Indecent Behavior Juvenile Attorney

A charge of indecent behavior with a juvenile under Louisiana law is defined as follows:

  • Any lewd or lascivious act upon the person or in the presence of any child under the age of 17, where there is an age difference of greater than 2 years between the two persons. Lack of knowledge of the child’s age shall not be a defense; or
  • The transmission, delivery or utterance of any textual, visual, written, or oral communication depicting lewd or lascivious conduct, text, words, or images to any person reasonably believed to be under the age of seventeen and reasonably believed to be at least two years younger than the offender.  It shall not be a defense that the person who actually receives the transmission is not under the age of 17. The law only requires that the defendant believed the person to be under the age of 17.

The law defines “textual, visual, written, or oral communication” as any communication of any kind, whether electronic or otherwise, made through the use of the United States mail, any private carrier, personal courier, computer online service, Internet service, local bulletin board service, Internet chat room, electronic mail, online messaging service, or personal delivery or contact.

Generally, this offense is seen when an adult sends a text message or an email that contains nude images to a juvenile or the adult sends an email or text message discussing sexual activities to a juvenile. It is not uncommon for law enforcement officials to set up sting operations by trolling chat rooms and sites like Craigslist in search of potential offenders. The fact that the defendant was not communicating with a juvenile but rather a law enforcement officer working through a cybercrime is not a defense.


Defending Indecent Behavior with a Juvenile in Louisiana

To win a conviction,prosecutors are required to prove that the offender intended to deliver the communication for sexual arousal or gratification. Many critics believe the aggressiveness of law enforcement officers posing as minors raises questions of entrapment. A criminal defense attorney experienced in dealing with sex crimes can assist individuals facing indecent behavior accusations to have charges reduced or dismissed.

Indecent behavior with a juvenile is a felony; conviction comes with a fine of up to $5,000 and/or a prison sentence of up to 7 years. If the victim is less than 13 years old, the prison sentence increases to 2 to 25 years with at least 2 years served without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence. A conviction for this offense also carries mandatory sex offender registration for 15 years.


Contact: New Orleans Criminal Attorney Today

If you or a loved one has been arrested for Indecent Behavior with a Juvenile, an experienced sex crimes defense attorney can assist you. Attorney Elizabeth Bagert Carpenter has represented many individuals who have been charged with this crime. She is ready to help you. Please contact our office today with any questions and to schedule a consultation.