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Is It Punishable for A Juvenile to Be Involved in Child Sex Crime?

Handley LLC April 21, 2021

Child sexual abuse and protection laws are enacted as a part of child security in most of the countries including the United States. In Oklahoma, there are multiple laws to prohibit child sexual abuse even by juveniles. The crime makes a person accountable for one year imprisonment, fine of $500 to $5,000, or both. A laundry list includes the actions that can be considered as child sexual abuse in Oklahoma. The list is here –

  • Mauling

  • Touching

  • Ejaculating

  • Engaging at sexual actions

  • Looking at private parts

  • Forcing a child to see or get engaged in sexual acts

  • Sexually exposing himself/herself to the child

  • Bringing a child at a private location with sexual intention

  • Masturbation

  • Sexual touching

  • Penetration

If anything such happens to your child by an adult or a juvenile, immediately take legal help. Call the police and ask a criminal defense attorney for help.

You may assume that a juvenile will never be prosecuted for crimes like child pornography promotion or aggravated sexual abuse of a child. But that’s just happened to a juvenile in Harris County lately.

According to the Harris County Precinct Constable’s Office, a high-tech crimes division received a cyber-tip from the National Center for Missing and Abused Children about an online account containing pictures of sexual exploitation of a child.

As mentioned by KPRC NBC Channel, investigators found the account origins of a home in Harris County Precinct. Going forward with a search warrant to search that house, police said they discovered juvenile possessing child pornography, child sexual abuse content shared online. Officials have said that in between the investigation it was established that the juvenile sexually abused a girl.

The juvenile then got the charges of aggravated sexual assault of minor and promoting child pornography. The suspect’s name is undercover since he is a juvenile.

Does Juvenile Charge Differ from Adult Charges?

Now you might be wondering how juvenile charges change to adult charges if it is violent crimes. Under certain states’ law, a person under 17 years but more 10 than years old can be pressed with a charge in a juvenile court—with a number of different offenses. The individual gets charges as a juvenile not as an adult.

An individual younger than 10 years is not taken as a juvenile instead is taken as a child without having criminal mind or ability to have criminal intention.

As for minors, they will be convicted and brought into custody. A juvenile can be kept in custody — or released — before his or her court date.

A juvenile should be present to juvenile court by a guardian, parent or court-appointed guardian. It's also a good idea to hire a juvenile criminal defense attorney.

When a felony case against a juvenile is challenged, a judge or jury will determine if the juvenile made the suspected crime. Alternatively, the minor may plead "true" to the charges, which is the same as admitting guilt. In juvenile courts, however, the word "guilty" is not used. Instead, the juvenile could be found to have "engaged in delinquent behavior" and "requires rehabilitation."

Is There a Difference Between Juvenile and Adult Punishments?

Juvenile punishments vary from adult punishments, with adults defined as those aged 17 or older. For starters, unlike adults, juveniles are not subject to mandatory minimum or maximum penalties. Child pornography promotion, also known as dissemination of child pornography, is charged in a recent Harris County case involving an unnamed defendant. This is a crime punishable by at least 2 years in jail and up to 20 years imprisonment, and a fine of up to $10,000.

If the child in the pornography is under 14, the charge becomes a first-degree felony, punishable by at least 5 years in state prison and up to 99 years of imprisonment for adults with a minimum fine of $10,000.

A juvenile convicted of a first-degree felony, on the other hand, may be committed to the Juvenile Justice Department of the respective state until he or she reaches the age of 19, or placed on probation until he or she reaches the age of 17.

When the suspected victim is less than 14 years but more than 6 years old, the charge of aggravated sexual abuse of a child is added. For an adult, the penalty is at least 25 years in jail.

Is your adolescent facing criminal charges?

If a teenage family member has been charged with a felony, it is important that you contact an experienced juvenile criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to secure their legal rights.

When it comes to suspected sex offences, certain minors may be eligible for defense under so-called "Romeo and Juliet" rules, which provide certain legal safeguards for underage teens who have sex while their ages are just a few years apart. Other personal circumstances and considerations can also provide a shield in your teen's situation.

Families in Oklahoma City and surrounding areas can contact the Handley Law Center right away. We will assist you in setting up a private consultation with a professional and experienced criminal defense attorney. Then you will find ways to handle your child's situation.

**Disclaimer: This blog article is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.