4 Most Common Juvenile Crimes in Louisiana

 In Criminal Law, In the News, Juvenile Defense

In the last three months (Q4) of 2021, over 700 minors were placed in correctional facilities or secure temporary housing in Louisiana. These young people were removed from their homes because they were accused of committing a crime.

Minors are entitled to the same rights under the United States Constitution as adults. They have the right to counsel and to trial, and the attorneys at The Johnson Firm work hard to protect those rights.

If your child was arrested for committing a crime in Louisiana, seek strong legal defense. Keep reading to learn some of the most common juvenile crimes. 

Then, call The Johnson Firm at (337) 427-8961.

1. Drug Possession

Drug abuse has long been an issue among American youth. Children often use drugs because they feel pressured by their friends or classmates, to escape feelings of inadequacy, or deal with symptoms of untreated mental health issues.

Children who engage in these behaviors are more likely to purchase drugs, bring them to school, and sell them to friends, all of which could lead to a drug possession charge.

Louisiana’s juvenile drug arrest rate is higher than the United States average, with 253 of 100,000 minors arrested, compared to the United States average of 234 arrests per 100,000 juveniles.

Unfortunately, underlying mental and emotional issues are often ignored. Instead of providing age-appropriate rehabilitation and mental and emotional support, children who may already suffer from abuse or emotional disorders are put behind bars. This often exacerbates the issue.

2. Shoplifting

Shoplifting is one of the most common juvenile crimes in Louisiana and the United States. According to RecFaces, approximately 25% of all shoplifters are juvenile, and that number keeps increasing. 

Most children rely on their parents for spending money. So, when a particularly costly item or one their parents wouldn’t approve of catches their eye, their “solution” is to just take it.

In most cases, young people aren’t stealing necessities – they’re taking luxury goods. According to RecFaces, 68% of juvenile shoplifters do so for an adrenaline boost, or the “kick” that you get from doing something dangerous.

3. Underage DUI

Louisiana has a strict “zero-tolerance” policy for underage DUI. This policy lowers the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) from .08% for adults to just .02% for minors.

A young person of small stature could easily hit a .02% BAC by drinking just half a beer. Children under 18 who are convicted of a first-time DUI could face up to 10 days in jail as well as fines up to $250. 

If they’re convicted of a second underage DUI, they could face up to six months in jail and a fine of $500.

Underage drinking is both a mistake and a crime, as is driving under the influence as a minor. However, just because a young person made a mistake doesn’t mean their life is ruined. 

An experienced Lake Charles juvenile defense attorney will work hard to have your child’s charges reduced or possibly dismissed. This way, they can focus on rehabilitation and move forward to a brighter future. Call our firm today at (337) 427-8961.

4. Aggravated Assault

In 2019, 27,070 minors aged 0-17 were arrested for aggravated assault in the United States. Aggravated assault is an intentional infliction of pain or harm using a dangerous weapon. It’s important to note that “dangerous weapon” doesn’t just mean gun or knife (“aggravated assault with a firearm” is actually a separate crime). A baseball bat or even a shard of glass could be considered a dangerous weapon.

Louisiana’s juvenile aggravated assault arrest rate is ~110% higher than the United States. It’s a concerning trend that has increased in recent years, especially among children growing up in abusive households, where violence may seem like a viable way to communicate feelings.

Children who are arrested for assault need to learn how to cope with overwhelming emotions. Many times, harsh penalties only make matters worse and lead the child down a long path of crime and more violence.

If your child was arrested for assault in Lake Charles or elsewhere in Louisiana, give The Johnson Firm a call. We’ll work to defend your child and protect their legal rights under the law.

Defense for Minors

Unfortunately, minors who are accused of committing crimes are more susceptible to human rights violations, unlawful arrests, and other injustices simply because of their age. 

Attorneys at The Johnson Firm believe that everyone is entitled to an honest defense under the United States Constitution, regardless of their age.

If your child was arrested for any of the crimes mentioned above, obtain strong legal defense as soon as possible. Our Lake Charles juvenile defense lawyers are here to help. 

Call (337) 433-1414 now.

Adam Johnson
Partner Specialty in Criminal Defense
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