Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney for Carnal Knowledge Charges in Shreveport-Bossier City, LA

Sex crimes, especially sex crimes involving minors, are prosecuted heavily in Louisiana. This includes carnal knowledge of a juvenile, which is often referred to as “statutory rape.” Someone can be charged with carnal knowledge of a juvenile if they have sex with someone under the age of 17, but over the age of 13, regardless of whether or not there was consent. 

If you or someone you love has been charged with carnal knowledge of a juvenile, contact Shreveport and Bossier City sex crime attorney Michael J. Vergis today. He is a seasoned legal advocate with a deep understanding of Louisiana’s laws and a track record of successful criminal defense work. 

Call (318) 698-3724 or reach out online to schedule a free consultation with Attorney Vergis regarding your case today. 

age of consent louisiana

What is the Age of Consent in Louisiana?

The age of consent in Louisiana is 17 years old. According to Louisiana law, no one under the age of 17 years old can consent to any kind of sexual intercourse.

What is Carnal Knowledge of a Juvenile?

In Louisiana, “carnal knowledge of a juvenile” is the crime of engaging in sexual intercourse with a person who is between the ages of 13 and 17. This is also more commonly known as “statutory rape” outside of the legal system.

Carnal Knowledge Definition

Under Louisiana law, carnal knowledge of a juvenile occurs when a person who is seventeen years of age or older has sexual intercourse with a person who is under seventeen years old but over thirteen years old. If the victim is under the age of 13 and the offender is over the age of 17, the offender can be charged with first-degree rape, which is a much more severe crime.

Under this law, the term “sexual intercourse” refers to any form of anal, oral, or vaginal sexual intercourse. 

In Louisiana, the severity of the criminal charge depends on the age gap between the offender and victim as well as their prior criminal record. If the offender is more than two years older than the victim, but they are not more than four years older than the victim, they can be charged with misdemeanor carnal knowledge of a juvenile. If the offender is more than 4 years older than the victim, however, then they can be charged with felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile.

However, if the offender has committed misdemeanor carnal knowledge, and this is their second or subsequent offense, they can be charged with felony carnal knowledge. They can also be charged with felony carnal knowledge if they commit an act of misdemeanor carnal knowledge and they have already been convicted of one or more crimes requiring them to register as a sex offender.

carnal knowledge of a juvenile

What is the Penalty for Carnal Knowledge of a Juvenile in Louisiana?

The penalties for carnal knowledge offenses in Louisiana vary depending on the severity of the crime. Below are the penalties for both misdemeanor and felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile in Louisiana. 

Misdemeanor Carnal Knowledge

The penalties for misdemeanor carnal knowledge are outlined in La. RS § 14:80.1. If someone is convicted of misdemeanor carnal knowledge of a juvenile, they may face a fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000), up to six (6) months in jail, or both. While the penalties for misdemeanor crimes in Louisiana are less severe than felony crimes, a misdemeanor carnal knowledge conviction could seriously impact your life, your freedom, and your reputation.

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Felony Carnal Knowledge

Under Louisiana law (La. RS § 14:80), anyone convicted of felony carnal knowledge may face a fine of up to $5,000, up to 10 years in prison, or both. They’ll also face the other punishments that come with felony convictions in Louisiana, like losing their right to vote. 

Additionally, if a person commits felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile and they are convicted, they cannot have their conviction set aside and have their prosecution dismissed. This means that, under the provisions of Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure Article 893, they cannot have their prison sentence suspended. When a judge suspends a person’s sentence, the offender is able to serve the length of their prison sentence while on probation rather than while behind bars. If you are convicted of felony carnal knowledge, you will not be eligible to serve your sentence while on probation. 

Defense Strategies for Carnal Knowledge Charges

There are a few common defenses that can be used against charges of carnal knowledge of a juvenile, some of which include:

  • Marriage Status – The offender was married to the victim at the time of the alleged offense, and the two engaged in sexual intercourse with consent.
  • Lack of Sexual Intercourse – The alleged offense did not involve any level of penetration, meaning it could not be classified as sexual intercourse.
  • Mistaken Identity – The offender was not the one who engaged in the alleged criminal activity. 
  • Violation of Rights – The offender’s rights were violated by law enforcement at some point during the legal process.
  • Entrapment – The offender was coaxed by law enforcement into committing the alleged offense.

It’s important to note that Louisiana law explicitly states that a lack of knowledge of the juvenile’s age cannot be used as a defense for carnal knowledge of a juvenile. 

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Why You Need an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

In Louisiana, carnal knowledge of a juvenile can carry significant legal consequences, including hefty fines and imprisonment. On top of that, crimes like carnal knowledge can be difficult to defend against. That’s why it’s so important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to defend against charges of carnal knowledge. 

A criminal defense attorney will know the legal process forwards and backwards and will know the most effective defense strategies against these charges. Additionally, they can negotiate with prosecutors outside of court to help their clients receive lesser charges or to have the charges dropped altogether. 

Criminal defense attorneys can also help defend their clients in trial, ensuring the best possible outcome, even in the face of a serious criminal conviction like felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile. If you have been charged with carnal knowledge aka statutory rape in Louisiana, you need strong legal representation from a criminal defense attorney you can trust.

Why Choose Michael J. Vergis?

If you are facing charges related to carnal knowledge or any other criminal offense in Bossier City or Shreveport, LA, a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney like Michael J. Vergis can help. With years of experience as a defense attorney in Louisiana, Attorney Vergis understands the Louisiana criminal justice system like the back of his hand and can help you navigate it with confidence. 

Mr. Vergis has experience handling a variety of sex crime cases, including those involving juveniles, like child pornography, online solicitation of a minor, and more. He provides each of his clients with personalized attention, crafting strategic defense strategies tailored to the unique circumstances of each case he takes on. He also carries a proven track record of securing favorable outcomes for his clients. 

If you’re in need of a Louisiana carnal knowledge of a juvenile lawyer, look no further than Attorney Michael J. Vergis. When you choose Michael J. Vergis as your defense attorney, you choose a skilled legal representative that you can trust.

what is carnal knowledge of a juvenile

Call Shreveport-Bossier Carnal Knowledge Defense Attorney Michael Vergis Today for a Free Consultation

If you are facing charges related to carnal knowledge of a juvenile in the Shreveport-Bossier area, you need experienced legal representation immediately. Luckily, The Law Office of Michael J. Vergis is here to provide you with the dedicated defense you deserve.

With a wealth of experience in defending individuals against a range of criminal charges, Michael J. Vergis has earned a reputation for providing aggressive and effective representation to the residents of Shreveport, Bossier City, and beyond. With his in-depth knowledge of Louisiana law and his dedication to client needs, you can trust that your case will be in capable hands.

Ready to take your first step toward justice? Call (318) 698-3724 or fill out our online intake form to schedule a free consultation with us regarding your case.