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Video showed Louisiana mom buying alcohol before son's party

Baton Rouge juveniles aren't convicted of crimes unless they're tried and found guilty in adult courts. Minor wrongdoing is called delinquency, but under Louisiana statute 14:92, parents or other adults who encourage or permit a minor's delinquent act may face criminal charges. A conviction can mean long-term consequences.

A Gonzales mother and her 15-year-old son were arrested recently in Ascension Parish. The 33-year-old woman was home while her son was throwing a party, attended by other teens. Neighbors called authorities to report teens at the residence were drinking alcohol and using drugs.

Sheriff's deputies said juveniles were standing in and outside the home when they arrived. Police said the house was hazy with smoke that smelled like marijuana. A small amount of the drug, a few pipes and cans of alcohol were discovered.

The son confessed the drugs and pipes were his. The teen was subsequently charged with separate counts of possession of paraphernalia and marijuana. None of the other teens was charged, although police informed the remaining minors' parents about the party.

No one at the house, including the teen's mother, admitted to buying alcohol for the house party. Investigators said they later obtained a video taken at a store where the woman purchased alcohol. The mother, who claimed she arrived home just before police appeared, was charged with more than a dozen counts of contributing to the delinquency of juveniles.

Louisiana's contributing to the delinquency of juveniles law applies to anyone 18 or older. Penalties for conviction are dependent upon the nature of the delinquent act. For example, an adult who helps a juvenile violate the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law may be imprisoned two years or up to a decade.

An adult's ignorance of a juvenile's age may not be used as an excuse. Other strategies to mitigate the charge can be explored with the help of a criminal defense attorney.

Source: The Advocate, "Teen party with alcohol, pot gets mom arrested" River Parishes bureau, Mar. 03, 2014

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