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What Are The Most Common Juvenile Offenses?

Around 1,000 youths are detained in Louisiana's juvenile jails each year, at a daily rate of $424 per incarcerated youth. Some will be sentenced to less than a year in prison, while others will be imprisoned longer and will suffer stiffer serious penalties.

Most Common Juvenile Offenses
Most Common Juvenile Offenses

Societal factors including peer pressure, substance abuse, poor or incomplete education, and neglectful parents play a critical role and may cause a juvenile to commit serious offenses.

As per Youth. Gov's data, approximately 86,900 youth under 21 years of age are detained or confined in spaces such as detention centers, camps, group homes, and ranches.

That is what makes "what are the most common juvenile offenses?" a question worth asking. That being said, let's discuss some offenses that are common among Juveniles.

Offenses That Are Common Among Juveniles

Underage Drinking

Anyone under the age of 21 is prohibited from purchasing or possessing alcoholic beverages under Louisiana law. If you want additional information, read Louisiana Revised Statutes 14:93:11, 14:93:12, and 14:93:13. An underage individual is allowed to be in a venue that sells alcohol if they are accompanied by a parent or spouse who is of drinking age, according to state law. Alternatively, if they work or provide entertainment, an underage person may be present on the premises of such a business.

Louisiana Revised Statute § 14:93.13 provides:

§93.13. The unlawful purchase of alcoholic beverages by persons on behalf of persons under twenty-one

A. "It is unlawful for any person, other than a parent, spouse, or legal guardian, as specified in R.S. 14:93.10(2)(a)(ii), to purchase on behalf of a person under twenty-one years of age any alcoholic beverage.

B.(1) Whoever violates the provisions of this Section shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than thirty days, or both.

(2) In addition to the penalties provided in Paragraph (1) of this Subsection, the driver's license of any person violating the provisions of this Section may be suspended upon conviction, plea of guilty, or nolo contendere for a period of one hundred eighty days. Upon conviction, plea of guilty, or nolo contendere, the court shall surrender the driver's license to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections for suspension in accordance with the provisions of this Section. Upon first conviction, the court may issue an order which authorizes the department to issue a restricted driver's license upon a demonstration to the court that suspension of his driving privileges will deprive him or his family of the necessities of life or prevent him from earning a livelihood. Such restrictions shall be determined by the court."

Data provided by the State of Louisiana show the ages of Juveniles charged with underaged drinking:

Louisiana drinking stats
Louisiana drinking stats

Louisiana State Report: Underage Drinking Prevention and Enforcement 2018


According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Crime in The U.S. Stats 2019, around 10,000 cases of aggravated assault occurred in Louisiana alone. Three cities, in particular, are top of the aggravated assault's list, New Orleans with 2,608 cases, Baton Rouge with 1,299, and Shreveport with 1,000. Juveniles who participated in assaults are subject to Children's Code Article 897.1. Serious offences committed by an individual of 14 years of age or above, such as first and second-degree murder, armed robbery, aggravated rape, and aggravated kidnapping, are all subject to the Children's Code Article 897.1.


A battery occurs when one person harms another without their consent. Although the harm caused by such contact can be severe, it can put a person in the hospital or create a life-long injury. Battery offenders in Louisiana, on the other hand, face harsh consequences:

Louisiana Revised Statute § 14:35 sets out the offense of simple battery, The statute states:

Simple battery is a battery committed without the consent of the victim. Whoever commits a simple battery shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.


According to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Truancy, or unexcused absenteeism from school, has been linked to delinquency in youth. However, to minimize the effects of truancy, The State of Louisiana Compulsory Attendance Law necessitates unexcused absenteeism to 10 days at max. Any student with 11 or more unexcused absenteeism may be retained in their current grade.

To learn more about school attendance laws, please read Chapter 2 of Title VII of the Louisiana Children's Code, available from the Louisiana State Legislature at


Juveniles conduct a variety of crimes, including shoplifting and retail fraud. Shoplifting is the act of taking something from a store without intending to pay for it. Shoplifting or retail fraud can result in restitution, rehabilitation, probation, and other fines, among other things. If the crime is serious, though, jail term may be imposed. For example, if the offender has a criminal record, is nearing the age of 18, and has stolen goods from a store, he or she is likely to face jail time.

Drug Possession

Youth involved in substance abuse stand a higher risk of mental health problems such as personality disorders, depression, conduct problems, and suicide (suicidal thoughts, attempted suicide, and suicide). Among the most popular drugs among youth is Marijuana. Its interference with short-term memory, learning, and psychomotor skills has been demonstrated. As for its legality, the state of Louisiana has recently legalized a smokable form of medical Marijuana.

The state of Louisiana divides Controlled Dangerous Substances into five schedules. Schedule I enlists drugs with a high probability of abuse and addiction, and Marijuana is listed in Schedule I. Other drugs which are mentioned in schedules II, III, IV, and V are low in dangerousness. For further information, please consult La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 40:964.


In 2018, 30,600 Juveniles were arrested for Vandalism. Although 30,600 is a considerable number, the arrest rate for Vandalism in Juveniles has decreased, and it has been decreasing since 2006.

Today, one of the most common offenses among Juveniles is defacing property with Graffiti. Any individual who defaces a property with graffiti without the consent of the owner can be charged $500 if the damage incurred is less than $500. Or, the offender can be imprisoned for not more than six months in the parish jail, or they may face both consequences.

Or, "When the damage amounts to fifty thousand dollars or more, the offender shall be fined not more than ten thousand dollars, or imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not less than one nor more than ten years, or both." - LA Rev Stat § 14:225, B, 3


All of the offenses that Juveniles commonly commit are dangerous, not only for society in general but for their life as well.

Especially, crimes like battery, assaults, vandalism, and drug possession are particularly heinous, and they usually derail individuals from living a healthy and complete life.

Even though the data suggest that the number of Juvenile offenses has declined in the last ten years, as the Office of Justice Programs’ 2019 report suggests, there are still some serious challenges to overcome; as the report highlights, "the relative declines have been greater for males than for females".

Contact Us Today

Gaynell Williams LLC Attorney at Law offers a free initial consultation to discuss your case. The first consultation can be in person, or it can be virtual, on the Internet. Call Gaynell Williams today at (504) 302-2462 for a free consultation as soon as possible. We will work around your schedule. New Orleans lawyers Gaynell Williams LLC Attorney at Law have offices in Gretna and Downtown New Orleans by appointment only.

This information has been provided for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be construed to constitute legal advice. Please consult your attorney in connection with any specific situation under Louisiana law and the applicable state or local laws that may affect your legal rights.

© 2022 Gaynell Williams

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1 Comment

lekor adams
lekor adams
Jul 01

From my experience, the most common juvenile offenses include theft, vandalism, underage drinking, and drug-related charges. These issues often stem from a combination of peer pressure, lack of supervision, and underlying mental health struggles. The Canadian Centre for Addiction highlights the importance of addressing these underlying issues to prevent recurring behavior. Early intervention, counseling, and support systems can make a significant difference in steering youth towards a better path. Understanding the root causes of these offenses and providing the right support can help juveniles make positive changes and avoid a future marred by repeated legal troubles.

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