setting at a group home, an independent living center, an institution, or a juvenile detention center. There are still benefits to keeping a matter in the juvenile system regardless of custodial options.
Call the Wyatt Law Office at 405.234.5500 to reach your Oklahoma Juvenile (Juvy) and Youthful Offender Lawyers and Attorneys. Your future is our business.
We have assisted some clients charged with serious crimes such as rape or rape by instrumentation or threatening harm to others in courts across the state. In most cases, we were able to negotiate with the District Attorney for non-custodial treatment plans in lieu of incarceration or custody. In other cases over the objection of the D.A., we were still able to convince the court to direct a treatment plan in lieu of custody. Because these types of cases are confidential by nature, we cannot disclose specific details.