What are the steps involved in handling my case?
Regardless of the charges faced, we always start with a free consultation or case review with any of our prospective clients. Not only does this give us a chance to get to know you better, but it allows us to assess the full context of your case. Once we complete a case review, we ensure you understand the charges, the possible penalties, and how we will move forward in best representing you. Our legal team is fully committed to your defense from the beginning to the end of a case.
If a police officer arrests me and asks for a statement, what should I do?
Once you are arrested, DO NOT give a statement to any law enforcement officers. It’s important to understand that law enforcement officers, once an arrest is completed, have completed their criminal investigation. From that point, detectives will follow-up and try and extract an admission or confession. Any statements given to officers can be used in court against you, whether or not you actually committed the crime. If asked to give a statement, immediately invoke your Miranda Rights by stating you wish to remain silent. Once you invoke your Miranda Rights, all questions by law enforcement to you must cease. This is the perfect time to request that an attorney be present and reach out to a criminal defense attorney.
When should I call a lawyer?
If you’ve been accused of a crime, been arrested, or simply have a question you wish to have answered by a fully-qualified and experienced Louisiana criminal defense attorney, give us a call. There’s never a right or wrong time to call a criminal defense attorney. If you have been arrested, however, it’s essential to have a criminal defense attorney.
What happens if I don’t schedule a DMV hearing?
Upon arrest for DUI, a law enforcement officer is responsible for providing you with a notice to appear. You are not responsible for scheduling a hearing, but rather, you are responsible for showing up to the pre-scheduled hearing the law enforcement officer provides you with. Once you receive the notice to appear, you must contact a criminal defense attorney, as this mandatory hearing allows for a prime opportunity to argue your innocence in a court of law.
If I suffer a license suspension under DUI, how will I get to work?
Even if convicted of DUI, you may be eligible for a Louisiana Hardship License. Depending on your charges and prior driving history, we can see if you’re eligible. It is important to understand, however, that a Hardship License is only eligible for class D and class E drivers. If you have a CDL, if suspended, you cannot claim a temporary one.
Does Louisiana have additional charges for a BAC above 0.08?
You can face enhanced penalties for a BAC that is considerably higher than .08 alone. Having a BAC above .15 or .20 carries stiffer penalties, even if it’s your first offense. Having a DUI defense attorney may be able to negotiate better terms. If your BAC is at or above .08, it doesn’t matter in the eyes of the law. A BAC of .08 or above is probable cause for arrest, making it essential to always hire a DUI attorney in Louisiana if you’ve been accused of DUI.
Can I refuse a breathalyzer test?
You are not required to take a breathalyzer test, but failure to test results in a mandatory suspension of your license for 6 months. Enhanced penalties exist for second or third-time refusals. Through implied consent, you agreed to the penalties for test refusal when you first obtained your Louisiana driver’s license.
If I borrowed property and didn’t return it, can I still face theft charges?
If you and another person mutually agreed that you would take possession of something, it would be considered a civil agreement. To be charged with theft, there would have to be probable cause to show you had the intent of temporarily or permanently depriving the other person of the item. In many instances, this is not theft, but rather, a civil issue that must be settled outside of a criminal justice setting. Regardless, it is advisable to hire a larceny defense attorney when facing an accusation of theft.
What is grand larceny?
Larceny and theft are used interchangeably in the state of Louisiana. To be charged with larceny or theft, it must be proven that you intended to temporarily or permanently deprive another party of their possession(s). The threshold for a petty (or petit) theft becoming a grand theft is $500. If a theft is at or above $500, it constitutes grand theft.
What determines the category or degree of the larceny charges?
The category or degree of the charges is dependent upon the amount stolen and the times of conviction. If it’s your first offense and the dollar amount is below $500, you’ll likely face misdemeanor charges. For second, third, or greater times of conviction or dollar amounts at or above $500, your charges will be enhanced. For enhanced penalties, you can expect greater fines and longer minimum sentences.
What is the first step I should take after being charged with larceny?
No matter the degree of theft you’re charged with, it’s essential to hire a criminal defense attorney. We can provide guidance, clarity, and most importantly, the best criminal defense possible. When you have the first opportunity to do so, call our office 24/7 at 318-377-1555. One of our attorneys will immediately go to work for you and tell you how to proceed going forward.
Do I need an attorney if I suspect I’m being charged with a sex crime but haven’t been arrested?
Even if you haven’t been formally arrested or charged with a crime, it’s always a good idea to hire a criminal defense attorney for a sex-related crime. Whether or not you’ve been charged, an attorney can provide guidance and peace of mind. We can also provide you with follow-up legal defense should you discover you are charged with a crime.
If I am arrested for a sex crime, what are my rights?
As with any other crime, once you arrested, you have the right to remain silent. It’s important to understand you do not have to give statements or undergo questioning once you invoke your 5th Amendment rights. You also have the right to legal counsel under the 6th Amendment. Upon arrest, take the first opportunity to contact our office at 318-377-1555 to speak to a sex crime criminal defense attorney in Louisiana.
Can I represent myself if I am charged with a sex crime?
No matter the crime, you always have the right to represent yourself pro se, but we highly advise choosing an experienced criminal defense attorney over pro se representation. Not only will your odds of success go up with an experienced defense attorney, but you can also understand every hurdle to expect when going through trial. These are perks that self-representation simply can’t provide anyone facing accusations of a crime.
Are sex crimes a misdemeanor or felony?
Sex crimes can be either misdemeanors or felonies. Something being a sex crime is just a unique crime classification. For example, carnal knowledge of a minor above the age of 13 is a misdemeanor, whereas aggravated rape would be a felony.
What are some common conditions of probation?
Probation is a common alternative sentence for many first-time or non-violent offenders. Some common conditions of parole include the following:
- Keeping appointments with your probation officer
- Random drug tests
- Being available for counseling appointments
- Wearing an ankle monitor and remaining in a specific area or location
- Community service
- Avoiding contact with criminals
These are just a few of the conditions you may have to abide by during your time on probation, which is overseen by the Louisiana Division of Probation & Parole.
If my probation is revoked, can I appeal this ruling?
Accusations of a parole violation must be supported. Your probation officer is responsible for ensuring all enforcement decisions are made with lawful documented support. If it’s found that an accusation lacks supporting evidence, you may be eligible to appeal it. While appeals can be filed pro se in a court of appeals, it’s always wisest to have an experienced probation violation attorney argue your case for you.
What happens if I violate my probation?
Whenever you violate the rules outlined upon issuance of probation, you are susceptible to penalties. Depending on the severity of a violation, punishment can range anywhere from additional probation conditions all the way to jail or prison time. Ignorance of the violation is not an excuse, so it’s best to clarify the probationary conditions upon issuance of probation.
What is the difference between probation and parole?
While similar, probation and parole have a distinct difference. Probation is offered as an alternative to prison or jail time. In exchange for leniency, the subject must abide by specific rules and conditions for a specified duration. Parole is similar in that there are conditional circumstances that must be followed, but it differs in that it is offered to prisoners who testify before the parole board for early or on-time release from their prison sentence.
Typically, parole is only offered to prisoners that are non-violent, show genuine remorse and improvement, and agree to abide by the parole conditions set forth upon issuance. Violations of either probation or parole can result in jail time or other punishments depending on the severity.
What happens when my child gets arrested with a criminal offense?
Because the juvenile is a minor, you as the parent and/or guardian must be notified by law enforcement, which will happen as soon as possible following a formal arrest. Questions or incriminating questions can’t be asked without a parent or guardian present, and children are taken to designated juvenile detention centers.
What is a Guardian Ad Litem?
A Guardian Ad Litem (GAL), is a court-appointed ward of the state in cases where a parent or guardian is otherwise not fit to represent the juvenile’s best interests. A GAL is responsible for monitoring and providing care on behalf of the state in instances where a juvenile or minor is placed into foster care or supervision where a parent or guardian otherwise can’t.
What is “Adjudication”?
In a strictly denotative sense, “adjudication” just means a final judgment of a dispute or proceeding. In the context of the juvenile court, adjudication is the juvenile court’s final say on a criminal proceeding involving a juvenile. After adjudication, the court decides the consequences for the juvenile based on evidence and the accusation of the crimes committed.
How long do juveniles stay in detention?
Depending on the crimes committed, a juvenile’s stay in detention can vary drastically. In some instances, a juvenile is only required to complete community service. Sometimes, juveniles might spend a few weeks or months in a juvenile detention center. And in rarer cases, juveniles might spend years in juvenile detention, only to be transferred to an adult facility upon their 18th birthday.
Will I go to jail for drug possession?
Not necessarily. Law enforcement officers have what’s called “officer’s discretion” when dealing with a subject that has committed a misdemeanor. Misdemeanors allow for officers to let a subject go from the scene with a ticket or court-ordered appearance rather than booking them in jail. However, if you are found to have committed a felony, officers do not have discretion and taking you to jail is mandatory.
What counts as evidence for intent to distribute drugs in Florida?
Charging someone with possession of drugs with intent to sell is a unique crime in that intent does not have a burden of proof. Whereas other crimes require the officer to articulate how intent was present, intent to distribute is presumed with any arrest involving a large amount of drugs.
If a subject is arrested and found to be in possession (actual, constructive, and/or joint) of a large quantity of drugs, that is sufficient evidence to prove intent to sell if the quantity goes beyond merely being deemed “casual use.” The best way to fight against accusations of intent to distribute charges is a competent criminal defense attorney in Florida.
What is drug court and how do I know if I qualify for the program?
Drug court, otherwise known as a diversionary program, is an alternative option for drug offenders that allows them to avoid going to prison for nonviolent drug possession charges. Drug court aims to treat those in possession of drugs as addicts rather than criminals.
These courts typically offer leniency for non-violent and first-time offenders. Similar to probation or parole, drug court programs often come with a set of agreements that must be adhered to, otherwise, the program is forfeited by the offender.
A drug offense attorney can advise you as to your candidacy for a drug court program.
How much prison time am I facing for drug trafficking?
Drug trafficking, no matter the drug trafficked, is a serious offense that carries anywhere from a 3-5 year prison sentence to life in prison. Before we can assess the exact time you’re looking at, it’s important to consider all of the factors of the case. These facts can include the quantity trafficked, whether it was trafficked across state or national lines, and to whom you trafficked the drugs with.
With every client, whether it’s drug trafficking or drug possession, we conduct a free case review and evaluation on their behalf. Upon completion, we can better assess possible penalties you may be facing.