Indecent Behavior with a Juvenile

April 21th, 2023

Indecent Behavior With a Juvenile

Most people seem to have different views of what constitutes Indecent Behavior with a Juvenile. However, Louisiana law is specific with the legal definition. 


What is Indecent Behavior with a Juvenile

Louisiana law defines indecent behavior with a juvenile as:

* Any lewd or lascivious act upon the person or in the presence of any child under 17, where the age difference is greater than two years between them, with the intent of arousing or gratifying a sexual desire;

* The sending of any communications depicting owed or lascivious conduct to any person under the age of 17, where the age difference is greater than two years between them, with the intent to arouse or gratify a sexual desire.


Is it possible to defend an indecent behavior with a juvenile charge

Absolutely. While the penalties are severe, if you face indecent behavior with a juvenile charge in Louisiana, that does not mean defenses are not available. The stigmatism associated with the charge and potential registration requirements requires the best defense possible.

Defending a charge of this nature is complex. The statute goes into great detail to outline definitions for each portion of the law, including how the sending of any communication can occur and what constitutes texting, visual, written, or oral communication for purposes of sending. Unfortunately, what the statute does not define is lewd or lascivious. We argue the definition in court before a jury. In more than one instance, I have heard a prosecutor say you will know it when you see it. 

The defense presented is case-specific. There is often a situation where it just didn’t happen, like child custody battles where a charge is used as leverage or where a child misunderstood what happened or exaggerated a situation for whatever reason. Details matter. It is essential to know the details to ferret out what actually occurred. 


Penalties for Indecent Behavior with a Juvenile

The penalties alter depending on the age of the victim. The sentencing range is up to seven years of hard labor and up to a $5,000 fine. If the child is under 13, the sentencing range is two to twenty-five years of hard labor, and the initial two years are without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence. Additionally, a conviction requires registration as a sex offender.

Laws and interpretations are continually changing. The above references laws in effect as of 2023, according to LSA R.S. 14:81. As rulings come down from different courts and jurisdictions, these rules are apt to change. 

If you or someone you know has a question about indecent behavior with a juvenile charge or any other sex crime and wants to discuss the process, do not hesitate to contact the law office of Larrion L. Hillman at 318-549-9810. This blog is not intended as legal advice, nor does it form an attorney-client relationship. Larrion Hillman practices criminal defense in Caddo Parish, Webster Parish, Bossier Parish, Shreveport, and Bossier City, Louisiana. And remember, keep calm and let Hillman handle it.


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