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Baton Rouge Criminal Defense Law Blog

Several people detained in connection with pharmacy break-ins

Federal officials have arrested the last of several people whom they believe are responsible for a string of burglaries at pharmacies in various towns in Louisiana. Some of the earlier arrests in this case took place in Baton Rouge.

According to police reports, seven people were involved in repeated burglaries, in which they would enter pharmacies and then take both cash and marketable prescription drugs. While reports are describing the police investigation as if it were a burglary, about $3 million in medicines and other prescription drugs were located at the homes of some of the suspects. Given the amount of drugs involved, drug charges are also a possibility.

We provide strong representation from start to finish

As several of our recent posts have discussed, police in Louisiana often use aggressive interrogation and other investigation techniques in order to hunt down whom they believe is guilty and try to get that person to admit to their accusations.

Even before a person is actually charged with a crime, being investigated with the looming threat of an arrest can be scary enough for a Baton Rouge resident. Fortunately, legal assistance can be valuable, even invaluable, when a person has been contacted by the police.

What should I do if I am contacted by the police?

For a Louisiana resident, getting contacted by the police in the course of any criminal investigation can be scary. As a recent post on this blog discussed, police officers Louisiana may be trained in interviewing techniques that are designed to elicit a confession, even if it turns out that the confession is contrived. Still, many Louisiana residents may choose to talk freely to police officer in the hopes that they will avoid possible criminal penalties or maybe even help their criminal defense.

While the decision to talk to police is a personal choice, one must remember that he or she always has the right both to refuse to participate in a police interview and even to give any statement at all. Moreover, one must also remember that while, in a perfect world, police really simply out to find out the truth, this is sadly not always the case. Sometimes, a person's words to the police can be taken out of context by officials whose primary mission is to get a conviction.

Baton Rouge officer accused of soliciting sex over the Internet

A sheriff's deputy who was serving in the Baton Rouge area is now facing criminal charges himself after a prostitute informed authorities that she was approached by him online for sexual favors. She also says that the deputy intimidated her, using his office to make her engage in a sexual relationship with him for free.

Allegedly, the deputy was using a website called "Backstage" to locate prostitutes. Backstage, like Craigslist, offers people the opportunity to use so-called "escort services." However, these "escort services" are often an opportunity for people to arrange to pay for sex.

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.

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