Juvenile focuses on different types of cases that involve children under the age of 18 (minors). Juvenile Deprived matters involve cases related to the abuse and/or neglect of a minor, while Juvenile Delinquency matters involve violations of criminal laws by a minor. Other matters include juvenile involuntary commitment for mental health and substance abuse inpatient treatment; Children in Need of Supervision; issues of status of offenders regarding truancy, runaways, inability of parents to discipline at home; and medical treatment emergencies for children when parents are unable or will not consent to necessary medical treatment to save a child’s life.
- In the Juvenile Delinquent Court, our attorneys represent young people charged with a crime that falls outside the jurisdiction of the adult courts.
- Juvenile deprived proceedings concern minor children who are alleged to have been abused or neglected. Our attorney represent those children.
Our Juvenile Division is located at 315 South Gilcrease Museum Road, Tulsa, OK 74127; we can be reached at 918-5968465
Frequently Asked Questions for the Juvenile Division
An attorney has been appointed to represent my child. Why did this happen?
When a child is the subject of deprived or delinquent proceedings, the child is entitled to his or her own attorney. The Juvenile Division of the Tulsa County Public Defender’s Office is appointed to represent children in the same way that our attorneys represent adult clients.
Why won’t my child’s attorney let me be present when the attorney talks to my child?
When we represent a child in these proceedings, we do not have any attorney-client relationship with that child’s parents. This means we ethically cannot have parents present when we have confidential communications with our client. We will not release information from our files to a parent. We cannot tell a parent what a child has told us in confidence.
I don’t think my child’s attorney is asking for things in court that are in my child’s best interests.
It’s frustrating and unusual for a parent not to consulted in matters involving their children. But the law requires us in both delinquent and deprived proceeding that we will serve the expressed interests of that child (what the child says the child wants) unless this is not possible under very narrow circumstances.
In a deprived case, if a child is preverbal or otherwise unable to communicate with his or her attorney in a meaningful way, we are tasked with formulating and presenting an opinion which serves the best interests of our client. Otherwise our attorneys are legally and ethically obligated to pursue the results our clients request.
In delinquent cases, we are legally and ethically obliged to advise and advocate the expressed wishes of the child as much as reasonably possible under the same ethical obligation as an adult client.
In both types of cases, this often means that we will take a position in court that is not what a parent wants. But the child is our client, and we cannot perform our duties to our clients any other way.