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Louisiana Juvenile Sex Crime Attorney
Juvenile Sex Crime Attorney in Shreveport, Bossier City, Monroe, & Ruston, LA
Technology continues to advance rapidly, and lawmakers face the problem of teenagers sharing explicit or nude images with others. This practice is called sexting and under many laws, these communications are considered acts of child pornography. Still, some states know there is a significant difference between adults participating in child pornography and teens who send explicit photos to friends. Louisiana is one of these states that has adopted laws which reflects an understanding of this difference, but teens still face the consequences of participating in such behavior.
What are Juvenile Sex Crimes?
There are varying levels of juvenile sex crime charges in the state of Louisiana. Teens may face state and even federal charges depending on the type of offense allegedly committed. Understanding Louisiana’s sex crime laws and educating your child is the best prevention method to avoid these types of offenses, but this isn’t always successful. If you know a minor child facing criminal sex crime charges, it’s critical to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney as early as possible.
Examples of Juvenile Sex Crimes in Louisiana
Juveniles in Louisiana may face charges for the following sex offenses:
Sexting – Louisiana state law says that people under 17 years of age are prohibited from using a cell phone, computer, or other communication technology to send indecent images of themselves or other minors. It doesn’t matter if the sharing of this illegal material was intentional or not.
Juvenile Pornography – It’s a felony offense in Louisiana to produce, distribute, promote, or possess any pornography that involves juveniles. Reproduction of content on film, images, or other media that depicts people under the age of 17 is a crime.
Indecent Behavior Involving Juveniles – Those who share or deliver images or written communications to anyone younger than 17 with the intent for sexual gratification has committed the crime of indecent behavior with juveniles.
Federal law also criminalizes certain sexual conduct involving minors under the Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to end the Exploitation of Children Today Act of 2003 (PROTECT). This act makes it illegal to distribute, produce, receive, or possess any sexually explicit materials depicting minors engaged in sexual conduct.
Other federal juvenile sex crimes include:
- Causing a minor to participate in sexually explicit conduct or to do so visually. Parents are prosecuted if they allowed it.
- Using a computer to ship, transport, receive, distribute, or reproduce for distribution a depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct, would be considered child pornography.
- Promoting and/or soliciting sexually explicit materials involving minors.
However, the Federal Juvenile Delinquency Act encourages juveniles to be prosecuted by state courts, and not federal, when possible.
What are the Penalties for Juvenile Sex Crimes?
Teenagers face a range of possible penalties if convicted of sexting crimes in Louisiana. The penalties differ significantly depending on the type of crime committed and the age of the people involved, as well as the discretion implemented by the court. Some of the types of penalties a minor can receive from a court for sex crimes includes:
- Community service
- House arrest
- Court-ordered therapy
Additional punishment types are handed down as the court feels appropriate. If convicted of second or third-degree sexting offenses, stiffer penalties like higher fines and jail time are possible.
Louisiana considers an individual a minor if they are younger than 17 years of age. This means a person 17 years or older can receive adult penalties if found guilty of sexting crimes. Being tried as an adult leads to harsher penalties upon a conviction. A first-time offender accused of indecent behavior with a juvenile can receive a prison sentence between five and 20 years along with fines up to $50,000. This is a serious matter that should not be faced alone. Adults and juveniles charged with these types of crimes should have an experienced Louisiana criminal defense attorney by their side when going to court.
Speak With a Louisiana Sex Crimes Lawyer
Juvenile sex crimes are serious crimes with severe punishments in the state of Louisiana. If you or a loved one are charged, call The John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm to determine the best defense strategy for your case. Our legal team is experienced defending criminal cases of this nature and focus on protecting the rights and reputation of our clients.
With so much at stake, don’t settle for a public defender. We have over 24 years of experience practicing criminal law to support your trial case. Contact us today at 318-377-1555 for a free case evaluation and peace of mind in knowing you are adequately represented.