Baton Rouge Criminal Defense Law Blog

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.

Ex-director at Louisiana State University sentenced for bribery

Paying someone to do something becomes illegal when the purpose of the transaction is to influence a government official or employee. A deal involving the offer and acceptance of money, services or other favors to sway behavior is bribery. The altered action does not have to be detrimental to the public for the exchange to be called a white collar crime.

An ex-assistant lab director at Louisiana State University was sentenced recently for his part in a kickback scheme favoring a lab products' supplier. The 69-year-old defendant was accused of making a deal with the owner of Sangre Biologicals to supply the Human Leukocyte Antigen laboratory at the university's Health Sciences Center. The man allegedly received cash by mail to ensure the company received orders from the school.

There are sexual assault defenses you can use in Louisiana

If you've been accused of a sexual assault crime like rape or sexual abuse of a minor in Louisiana, you might not think you have many options to defend yourself. Maybe the evidence is stacked against you, or you think the accuser has power over the case in some other way. Fortunately, there are actually several ways you can defend yourself against a sexual assault charge of any kind.

First of all, you can claim innocence. Perhaps the person accusing you of sexual assault actually consented to have sex with you or to perform sexual behaviors. If the he or she changed one's mind later, that wouldn't be classified as a crime. You can also claim innocence if you were not involved in the crime in any way; if you can prove you were somewhere completely different, then it would be very hard to accuse you or take the case any further.

Baton Rouge fraud defendant ordered to pay $43.5 million

A federal judge recently sentenced a 53-year-old woman, a marketer for two Baton Rouge psychiatric centers and the part owner of one of them, for defrauding Medicare. The Advocate reported 15 others already pleaded guilty to health care fraud charges, before the woman and a man linked to a related facility were convicted in May.

The woman co-owned Serenity Center and worked to promote Shifa Community Mental Health Center of Baton Rouge. The 48-year-old co-defendant recruited patients for an out-of-state Shifa facility. Prosecutors said the defendants and their co-conspirators filed $258.5 million in fraudulent Medicare claims over seven years, for which the government paid $43.5 million.

Drug trafficking and distribution: Your defense in Louisiana

Have you been accused of drug trafficking or drug distribution? If you have, then you probably already understand how much trouble you could be in with the law. The laws of Louisiana and the federal government restrict and penalize the sale, transport and import of unlawful substances such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana and other illegal drugs.

Even though you've been stopped with these drugs, you do have some options. You may be able to have your charges reduced or dismissed depending on your case. You also could be penalized in a variety of ways that vary depending on your particular situation. Generally, factors such as the type of drug you had, the area where you were distributing it or if you were targeting children will be considered. How different can your sentence be? At the least, drug trafficking charges could result in three to five years in prison; however, you could be facing as long as life behind bars.

The serious nature of the Louisiana sex offender registry

As the Louisiana State Police have stated, they value your personal privacy less than they value getting information out to the public, at least if you have been convicted of sex-related crimes. The sex offender registry program is designed to give the public as much information about you as possible, including your name, your picture and where you live.

The crimes that fall under this category vary to some degree, including both Internet crimes and crimes of a more immediate nature. Some of the more common charges include those for rape, statutory rape, sexual assault, battery and solicitation. Internet crimes could also include solicitation, attempting to meet up with a minor and the distribution of child pornography.

Is marijuana illegal in Louisiana?

In Louisiana, there are a few different things that can happen if you're caught abusing marijuana. The fines and punishments apply whether you've been using the drug yourself or selling to others. Marijuana is not yet legal in the state, so you can face up to six months in the parish jail or up to a $500 fine for being in possession of the drug, even if you come from a place where the drug is legally allowed to be possessed.

For a second conviction, you could face fines of up to $2,000 and up to five years in prison. After that, each conviction could add on 20 years to a sentence. If you're found with 60 to 2,000 pounds of the drug, you could face 10 to 60 years of hard labor. The fine raises dramatically to $50,000 to $100,000.

Arrest, murder charges follow Baton Rouge shooting

Action is the first order of business when a crime shakes the foundation of a neighborhood or city. Law enforcement agencies move quickly to make an arrest, but defendants sometimes forget an arrest is no guarantee of a conviction. The state must show a crime was committed, down to the letter of the law.

An arrest was made two days after a Baton Rouge man was fatally injured in a nighttime shooting. A neighbor discovered the 21-year-old man, shot in the back, lying on a city street. The man initially appeared to have less-than-critical injuries, but the young father of two later died at a hospital.

Louisiana fraud: You have a right to a defense

There are many situations where you could make mistakes that end up causing investigations into your business or facility. For instance, if you're a medical provider and seem to be writing too many prescriptions for the same medication, you might be investigated even though you're just doing your job. The same could happen if you're a pharmacist filling a physician's prescription load. In some cases, you could be accused of fraud even if you haven't done anything wrong.

When you're accused of a crime like fraud, you need to defend yourself from the start. By defending your innocence and right to an attorney, you can be sure that you won't be mistreated during any part of the investigation. With the right legal help, it's possible to keep the prying eyes of the media uninvolved in your personal life.

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