Juvenile Defense/Juvenile Delinquency

Juvenile Defense Attorney Lake Charles

When you’re young, you have so much ahead of you. But if you or a loved one has been charged with a juvenile crime for the first time, you might be worried about what it means for the future. No matter the scenario, we can guide you through the entire legal process to get the best outcome possible for your case. 

Our top Lake Charles juvenile defense team has the experience and knowledge to create strong arguments in your defense and question every aspect of your case. We want to fight for justice on your behalf, reducing or eliminating charges whenever possible.

HOW JUVENILE CRIMES WORK IN LOUISIANA

A juvenile crime, in short, is any crime that is committed by a minor. These cases function differently than adult crimes, and they take place in a separate juvenile court.

Juvenile criminal punishment is often less severe than adult criminal punishment. The juvenile justice system strives to rehabilitate the offender. Even though most juvenile crimes are misdemeanor offenses, felonies can happen too. 

Common juvenile crimes include but are not limited to: 

  • Homicide
  • Theft 
  • Burglary 
  • Assault
  • Vandalism
  • Purchase and possession of alcohol or drugs
  • Under the influence of alcohol or drugs

Outcomes for juvenile criminal cases are based on a number of factors, including the severity of the crime, the individual’s past offenses, and more. Punishments for those convicted of a juvenile crime can include everything from juvenile detention time to fines, probation, educational courses, community service, or a combination thereof. 

The Johnson Firm’s goal is to help you utilize alternative punishments to incarceration in a juvenile detention center, such as community service or rehabilitative courses, so you can begin again on a brighter path.

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DEFENDING YOUR FUTURE

To get the best results possible in your case, you need a top juvenile defense team by your side. We take your case personally, aggressively fighting for your rights every step of the way. We help pinpoint flaws in arguments against you and minimize or eliminate penalties as much as possible. 

Don’t navigate your case alone. Juvenile criminal cases are complex, and the severity of the outcome varies greatly. The Johnson Firm wants to help you keep your record clean and feel optimistic about your future.

JUVENILE DEFENSES

At the very first hearing in your case, our criminal defense attorney files numerous motions requesting any and all evidence that the prosecutor intends to use against you in order to strategically employ defenses aimed at achieving the best possible outcome in your case, whether it be a reduction in charge(s) or an outright dismissal. These motions also demand evidence that the State has in its possession which is favorable to the defendant’s case, commonly referred to as exculpatory evidence. Likewise, often times it is necessary for additional motions be filed to demand evidence not initially disclosed that shed light on a sloppy investigation, dishonest police officers, or a failure by the police to preserve evidence and/or follow policy.  To that end, evidence may be suppressed (i.e. ruled inadmissible/thrown out) if it is determined that such evidence was unconstitutionally seized or if the police officer failed to preserve evidence properly as required by law. The following are some juvenile defenses that have been successfully utilized:

  1. No Probable Cause: Many arrests are made without a warrant; however, in order for the arrest to be deemed legal, probable cause must exist to justify the stop and arrest. Additionally, officers must obtain a valid warrant prior to searching and seizing evidence from a person’s property.  If the facts listed in the affidavit supporting the warrant do not constitute probable cause, our criminal defense attorney will file a motion to suppress the evidence seized as a result of the invalid warrant. This can result in your charge(s) being dismissed or drastically reduced.
  2. Violation of Constitutional Rights: Everyone has a constitutional right against self-incrimination; therefore, an officer must advise a person of their rights, including their right to refuse questioning, prior to any interrogation and/or testing. Additionally, when a juvenile is arrested, their parent or legal guardian must be notified of the arrest and their right to be present during questioning. Officers routinely fail to properly honor a suspect’s right to refuse questioning or cutoff questioning. Accordingly, when the officer fails to honor the suspect’s rights, statements made by the subject may be suppressed and the charges dismissed.
  3. Missing Video Footage: Law enforcement agencies have specific policies and procedures in place that mandate officers to record their investigation and interaction with parties involved. Therefore, unit and/or body camera footage should be available from every officer that was on scene assisting with the investigation in order to give an accurate depiction of the events that took place. When material and or exculpatory video is lost, our criminal defense attorney will seek to have the charges dismissed based on a violation of due process.
  4. Warrantless Search/Seizure: Officers must obtain a valid warrant prior to searching and seizing evidence from a person’s property.  If the facts listed in the affidavit supporting the warrant do not constitute probable cause, our criminal defense attorney will file a Motion to Suppress the evidence seized as a result of the invalid warrant. This can result in your charge(s) being dismissed or drastically reduced.
  5. Motion to Dismiss: In some juvenile cases, for good cause shown, the judge can dismiss a juvenile case all together prior to trial. Accordingly, when the evidence in a given case is insufficient or the circumstances simply do not warrant prosecution and/or adjudication, our criminal defense attorney will seek to have the charges dismissed at the outset of the proceedings. 

GET IN TOUCH WITH OUR TEAM NOW

We want to hear about your case and help you take the next steps. The Johnson Firm juvenile defense team will lead you with confidence. Schedule your consultation with our team and begin making plans to move forward.

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We believe every person deserves a fair, honest, and just defense and defend clients charged with the pettiest of offenses to the most serious of crimes.

Our attorneys will thoroughly examine every detail of your case and fight to resolve any discrepancies revealed. We have a passion for the truth and will challenge anyone who attempts to obscure it.