Baton Rouge Criminal Defense Law Blog

What are sobriety checkpoints and are they legal in Louisiana?

Have you ever been in a row of cars being stopped by police and wondered what was going on? There's a good explanation, and it has to do with safety and traffic laws in the state.

Sobriety checkpoints are also known as DUI or DWI checkpoints. These are locations where the police or other local law enforcement can set up a stop where they can check drivers passing through the area. The purpose of this is to find drivers who are driving over the legal alcohol limit, but it's also used to find fugitives, to catch those violating state traffic laws and for checking for drugs in some instances.

Fraud can lead to federal charges and punishments in Louisiana

In a previous post, you read about a woman who was allegedly caught siphoning money into her bank accounts from the accounts of her employers. She may have even used a credit card from the Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge to pay some of her bills and to purchase prepaid credit cards.

In her case, the woman was found to have had a criminal background related to fraud, and that could work against her in court. She was arrested and fired from her job, which leaves her without an income and in a position where it could be hard to get rehired in the future.

Baton Rouge passenger charged with causing DWI crash

Louisiana's open container law, R.S. 32:300, forbids the possession of open alcoholic beverage containers while motor vehicles are in operation. The law extends to passengers as well as drivers. The law is intended to cut down on drunk driving, but it doesn't cover the legal troubles a Baton Rouge passenger recently had.

The 51-year-old man was charged with DWI, after a pedestrian accident. The defendant was not sitting in the driver's seat at the time of the Saturday night collision. The intoxicated passenger allegedly wrested control of a Chevrolet Impala away from the driver.

Drivers do not have to plead guilty in Louisiana DUI cases

Drivers who have been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol sometimes make the mistake of thinking that they have to plead guilty, but we think that it is very important for them to know that this is not the case. They do have the freedom to enter any plea that they choose, no matter how the arrest was made, depending on the direction that they want things to go.

The first thing that someone who has been pulled over for a DUI needs to know is what technically qualifies as a DUI in this state. These are state laws, after all. In Louisiana, the legal limit is .08 when it comes to blood alcohol concentration or BAC.

Evidence lacking to charge Baton Rouge father with child's death

The public praises speedy arrests, charges and trials following the commission of a horrific crime. Society's urge for justice to be done demands fast answers. Pressure to get and punish "the bad guy" sometimes is so strong it taints the legal process that holds defendants innocent until guilt is proven.

A 5-year-old Baton Rouge child died earlier this month after suffering a seizure. The little girl's father was taken into custody after the release of a coroner's report that ruled the death was a homicide. The autopsy concluded the child's fatal seizure was linked to a stroke the girl suffered as a baby.

What is sex offender registration in Louisiana?

As a person facing the potential punishments associated with sex offenses, it's important to know about the laws and when they began. Sex offender registration started in 1992 in Louisiana, when the state enacted the first law that mandated the registration of those who had been convicted of sex offenses against minors or others. The registration itself is completed through local law enforcement agencies.

In October 1994, the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act was enacted by the United States Congress. At that point, there was enough support and backing through guidelines by the government to start sex offender registration programs within the state. Originally, the act did not allow the registration information to be released to the public; however, that has since changed.

Former Baton Rouge church secretary charged with employer theft

Laws are not lenient for habitual offenders. Louisiana courts make punishments for second and subsequent convictions harsh to deter defendants from repeating crimes. Criminal defense attorneys help to minimize the effects of a criminal past on a defendant's current charges.

A woman convicted in 2002 for stealing money at work was recently charged with doing the same thing to another employer. The one-time church secretary was charged with white collar crimes, after allegedly making personal purchases with debit cards acquired with a Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge credit card.

What are the penalties for marijuana drug use?

Even though marijuana is legalized in some parts of the United States, it is not legal to use or distribute it in Louisiana. Here are several possible penalties you could face depending on your case. This information is not meant to be legal advice, but it should help you understand the possibilities of your case.

In Louisiana, drug offenses for having marijuana in your possession may include mandatory minimum sentencing. That means that the judge has to give you the sentence, and he or she has little leeway. For example, if you have 60 to 2,000 pounds of marijuana in your possession and are found guilty, the mandatory amount of time you must be incarcerated is five years. The crime is considered to be a felony. You could also face up to 30 years in prison. You could also face fines up to $100,000 for possessing marijuana in that amount.

Baton Rouge woman claims Tinder date ended in rape

The future changes dramatically for Louisiana defendants labeled as sexual predators. Legal punishments are severe when a person is convicted of a sexual offense, but penalties don't stop there. Inclusion in a sex offender registry can cause lifelong devastation to a defendant's professional and personal life.

A 22-year-old Baton Rouge man was jailed on charges that he raped a woman during a date. The alleged victim told authorities she met the man through Tinder, a mobile dating application. The woman stated the defendant raped her during the pair's first meeting.

Louisiana leads the U.S. in Medicaid fraud recovery

Medicaid fraud is a serious problem in the United States. Now, it's being reported that Louisiana recovered over $124 million in fraudulent payments in the Medicaid program in 2012. We have the highest recovery rate in the country.

Certainly some people may be accused of fraud, but how do the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals and Attorney General's Office make sure they aren't accusing the wrong people?

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