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Top Louisiana Criminal Lawyers

Choose a Professional Louisiana Criminal Lawyer - Right Now

Getting charged with a state criminal offense like fraud or DUI can be concerning and you are probably trying to figure out what to do. You may be wondering who will listen to your side of the story, what your rights are, what affect this may have on your personal life, and where you can turn for help.

As soon as you can, you should speak with a lawyer. Having a Louisiana criminal lawyer on your side can help eliminate costly mistakes and lessen the chances of harsh consequences. Remember, it is totally within your rights to speak with a criminal lawyer before you speak with authorities. The sooner you can meet with a Louisiana criminal attorney, the better off you will be. Keep in mind that not everyone who is charged with a state offense will be found guilty. Having a qualified and professional criminal lawyer can protect you and your family by explaining the options you have, including your rights. Many attorneys will even offer free advice at the start so you can more easily plan your next steps.

Do you Need a Professional Criminal Lawyer for State Charges?

Our professional, veteran criminal lawyers have experience in a wide variety of cases ranging from drugs to fraud to domestic violence. We have highly-qualified lawyers on our team that focus in areas criminal defense such as aggravated assault, theft, kidnapping, probation violations, manslaughter and many more.

There is really no time to waste. It doesn’t matter if you have already been charged or even if you have done something that you are expecting charges for, the longer you put off getting an attorney on your side the fewer options you will have. Our Louisiana attorneys understand the way state laws work and can give you excellent advice during your consultation.

We Can Help You with DUI Charges

One of the most common charges that are placed against someone is a DUI charge. The consequences of such a charge can really run the gamut and can include anything from a night in jail and a forced alcohol education class to a heavy fine and loss of your driver’s license. Our attorneys have the knowledge of state laws that is needed to fight for you in a DUI case. We can help you do things like figure out whether or not you qualify as a first offender, explain any fines and other penalties you may face, discuss how this charge could affect other parts of your life like your job or insurance standing, and explain how you can plan a great defense along with expert assistance from our attorneys.

We Focus on Particular Areas of the Law

One thing that we can offer to our clients is our intense concentration in certain areas of the law. Our Louisianacriminal defense lawyers focus on specific areas which allow them to build a very strong knowledge base and extensive experience in particular case types. Our attorneys have the knowhow that is needed when it comes to Louisiana laws regarding your personal criminal case, and they will determine a good strategy for your defense based on this knowledge. We will be able to partner you with the top criminal defense lawyer to meet your needs.

Wondering What to Expect from Your Lawyer?

You will be able to get a free initial consultation with your criminal lawyer during which you will meet with him or her to talk about your case. Your lawyer will share their knowledge with you about the charges at hand and talk about your defense options. It is important that during this consultation and at all subsequent meetings with your lawyer that you are honest. Your lawyer will keep all information given to them confidential and their duty is to represent your best interests. You should take the advice of your lawyer and understand that you may need to be patient during this process in order to optimize your defense.

We Have the Reputation You Need

In cases like this, reputation will definitely count. Our criminal lawyers are members of various professional associations like the National Associate of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Their professional histories are easy to track and you will be able to view their successes just by doing a small amount of research. Our lawyers have been painstakingly vetted in order to provide high quality service for our clients.

We are Lawyers That You Can Trust

When choosing a lawyer you should find one who will competently and earnestly fight for your best interests. He or she will build trust with you, only engage in ethical practices and always show confidence in your case. Our Louisiana attorneys will present you with several methods to handle your case.

Avoid more problems by finding a Louisiana attorney as soon as you can. Their expert assistance will not only protect your rights but give you increased peace of mind as well. Call us today.

Are You Facing Criminal Charges For Breaking Louisiana Laws?

Louisiana has some of the most complex and unique laws in the United States. While many of its differences and complexities pertain to civil rather than criminal laws in Louisiana, if you are charged with a criminal offense, you will soon find it essential to have access to a full understanding of the statutes, classifications, and punishments that may affect your life.

As any of the defense lawyers reachable at the Criminal Lawyer can tell you, Louisiana laws divide crimes into felonies and misdemeanors. In most states, felonies are crimes considered serious enough to be punished by incarceration of over a year or longer in state prison, while misdemeanors garner sentences of less than a year in county jail. Instead of counties, Louisiana divides the state into parishes, each with a jail that is similar to the county jails in other states. Additionally, for certain misdemeanors, the statute allows the judge to sentence an individual to state prison, even when the sentence is shorter than a year.

Another unique aspect of the Louisiana criminal justice system is the fact that certain statutes allow, or even require, a convicted individual to be imprisoned at hard labor. Although it seems like something of a misnomer, the “hard labor” designation in Louisiana statutes does not actually require inmates to perform backbreaking work. Instead, it sets that criminal conviction apart as being handed down at the state level, rather than at the parish level. A person who is given a sentence to be served “at hard labor” is sent to the Department of Corrections in Louisiana – the equivalent of a state prison or state penitentiary in other states.

In addition, Louisiana criminal statutes often specify that a prison sentence must be served without the option of parole, probation, or suspension of the sentence. Unlike other states, where a judge can mitigate a sentence either at the time of sentencing or at a parole hearing, later on, Louisiana requires most offenders to serve their full incarceration terms.

A clear understanding of these aspects of Louisiana criminal law requires both experience and training because the nuances of each case will guide the defense strategy through the procedures that govern the defense of your criminal case. Engaging a Louisiana criminal attorney assures you that these nuances are covered and that you are putting forth the best possible defense against your criminal charges.

Locate a Louisiana criminal attorney here.

Five Common Crimes Charged in Louisiana

Robbery

Louisiana criminal statutes contemplate four separate robbery crimes. The first, called simple robbery, is the taking of another person’s property directly from the victim or while the property is within the control of the victim, either by force or intimidation but without the use of a dangerous weapon. Whenever an individual takes property from another person while armed with a dangerous weapon, that crime is considered armed robbery, which is a more serious crime.

The Louisiana criminal statutes also specify that robbery can be charged in either the first or second degree under certain separate statutes whose separate charges and punishments are different from those of either simple or armed robbery. First-degree robbery, which falls in between simple and armed robbery, occurs when the perpetrator leads the victim to believe he or she has a dangerous weapon but does not.

Second-degree robbery is one which a specific level of serious bodily injury is caused to the victim, including any injury that involves unconsciousness, extreme physical pain, protracted and obvious disfigurement, extensive loss or impairment of functionality in a bodily member or organ, loss of mental faculty, or substantial risk of death.

Conviction for each robbery crime results in distinct charges. For example, a person convicted of simple robbery, which is a less serious crime, will incur a maximum punishment of seven years in prison, a fine of $3,000, or both. Armed robbery carries a harsher punishment, and a convicted individual must serve a minimum prison sentence of 10, up to a maximum of 99 years at hard labor (state prison).

Both second and first-degree robbery convictions will result in not less than three years, nor more than 40 years in state prison.

Find the best defense lawyers in Louisiana here.

First Degree Murder

First-degree murder is the most serious crime under Louisiana law and, as a capital crime, it can still be punished by execution in the State of Louisiana. When charging an individual with first-degree murder, the prosecutor is permitted to exercise a degree of discretion when seeking either capital punishment or life in state prison (at hard labor) without parole.

Homicide is generally defined as the killing of another human being, and this definition includes first-degree murder, second-degree murder, manslaughter, negligent homicide, and vehicular homicide. Of these crimes, first-degree murder is the most serious. The Louisiana statute delineates 12 specific circumstances under which a homicide can be charged as first-degree murder.

An offender can be charged with first-degree murder if he or she intended to kill the victim or inflict great bodily injury and:

  • The killing occurred during the commission of a separate felony
  • The victim was a fireman, peace officer, or employee of a forensic laboratory engaged in his or her official duties
  • The act resulted in the death of more than one person
  • The murder was committed in exchange for payment
  • The victim was younger than 12 or older than 65
  • Occurred during the sale, distribution, or exchange of a controlled substance
  • The death took place while the offender was engaged in ritualistic acts that are prohibited in Louisiana
  • The offender was prohibited from having contact with the victim by a restraining order
  • The victim or an immediate family member of the victim was a witness to a crime and the purpose of the act was to prevent testimony or as retribution for prior testimony
  • The victim was a taxicab driver who was carrying out his duties
  • The offender was previously convicted of first or murder
  • The victim was a correctional officer in the course of his or her official duties
  • All other intentional killings or murders which are committed with the intent to inflict great bodily injury are charged as less serious second-degree murders.

    Find a top murder lawyer in Louisiana here.

    Motor Vehicle Theft

    Three separate acts are considered motor vehicle theft in Louisiana. The first is the one most people consider traditional motor vehicle theft and is described as the taking of a car that belongs to another person without their consent, either through fraud or with the intent to permanently deprive the rightful owner of the vehicle.

    The second motor vehicle theft occurs when a vehicle is misdelivered in such a manner that the recipient should know the vehicle rightfully belongs to someone else but makes no attempt to locate the actual owner. Third, driving or taking control of a motor vehicle that one knows, or should reasonably know, is stolen is motor vehicle theft. Taking control can be an act as minor as allowing the car to be parked in your driveway.

    The punishment for motor vehicle theft and its classification are based on the value of the stolen vehicle. If the vehicle is worth less than $500, the maximum punishment is six months in jail and a fine of $1,000. If it is worth more than $500 but less than $1,500, the maximum punishment is five years in prison and $2,000 in fines. A vehicle worth more than $1,500 will draw a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison and $3,000 in fines.

    Carjacking is a separate crime under Louisiana law. An individual is considered to have committed a carjacking when he or she steals a vehicle through the use of force or intimidation. As a more serious crime, the punishment for carjacking is significantly more serious. Carjacking can be punished by a term in state prison for a minimum of two years and a maximum of 20 years.

    Find a top motor vehicle theft lawyer in Louisiana here.

    Possession of Marijuana

    Although other states have relaxed certain aspects of their marijuana laws, the crime and punishment guidelines in Louisiana remain very strict and harsh. Possession of marijuana is illegal in nearly every situation and, because of that, it is one of the most common crimes in the state.

    Louisiana law contains a schedule of dangerous controlled substances which classifies illegal drugs by seriousness with Schedule I drugs considered the most dangerous and Schedule V drugs the least harmful. Marijuana is a Schedule I drug under Louisiana law, which makes possession of marijuana a serious crime in the state. In fact, it is regulated on the same level as possession of cocaine or heroin.

    First-time offenders who are convicted of marijuana possession in Louisiana can serve up to six months in jail and pay a fine of $500, and repeat offenders face increasingly serious punishments. For example, if convicted a second time, offenders face up to five years in state prison and a massive fine of $2,000. Third-time offenders face a maximum of 20 years in prison.

    The penalty for marijuana possession can also increase based on the amount that was found in the defendant’s possession. If it was more than 60 but less than 2,000 pounds, the prison sentence will range from a minimum of 10 years to a maximum of 60 years. If the amount was more than 2,000 but less than 10,000 pounds, the penalty runs from a minimum of 20 years to a maximum of 80 years; and, an offender found to be in possession of more than 10,000 pounds of marijuana faces a minimum penalty of 50 years in prison, but may be sentenced to a, maximum of 80 years. All sentences for marijuana possession must be served in state prison.

    Find a top Louisiana criminal justice lawyer here.

    Assault

    The Louisiana criminal statutes specifically define assault as the attempt to commit a battery or cause another person to feel a reasonable apprehension of being the victim of a battery. To fully understand this definition, you must know that, in Louisiana, battery is the intentional use of force or violence against another person. This can include punching someone, hitting them with a baseball bat, or even poisoning the victim.

    A charge of assault, on the other hand, does not require the victim to have suffered any actual physical harm. Rather, the mere threat of such physical harm or injury is sufficient. The less serious form of assault is one that is committed by a person who is not in possession of a dangerous weapon, and simple assault can be nothing more than yelling, “I’m going to punch you,” at another person while raising your fist, or even taking a swing. A far more serious offense, assault with a dangerous weapon, is called aggravated assault.

    Simple assault is a misdemeanor, and the maximum punishment is 90 days in parish jail and/or a fine of $200. Aggravated assault is also a misdemeanor but, because of its severity, the punishment for a convicted person can be up to six months in jail and/or a fine of $1,000.

    In three specific instances, a prosecutor can charge an individual with felony assault. These are:

  • When the offender uses a motor vehicle to commit assault on a peace officer who is performing his or her official duties
  • When the offender is not a student but commits assault on a school employee who is performing his or her official duties
  • When the assault is carried out by the use of poison
  • Find a Louisiana criminal attorney here.

    Other Crimes

    The lawyers who comprise Criminal Lawyer are prepared to defend a variety of crimes in Louisiana and our experience is not limited to the most common crimes in the state. Our expertise extends to the defense of federal crimes and appellate level defense. Whether you are seeking a criminal justice lawyer to build your defense against such a serious charge as murder, or a less severe misdemeanor such as possession of a narcotic, we stand ready to provide the help you need.

    Importance of an Experienced Criminal Justice Lawyer

    The criminal justice system in Louisiana is tough. Prosecutors here tend to seek the most serious criminal charges possible, and judges often hand down the maximum sentence. When the crime is first-degree murder or treason, that can result in capital punishment.

    However, many lesser criminal convictions in Louisiana could cost you an extended loss of your freedom. Don’t gamble with your future. Instead, find a Louisiana criminal attorney who is familiar with the laws of Louisiana and can build a robust defense, irrespective of the crime of which you are accused. At the Criminal Lawyer, our lawyers provide a staunch defense for every client. Whether you are facing a minor misdemeanor for a first-time DUI or a first-degree murder charge, our defense lawyers in Louisiana will build a strategic, case-specific defense.

    If you are wondering where you can turn for the defense of your criminal charges in Louisiana, turn to us.

    [Disclaimer - this is not legal advice.]

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