Okmulgee Lawyer BlogWhat is Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor in Oklahoma?

contributing to the delinquency of a minor in OklahomaContributing to the delinquency of a minor in Oklahoma is a major crime, because we strive to protect our children. They are among the most vulnerable members of society. Not only do we want their safety, but also we want to protect them from psychological trauma.

Children can grow up too soon in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. When they do, it is often to their detriment and to the detriment of society. Drugs, sex, alcohol, and the like should be kept far away from a minor.

What is Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor in Oklahoma?

In Oklahoma, it is against the law to knowingly cause or encourage a child under 18 years of age to engage in certain acts. These acts are the kind that typically cause harm to a child.

For example, you cannot help a child become delinquent or aid that child in running away. You cannot aid or help a child to commit or participate in committing an act that is deemed a felony. You cannot encourage or solicit a child to participate in or join a gang. (Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 856) All of these actions can and do wreak havoc in a child’s life.

The law prohibiting contributing to the delinquency of a minor in Oklahoma is intended to prevent exposing children to illegal activities and behaviors. Some actions are obvious when we think about contributing to the delinquency of a minor in Oklahoma, but some are not so obvious.

For example, serving alcohol to a minor would certainly be prohibited under the statute, but so is keeping your child home from school unnecessarily. Pimping a child out for prostitution is obviously against the law, but so would asking your kid brother to run some dope over to a friend’s house.

Defenses

While aiding a runaway child is a violation of the law, if you aid a runaway child for a compelling reason, the court may dismiss the charge. Compelling reasons include imminent danger from incest, a life-threatening situation, or other equally traumatizing circumstances. Imminent danger to a child’s physical, emotional, or mental health may also suffice.

The statute requires that the actions of the adult must be made knowingly or willingly. If you have a reasonable belief that the child you are giving alcohol to is of legal age, the intent for the crime is absent and there can be no conviction.

Penalties

The penalties for a conviction of contributing to the delinquency of a minor in Oklahoma are as varied as the acts involved. A first offense is a misdemeanor in Okmulgee, and punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

Subsequent violations are treated as felonies that are punishable by up to three years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000. (Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 856)

Additionally, if you encourage or abet a child to commit a felony, you could be punished by the maximum penalty allowed by the law for that felony. If you encourage or solicit a child to join in or participate in illegal gang activities, you could spend up to five years in prison for the first offense and five to 10 years in prison for subsequent offenses.

Free Consultation: Okmulgee Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one needs to speak with an Okmulgee criminal defense attorney about a contributing to the delinquency of a minor in Oklahoma charge, call 918-756-9600 now for a free consultation.

Or, enter your legal question or concern in the form at the top right of this page, and one of our attorneys will promptly return your message.

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