Most kids get into some kind of trouble during their younger years. Sometimes that trouble involves legal trouble. If you were once adjudicated as a delinquent minor, being caught with a firearm could get you into more trouble than you might expect.
When minors get into trouble with the law, the courts can deal with the minor in several ways. A minor can be charged and adjudicated as a youthful offender, as a delinquent, or as an adult.
Each method has its own ramifications. Being charged as a youthful offender or delinquent usually means that the matter is relatively minor. And although court records are sealed for minors, those records can be used in ways that may surprise you if the minor gets into trouble again later, especially if a firearm is involved.
Adjudicated Delinquents And a Firearm
Oklahoma law looks at the level and severity of the crime committed by a minor in determining both the disposition of the original case and the impact of that crime later in the minor’s life. Disposition of a case refers to the sentence. With minors, courts usually focus on rehabilitation rather than punishment.
If the matter for which the juvenile was charged would have been a felony if committed by an adult, then the possession of a firearm by that juvenile within 10 years of the original adjudication, is unlawful. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1283. That person is called an “adjudicated juvenile.”
An adjudicated juvenile cannot have any pistol, imitation or homemade pistol, altered air or toy pistol, machine gun, sawed-off shotgun or rifle, or any other dangerous or deadly firearm within his or her possession, custody, or control, or within a vehicle the person is riding in, or within that person’s home. In these circumstances, a person is prohibited from possessing a firearm. Even altered toy and air pistols are prohibited.
Because it is illegal for the adjudicated delinquent to have a firearm anywhere within his or her immediate possession, custody or control, there are situations that he or she must be careful of.
The key words to understand are “possession, custody, or control.” This term is broad and can apply to a number of situations that are sometimes surprising. If a friend of yours brings any of the firearms mentioned above into your home, you could be convicted of possession of a firearm as an adjudicated delinquent. That is true, even if you do not know that your friend has brought the weapon into your home. That is because you are deemed to be in possession, to have custody and to have control over the things that are in your home.
The same is true in a vehicle. If you are riding with your friends in a car and one of them is carrying a gun, you may end up in trouble even if you did not know that your friend had the gun. That is because the statute specifically prohibits you from being in any vehicle in which a firearm is located.
Penalties for a firearm
In Oklahoma, the penalty escalates with each conviction of this crime. A first conviction for illegal possession of a firearm will subject you to a fine of between $100 and $250. A second or subsequent conviction will subject you to a fine from $250 to $500, and jail time from 30 days to six months. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1276.
Any conviction that threatens your freedom should be taken seriously. If you are being charged or are under investigation for this crime, it is important that you hire an experienced Wagoner criminal defense attorney to help protect your freedom. Your Wagoner attorney knows not only the law, but also the courts and judges you will face.
Call For Your Free Consultation With An Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
Call us today for a free consultation with an experienced Wagoner criminal defense attorney. Call the Wirth Law Office-Wagoner at (918) 485-0335, or toll-free at (888) Wirth-Law. Or as always, you may enter a legal question in the form at the top of this page and one of our attorneys will get right back to you.