Baton Rouge Criminal Defense Law Blog

Louisiana’s self-defense and justifiable homicide laws

Self-defense is a viable argument for Louisiana defendants charged with taking the life of another person. Homicide charges refer to alleged crimes associated with any killing. State laws say violence or killing may be warranted, when a person truly believes a personal attack, an attack on someone else or a felony will result in severe bodily harm or death.

So-called stand your ground laws differ from state to state. Some state laws require a person to attempt to retreat before a violent response is justified. The retreat requirement is not included in Louisiana laws – and explicitly may not be considered by a court -- when individuals are threatened inside their own vehicles, homes or places of business.

Can teachers still get in trouble for sex with an adult?

As a teacher in Louisiana, you need to understand what is viewed as sexual conduct between an educator and student. Clearly, not all touching is sexual, and you shouldn't be held accountable for a child's imagination. Knowing what you are and aren't allowed to do can help you better define your case and protect yourself.

According to Louisiana law, you can be accused of a sex crime with a student even if the student is over 17 but is less than 21, if you are four years older or younger, if you aren't the spouse of the student or if the person is a student at the school where you're employed. Interestingly, this leaves a loophole where if you are working at a separate school and are dating someone over 18 who is a student at another school, you may not be accused of a crime.

Louisiana DUI defendant sentenced to 20 years for fatal crash

The most serious alcohol-related criminal charges involve injuries and the loss of life. A Louisiana defendant found guilty of drunk driving, even a first-time DUI offense, can face life-long consequences for causing a fatal accident.

Three people and an unborn child died in a December 2013 crash in Duson. The victims were passengers in an SUV. They included a father of three boys, a 14-year-old girl and a 16-year-old female, who was pregnant.

Fraud charges: You have a right to a defense in Louisiana

When you're accused of a white collar crime, you don't want to incriminate yourself by saying too much or telling the prosecutors what they want to hear to save face. That's why seeking a defense from the start is a good plan. White collar crimes range in definition. Some, like fraud, can be charged at the federal level, leaving you with the potential for prison sentencing or a large fine.

As someone who is accused of fraud as a doctor, you may have to prove you have all the right receipts and prescription information for your patients. You need to show why your practices may be different than others. In the meantime, you may struggle as your case hits the news or media outlets, but with the right precautions, you can keep the damage to your reputation at a minimum.

Penalties for marijuana offenses in Louisiana

Several states have relaxed marijuana laws. It would be a mistake to think this trend has influenced enforcement of laws here. Louisiana laws describe marijuana as a schedule I controlled substance, ranking alongside heroin and cocaine as one of the most dangerous hallucinogenic drugs.

Also among schedule I drugs are synthetic marijuana, derivatives and compounds. Tetrahydrocannabinol, a psychoactive ingredient known as THC, is also on the list.

Can you have a gun with a white collar crime conviction?

If you've previously been convicted of a felony, you may know that it's not legal for you to own a gun. However, there is a loophole in federal law that does allow you to obtain the weapon in certain circumstances. For instance, did you know that you can apply for the "relief from the disability of not being able to possess a gun," if you're a nonviolent convict? You may apply regardless of your situation, although some convictions may support your request better than others. A 1965 amendment makes it possible for you to do so, and if you weren't determined to be a public safety risk, then you may be able to be granted the right to a gun.

Additionally, how long was your prison sentence? If it was less than one year, then you do not fall under the category of felons who may not have a gun. Of course, it is unlikely for felony convictions to result in less than a year of prison time, but it is possible, since judges do have a say in how long the sentence is.

Homicide charges planned for woman whose dad died in crash

Proof leading to a conviction must satisfy all provisions of a criminal law. Weak evidence does not prove beyond a reasonable doubt a crime was committed. A Baton Rouge defendant facing criminal accusations is innocent unless the state can, point by point, tie the accused to the crime.

Louisiana police investigators suspect a young Holden woman was driving while intoxicated when she crashed a Kia Sport. The 22-year-old was injured in the single-vehicle crash on a Sunday night. Her 45-year-old father, a front seat passenger in the car, suffered fatal injuries.

Defending yourself against sex crimes in Baton Rouge

Sex crime charges can change your life forever, even before you're found guilty of a crime. The insinuation that you've done something wrong can be hard to overcome; your coworkers, family and friends may be directly affected by the situation and the stress it places on you and them. The public stigma of a sex offense is long-lasting, even when you aren't found guilty. The media can take over, adding allegations to your case that simply aren't true.

When you're accused of a sex crime, it's important to protect yourself and the ones you love. The public tends to pressure the prosecution to convict alleged sex offenders, even if the case doesn't have enough evidence to do so. Because of this, it's important to have your case in the hands of someone who is familiar with the defense you need.

Louisiana indictment names 14 in meth drug trafficking ring

Prosecutors sometimes take a one-size-fits-all attitude toward defendants. You read media reports about drug ring arrests, as if all parties were high-level players who trafficked illegal substances. Baton Rouge defendants' rights easily can be violated when multiple arrests stem from the same alleged crime.

A dozen people were arrested recently in what federal prosecutors described as a drug trafficking ring selling "significant quantities" of methamphetamine in Southwestern Louisiana. Two other individuals named in the 20-count federal grand jury indictment remained free and were being sought.

In Louisiana, what is second-degree murder?

As a person facing a second-degree murder charge in the state of Louisiana, you may have many questions. How will this charge affect your life in the long run? Will you be able to avoid prison? Is it possible to be cleared of the crime, even if the evidence isn't in your favor? Every case is different, but understanding the laws surrounding second-degree murder cases can help you know where you stand, even if other questions can't be answered until the case is fully understood.

Second-degree murder is defined as an intentional killing that wasn't premeditated or planned. However, it also was not committed in the heat of passion (something also referred to as murdering someone in the heat of the moment). It can also be defined as a killing that was caused by dangerous conduct and the offender's obvious lack of concern for life.

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