How the Law Changes Once You Turn 18

May 18, 2015

When You Turn 18, it’s Not All, “Freedom, man!”

Maybe you’re still in high school, or maybe you’re out.  You think that the day you turn 18 represents, “Freedom, man!”  Well, yes, by turning 18, you have certain rights that you did not have when you were a minor.  However, what you really need to learn about are the ways that you are now legally responsible for yourself.  No longer are your parents legally responsible for you!

Paralegal Laws

It’s not all roses and puppy dog tails!  Here are a couple of activities that will continue to be prohibited if you are 18 and live in Oklahoma.  You still cannot legally consume alcohol until age 21, and you do not qualify to rent a car until age 25.

Still, at 18 you can marry without your parent’s permission; join the military; register to vote and vote; apply for and obtain credit; enter into contracts, including residential leases; get medical treatment; and arrange to donate your organs upon your death and before that if they’re non-essential organs.

It can seem like you have less freedom, though, because of the following new realities.  You can now be personally sued, you have to serve on a jury if selected, and you can be tried as an adult and have to go to the “big house,” rather than “juvy,” if you are convicted of a crime where the punishment is jail time.

There’s a great resource out there, created by the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Law Related Education Committee, and an app associated with it called, “You’re 18 Now” letting you know how the laws are different for adults and minors.

Please pass this information along to anyone who you think could use it.