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Protecting Our Teenagers: Raise the Age Law (SB 432)

Posted on Jun 9, 2016 in Courts, Criminal Defense, Domestic Violence, Drugs, Juvenile Justice, Legislation, Local Issues, Speeding Tickets, Traffic

Imagine being a 17-year old convicted of a crime in Louisiana and sentenced to jail time. Perhaps this is your first offense, or maybe you’ve been involved is some petty crimes that have not resulted in any jail time. What can you expect? What protections do you have? Right now: none. You will be tried in as an adult in the adult courts and receive an adult sentence if you are found guilty of a crime.   Currently, this is the experience of defendants in Louisiana as young as 17. They are tried in adult courts and receive adult sentences if found guilty of a crime.   As juvenile justice continues to grow as a hot button issue, the State of Louisiana is moving to fall in line with most other states whose minimum age for adult prosecution is 18. The bill has passed through the state House and Senate and is currently awaiting a signature from Governor John Bel Edwards.   The bill was pitched as a way to protect the youth of Louisiana. By keeping young people in the juvenile justice system longer, they are less likely to be exposed to physical and sexual harm. Research shows that they are more likely to become active members of the workforce upon release, and statistically, the juvenile justice system has a lower rate of repeat offenders than the system imposed on adult offenders.   If enacted, the bill, SB 432, will have a huge impact on the lives of young people in Louisiana and could lead to reducing senseless crime across the state.   If you are the parent of a teenager, we encourage you to send an email to Governor John Bel Edwards and ask him to sign this bill into law. Here’s the link to the Governor’s online email form: http://gov.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/form/home/4   This simple change in the law will have a profound impact on the lives of young citizens. Whether you are the parent of a teenager, or a teenager yourself we here at Bloom Legal are always available to answer questions about how the law impacts you and your family! Call us at 504-599-9997 or use our online resource for your consultation.

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