Juvenile Crimes

The Juvenile Section is responsible for the screening, filing, and prosecution of three kinds of cases involving juveniles:

Delinquency

Delinquency cases involve a child, under the age of seventeen (17), who violates a criminal law. La.Ch.C. art. 801, et seq. If a Petition for Delinquency is filed, the case is allotted to the Juvenile Division and the child will appear before the Honorable Michael D. Clement.

In some instances, the juvenile may qualify for entry into the Juvenile Diversion Program where a Juvenile Diversion Officer will supervise him or her. If the program is completed successfully, the charges are refused or dismissed.

Status Offenses

Status offenses are cases in which a juvenile is truant, runs away, is ungovernable, or in habitual violation of lawful school rules.   La.Ch.C. art. 726, et seq. These cases are prosecuted under the Family In Need of Services (F.I.N.S.) section of the Children’s Code. If adjudicated, the family will be provided services and supervised by a F.I.N.S. Case Manager employed by the court.

In some instances, the family may qualify for entry into the Informal Family In Need of Services program and a referral will be made.

Truancy matters are referred by schools in Plaquemines Parish when a child exceeds five (5) unexcused absences or tardies in a semester. La.R.S. 17:233. These matters are screened by the Assistant District Attorney and referred to the Truancy Hearing Officer who will schedule a conference at school with the parents and child. Following the meeting and the recommendation of the hearing officer, the Assistant District Attorney will screen the case and decide the course of action, which may include, refusal, diversion, or prosecution. In cases of habitual trancy, parents may also be prosecuted for failure to send their children to school pursuant to La.R.S. 17:221.

Children In Need Of Care

These cases involve children that are the victims of neglect or abuse. La.Ch.C. art. 601, et seq. These cases are worked in conjunction with the Department of Children and Family Services (D.C.F.S.). Once a Petition for Child in Need of Care is filed, the case is allotted to the Juvenile Division and the family will appear before the Honorable Michael D. Clement.

Services

The District Attorney’s Office works in partnership with the following agencies to provide services to the children and families of our parish:

Plaquemines C.A.R.E. Center
115 Keating Drive
Belle Chasse, LA 70037
(504) 393-5750
(504) 393-5760 (Fax)
Website: pcccf.org

Department of Children and Family Services
(504) 361-6161

Project L.E.A.D.

Project L.E.A.D. is a project of the Plaquemines Parish District Attorney’s Office. L.E.A.D. means “Legal Enrichment And Decision-making”, and the project is designed to help students recognize and analyze potential consequences of the difficult decisions they face during adolescence and beyond. By using a law-related education model, the students are exposed to the knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes that are necessary to function effectively in a democratic, pluralistic society.

The 12 L.E.A.D. classes taught by assistant district attorneys and other district attorney personnel to give students the intellectual tools needed to recognize the legal and social consequences of drugs and alcohol abuse, violence, bullying, and hate crimes. This law-related course of study focuses on the operation of the criminal justice system, culminating in a full-scale mock trial experience for the students, a tour of the parish prison, and a local government tour where the students meet local elected officials.

Visit the Project L.E.A.D. page by clicking here.

Sexting

The District Attorney’s Office has obtained partial funding through V.O.C.A. Grant Number 2941 to create a Sexting Program to help identify possible victims of sexting and to instruct juveniles on the law pursuant to La.R.S. 14;81.1.1. The presentation is available at Plaquemines Parish School Board’s Safe Schools Night in the Fall semester. It is also being presented to all eighth grade students in Plaquemines Parish schools in the Spring semester.