Skip to main content

From the Desk of Sheriff Bobby J. Guidroz

Part 2 of 2

Last week we dispelled the myth that a 17 year old can move out of their home without the parents consent. This week we finish the series on juveniles by defining an ungovernable juvenile.

The term, “Ungovernable”, refers to a juvenile who is impossible to control. All children at some point rebel and feel they do not need to listen to their parents. When this behavior escalates to the point where a parent feels the need to enlist the assistance of law enforcement, a juvenile can be charged as ungovernable.

It is important to note, if a juvenile is charged with any of the three status offenses listed above, he or she will not be sent to a detention center. They will, however, be assigned a court date where they will have to appear in front of a judge and explain the reasons for their behavior. In addition, the judge can order counseling and/or other services to be provided to the juvenile and his or her family.

A delinquent offense is considered to be any crime an adult (18 years or older) can commit. Delinquent offenses committed by juveniles include both misdemeanor and felony crimes. Depending on the severity of these crimes, a juvenile, by order of a judge, can be sent to a juvenile detention center. Currently, a juvenile who is 17 years of age, and who commits a felony crime can be transported and processed into the parish jail.

When a juvenile is considered a suspect (age 10-17), whether it be for a status or delinquent offense, the juvenile’s parent, guardian or concerned adult must be present with the juvenile while the investigating officer reads the Miranda Warnings and while the juvenile is being questioned. Conversely, when a juvenile is a witness (a person who sees an event, crime or accident), he or she can be interviewed by law enforcement without the presence of an adult.

Last year our juvenile section investigated two hundred seventy-nine (279) complaints involving juveniles. Sixty-eight (68) juveniles have been charged and released back to their parents pending court and eighteen (18) adults have been charged with incidents concerning juveniles. All incidents involving juveniles are confidential and not for public record.

The above information is intended for information purposes only and not for legal advice. For legal advice, consult an attorney. Questions can be submitted to

Law Enforcement Day Rotary Club - Sheriff Bobby Guidroz
St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby J. Guidroz