Baton Rouge Criminal Defense Law Blog

Former Louisiana pastor charged with 13 sex offense counts

Louisiana prosecutors are quick to pounce on individuals suspected of harming children. Allegations don't have to be proven before defendants accused of child sexual offenses suffer consequences, like a pre-trial loss of freedom or full-blown media attention.

An Orleans Parish man was arrested three times since late February on charges related to the same alleged victim. The man was a church youth pastor until early February, when he was fired for reported misconduct with a teen church member. The initial arrest happened a few weeks after First Baptist New Orleans church officials and the parents of the 14-year-old girl contacted police.

What are some unusual ways to be charged with sex offenses?

When you think of a sex offender, what do you see? Perhaps you think of someone who has raped an unwilling person, or you think of a person who is part of a child pornography ring. While doing these things can certainly be classified as sex offenses, there are also lesser known ways to be classified as a sex offender in Louisiana.

Take for instance this fact. If you're under the age of 18 and take naked photos of yourself, you could be charged with child pornography and be listed as a sex offender, even though those photos were of you. If you send those photos to other states, which is easily possible with the Internet, you may face a federal crime for doing so.

Louisiana man to be paid by state for wrongful conviction

The state of Louisiana extracted a heavy price from a New Orleans defendant for the death of a police officer's wife. The man spent most of his adult life in prison after a conviction for a murder. State officials determined last year the defendant did not shoot and kill the woman and let the prisoner go.

The man was convicted twice for the same crime. The first time was in 1983, four years after investigators found the woman's bullet-riddled body in her home. The defendant admitted he was the shooter, but there were problems with the confession.

Murder and enhanced charges: Speak up in Louisiana

Protecting your innocence during an investigation is of the utmost importance. Making sure that charges against you are valid and legal is another thing that you need to do. It's not fair to be accused of a crime as serious as murder or a homicide without all the facts in place.

Being accused of a murder puts you in a difficult position. The accusations alone can make friends and family wary, and you may have trouble at work due to the rumors of the murder case. These reasons alone are enough to show how serious your situation is.

Most online child sex offenses are not committed by strangers

Prosecutors respond to intense social and media pressure to obtain convictions for certain Louisiana crimes. The public makes judgment calls and clamors for punishment, often as soon as a defendant is charged -- whether allegations are true or false. Not only convictions, but unproven claims of wrongdoing can be severely damaging for Baton Rouge defendants accused of committing child sex offenses.

Federal and state governments take sex crimes involving children very seriously. Sexual predator information websites like Enough Is Enough have financial backing from the U.S. Department of Justice. The site is filled with statistics to help minors and their families understand how sex offenders operate and how young people respond to them on the Internet.

Caught with cocaine? Louisiana's laws and how to protect yourself

Louisiana is strict with drug offense laws, making it possible for even a first-time offender to face serious penalties like large fines or prison sentences. Cases involving the possession of, distribution of, manufacturing of or trafficking of drugs can easily be escalated; for instance, someone who simply was stopped for possession could be accused of intending to sell the drugs, leading to harsher penalties.

What can you do to prevent this from happening? A good start is working with someone who can help defend you. When you first face accusations for drug offenses, these charges may take you aback, making you fear the consequences. It's important that you look into your options and understand the implications of each you could take.

Is insider trading always considered fraud?

Louisiana business executives and other employees may buy and sell stock in companies that employ them. The practice becomes a white collar crime when insiders act on material information that is not publicly known. Insider trading also includes tipping off someone else about confidential information.

A Baton Rouge insider who buys or sells securities based on undisclosed company knowledge takes advantage of a position of power, disregards a fiduciary duty and cheats investors unaware of what he or she knows. Company insiders are obligated to hold sensitive information in confidence, without using or sharing information for personal gain.

Don't let a DUI damage your life in Louisiana

Getting accused of a DUI can put you in a precarious position. If you drive for work, you could be at risk of losing your job. If you need your vehicle to take your kids to school or to get to activities, these things could be impacted as well. So, what do you do if you're accused of driving drunk? You defend yourself and work to get yourself let go due to your innocence or with a lesser charge if you're found to be guilty.

In Louisiana, a DUI conviction is incredibly serious, and the penalties can be severe. Prison time, high fines and fees, community services, or restricted or revoked driving privileges are all possible. When you work to defend yourself, you'll want to take steps to reduce those penalties and to have a result in your favor. It's possible to have your charges dismissed in some cases, but when they can't be, you may be able to seek reduced fines, community service in place of prison, or even the restoration of your driving privileges after you've participated in driving training or other courses.

Louisiana murder case opens with killer identity doubt

Violence on a Louisiana city street killed one man and injured four others. The Orleans Parish drive-by shooting in February 2011 was followed by a series of events that led to a young man's arrest and a murder charge. The defendant and two other men allegedly fired shots at a group outside an apartment complex: three men, a woman and a three-month old baby.

Prosecutors believe the targets were the victim who died of multiple gunshot wounds, age 19, a critically-injured man, age 23, and a third man, age 19. The woman and infant apparently were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Prosecutors think the murder was gang related, although did not tie the defendant to any particular gang.

Does Louisiana have mandatory minimum sentencing?

For drug crimes, Louisiana does have mandatory minimum sentences. Certain crimes may go without prison sentencing, while others have minimum sentences by law. For example, if you're found in possession of over 10,000 pounds of marijuana and are convicted of a drug charge, you must complete a minimum 25-year sentence. That particular crime is a felony.

Interestingly, possession of marijuana in particular is not enough to result in a mandatory minimum sentence as long as you're in possession of less than 60 pounds of the drug. There are suggested prison sentence lengths, but a judge may not decide to give you any prison time at all. However, if you're caught distributing or growing marijuana, then you're in a different situation.

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