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Baton Rouge Criminal Defense Law Blog

It's important to know police interrogation techniques

It is frightening enough for a Louisiana resident to be accused of a serious crime. He or she may, sometimes even suddenly or at an odd hour, be asked to come to a police station, supposedly just to help clear up a difficult case. When the person, understandably nervous, tries to explain, the police accuse him or her of lying and will try to give the person a way out of the interrogation by confessing the crime.

This technique is called the Reid Technique, and police in Louisiana and throughout the United States have used it for decades in all kinds of cases, from petty theft or drug charges all the way up to rape and murder. The Technique relies on supposed non-verbal cues, like twitching or avoiding eye contact, that a police officer allegedly will assess quickly at the beginning of his or her interview with a suspect.

Getting help when accused of sex crimes

Several recent posts on this blog have discussed the serious consequences that can accompany a conviction for a sex crime. Residents of Baton Rouge and other people in Louisiana need to remember that the label "sex crimes" does not just apply to more serious news-grabbers like rape or child sexual abuse. A person who simply made a mistake or who was in the wrong place at the wrong time can also be accused of a sex crime that can land a person on Louisiana's sex offender registry.

Being on the sex offender registry can cause tremendous damage to one's reputation and also has the potential to ruin one's professional life for a very long time, if not permanently. This is to say nothing about the fact that most sex crimes in Louisiana carry with them the possibility of a stiff jail sentence followed by highly restrictive probation terms.

Baton Rouge police accuse several of soliciting sex

Law enforcement authorities reportedly conducted a sting operation recently that targeted areas of high prostitution activity. Police claim that, as part of their operation, they also seized drugs and located someone who had been reported as missing. Allegedly, the operation was designed to cut down on prostitution in the streets of Baton Rouge. The sting apparently did not target more elaborate prostitution rings, like escort services.

The sting ended with the arrest of 14 people in and around Baton Rouge, mostly women who were accused of prostitution. There were also some men who may be accused of soliciting sex from a prostitute. A few were also alleged to be repeat offenders, and one of those arrested also faces a drug charge.

What can land a person on Louisiana's sex offender registry?

No Louisiana resident wants to find their name on Louisiana's sex offender registry. Being on the registry can cause serious embarrassment to the person accused and sharply curb a Louisiana resident's job opportunities. Moreover, a registered sex offender must comply with additional restrictive laws that can put serious limits on one's personal freedom even years after one has been convicted and has completed their sentence and probation.

Some sex offenses like rape and child molestation trigger a requirement that a person place their name on the sex offender registry. This may not surprise many Louisianans. Other offenses that require registration include a conviction for the possession of pornographic images of children and teens. Certain types of voyeurism, or watching people take their clothes off, can also land a person on Louisiana's sex offender registry. Additionally, kidnapping of a child under the age of 13 also requires one to register as a sex offender.

Understanding defense options when facing drug charges

When an individual is arrested for a crime, it is important to fully understand the situation. Whether the accused has a criminal background or not, facing a drug crime charge could seriously impact one's life and damage his or her personal and professional life. Our firm understands that allegations of a drug crime could have serious consequences and developing a defense strategy is important. Defendants should understand their legal options so they can act quickly to initiate a defense and reduce the possible impact that the charges have on their lives.

Louisiana residents should understand that there are no minor drug charges, because these types of charges often carry serious penalties. Whether they are accused of possession, distribution or trafficking, defendants should be aware of the detailed defense process often required to defend these charges. Moreover, the accused also should be mindful of the sentencing guidelines in his or her state, as well as for federal charges. This might require a skillful defense.

When must a Louisiana resident register as a sex offender?

Being charged with a sex crime is not something to take lightly. A guilty verdict can mean jail time, fines and possibly having to register as a sex offender. Having one's name on the registered sex offender list can be damaging to one's reputation, can negatively affect a person's professional life, and can drastically affect one's personal relationships.

There are a wide array of sex crimes that may force an individual to register as a sex offender in the state of Louisiana. These include more obvious crimes like forcible rape and second degree sexual battery, but also lesser known crimes like conspiracy to commit aggravated oral sexual battery and attempted perpetration. A person must have either pled guilty or been convicted of a sex crime in order to be required to register as a sex offender.

Threat of violence leaves man facing felony charge

After rising numbers of instances of school and workplace violence over the last few years, most Baton Rouge residents know that Louisiana law enforcement authorities will take threats to the safety of public buildings and the people in them very seriously. However, as a recent case may well illustrate, sometimes this desire for safety at all costs can raise questions about whether a person can and should be punished simply for saying things that might make people uncomfortable or frightened.

A man who was near Baton Rouge Community College reportedly was saying that he planned to shoot 70 people at the college campus. Police say that they were able to identify the man from eyewitness accounts. The man did not have a gun when he was arrested, and no one was hurt. The status of the man's mental condition was not reported.

The law can help people falsely accused of sex crimes

As this blog has mentioned many times, convictions for sex crimes can have serious personal and professional consequences. Depending on the crime, a Louisiana resident, if convicted, will likely have to spend a substantial amount of time in jail followed by a lengthy period of restrictive probation. Moreover, a person may have to register as a sex offender, which could make finding a suitable home difficult and finding a job nearly impossible.

What some Louisianans may fear even more than sex crime convictions, however, are untrue allegations against a person of child sexual abuse, rape or some other sex crime. Even the allegation that a person has committed a sex offense can leave that person fighting to salvage his or her personal and professional reputation.

Boaters in Louisiana face significant penalties for OWI

Last week's post discussed how a charge of boating while intoxicated, even if it is a first-time offense, can result in serious consequences for Louisiana residents and those traveling to this state. Indeed, the fines and other penalties, even for a one-time mistake, can affect a person's finances, livelihood and even freedom.

According to the official boating handbook of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, a person faces the possibility of a boating while intoxicated charge if he or she is suspected of having a .08 percent blood alcohol content. If a person is under 21, then he or she will face an OWI if he or she has more than .02 percent blood alcohol content. A person can also face a boating while intoxicated charge if he or she is found to be under the influence of drugs.

Louisiana boater facing hit and run charges

Many Louisiana residents have probably heard about how seriously law enforcement officers both in Baton Rouge and in other communities take drunk driving. A person facing a DWI charge, even for a first-time mistake, may have to deal with serious personal and professional consequences, including the possibility of jail time.

What people might not realize, however, is that police will often use leaving the scene or hit-and-run charges to try to punish people whom they suspect may have been driving or boating drunk. For their part, citizens need to take such charges seriously, as they can have just as significant consequences as an OWI.

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