Juvenile Crime in Oklahoma
Many teenagers take part in pranks and hijinks that, though illegal, do not result in serious damage or injury. In these cases, the defendant is typically charged as a juvenile delinquent.
There are other instances in which minors commit serious crimes, such as murder, rape or robbery. In these situations, the state may prosecute the minor in one of two ways:
- As an adult
- As a youthful offender
Oklahoma’s Youthful Offender Act
Our state’s Youthful Offender Act allows for stiffer punishments of certain crimes but affords more opportunities for reform and rehabilitation than would be given to adults charged with the same offenses. In determining whether the minor qualifies for youthful offender status, the state will consider:
- Whether the alleged crime was committed with premeditation or in a violent, willful or aggressive manner
- Whether the alleged offense was committed against another person, and if so, the extent of personal injury inflicted
- The criminal history of the accused
Charging a Minor as An Adult
Generally, the state will only prosecute a minor as an adult if he or she has been accused of a very serious crime, such as first-degree murder.