Youthful Offenders in Oklahoma
In 1994, the Youthful Offenders Act was passed in Oklahoma. Under this legislation, juveniles are charged under one of three designations, depending on the specifics of the crime with which they are charged. These designations are:
- Juvenile Delinquent
- Youthful Offenders
- As an Adult
What is a Youthful Offender?
Under the law, a youthful offender is a young person between the ages of 15 and 17 who commits a “serious” crime, such as:
- Armed robbery or attempted armed robbery
- First degree manslaughter
- Second degree murder
- Shooting with intent to kill
- First degree arson or attempted first degree arson
- First degree rape or attempted first degree rape
- Discharging a weapon from a vehicle
- Kidnapping for extortion
Sentencing Youthful Offenders
Convicted youthful offenders are given adult sentences that are likely to be served in the juvenile system until he or she reaches the age of 18. Most youthful offenders will transfer to an adult facility upon turning 18, unless they do not comply with the rules of rehabilitation in the juvenile system, which will result in an earlier transfer.
On the other hand, some youthful offenders may remain in juvenile custody until the age of 20 in order to finish out the rehabilitation offered there.
Defense For Youthful Offenders
Being convicted at the youthful offender level is a very serious matter, and one that will follow a young person on his or her record for a lifetime. Building a solid defense as quickly as possible after being charged is essential.