Providing criminal defense services for juveniles and parents throughout Oklahoma

The juvenile justice system is different than the adult justice system. Therefore it is important to have a criminal defense attorney that is familiar with how the juvenile justice system operates. I am committed to helping juveniles and their families resolve criminal charges in juvenile court.

The Juvenile Justice System

Juvenile courts operate differently than adult courts. Penalties generally aim at rehabilitation rather than punishment and cases are decided by judges, not juries. Additionally, records of juvenile offenses are, in most cases, sealed and do not follow people around the rest of their lives. However, a disturbing trend has occurred in the last few years. More and more children charged with serious felonies are having their cases moved out of the juvenile justice system.

My goal is to work aggressively to keep juvenile defendants in the juvenile justice system, where the focus is on rehabilitation. We are not naïve. We understand that juveniles commit serious crimes such as sex offenses, drug crimes, and other violent crimes. However, we know that children who are put into the system designed for adult often remain in the system for much of their lives. I believe that children deserve the opportunity to live productive lives.

Defending Juvenile Clients

While in many ways the juvenile justice system is different than that of adults, children still have the right to a quality defense. I work diligently to provide children and families with the best legal advice available. In addition, I represent my juvenile clients at detention hearings, trials, and probation violation hearings. I strive to get my clients a minimum sentence, deferred prosecution or involved in alternative rehabilitation programs.

Juvenile Crime Q & A

Below are common questions that are asked by my clients.

What is a juvenile crime?
Juvenile Crimes fall under the umbrella of a criminal law practice. Juvenile crime is applicable to persons not old enough to be held responsible for criminal acts. In Oklahoma, the age for criminal culpability is set at 18 years. I am an experienced criminal defense attorney who is familiar with Oklahoma’s juvenile code. I understand that the main goal of the juvenile justice system is to rehabilitate our youth rather than punish them.

Can an underage person be charged with a crime and sentenced as an adult?
If the juvenile court waives or relinquishes their jurisdiction, a person under the age of 18 charged with a crime can be transferred into an adult court where the juvenile can be charged and sentenced as an adult.

Are Juvenile Crimes State or Federal Jurisdiction?
The federal role in the field has largely been that of funder and standard setter for juvenile crimes and juvenile delinquency in Oklahoma. Congress passed the Juvenile Delinquency Prevention and Control Act in 1968. This was later revised in 1972, and renamed the Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Act. The stated purpose of the act is to assist states and local communities in providing community based preventative services to youths in danger of becoming delinquent, to help train individuals in occupations providing such services, and to provide technical assistance in the field.

What is the definition of Juvenile Delinquency?
The Federal Juvenile Delinquency Act defines juvenile delinquency (any act that is otherwise a crime, but is committed by someone under 18 years of age) and sets forth rules by which state laws must comply with regard to juvenile court procedures and punishments.