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Baton Rouge Criminal Defense Law Blog

Man facing multiple drunk driving charges after crash

When a person is facing drunk driving charges in Baton Rouge, the fear and consternation can be overwhelming. This is especially true if there were not only charges for DWI, but a drunk driving accident in which a person was injured or killed. The driver will be confronted with the possibility of being convicted of multiple offenses, as well as the penalties and long-term ramifications in the event there is a conviction. Knowing how to craft a strong defense could be the key to the entire case.

The driver of a 2005 Chevrolet Avalanche is expected to be charged with multiple offenses linked to driving under the influence once he is well enough to leave the hospital. In the accident, a 35-year-old passenger was killed after she was ejected from the vehicle. The vehicle ended up on its roof. The 42-year-old driver was arrested on suspicion of driving without a license, driving under the influence, having an altered temporary tag on the vehicle, failing to have a current inspection, no registration, no insurance and vehicular homicide.

Louisiana child pornography laws

There is no such thing as a typical person who gets accused of a sex offense in this state. Many Louisiana residents from all walks of life face accusations of all kinds of sex offenses, including non-contact offenses like the possession of child pornography. Although sex crimes vary in degree and severity, they all seem to carry with them significant consequences, including lengthy jail terms, hefty fines, strict terms of probation and a social stigma that can last a lifetime.

Child pornography charges can ensnare even an honest, hardworking Louisiana resident who has never been in trouble with the law before. The child pornography laws in Louisiana are very broad, encompassing not only depictions of sexual acts but also many forms of nudity.

Multiple arrests in federal drug trafficking case

A federal grand jury indicted 39 people, many of whom are from Baton Rouge, in connection with accusations that they participated in a drug ring. Some of the people arrested are also accused of other criminal activity, including planning a murder and also threatening to cut off someone else's fingers.

In the course of executing arrest warrants, police claim that they found weapons and drugs. Police also stated that they found $150,000 in cash. Following the announcement of the arrests, the United States Attorney accused the 39 suspects of distributing crack and other drugs in many parts of the Baton Rouge area.

Officers' intent matters little in probable cause cases

Some Louisiana residents may think that, in order to make an arrest, a police officer has to be able to articulate a good reason for detaining a person. However, the truth of the matter is that after the fact excuses for why a person was arrested, so long as they are otherwise legally valid, are perfectly legal in Louisiana.

Just like police are legally allowed to lie to a person in an interrogation, police are also allowed to come up with what many would call "pretexts" for arrests. In other words, a policeman on the spot could simply stop and search a person without having a reason in his or her mind to do so. Without more, the officer's arrest and search would be illegal.

Defending against a criminal conviction for a violent crime

Over the last several weeks, this blog has discussed what might well be a nightmare scenario for many residents of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Although many Louisianans might think that being convicted of a felony homicide would require that a person intentionally or at least recklessly kill somebody, in fact such is not the case.

In truth, a person can be charged with and convicted of a felony homicide for something that, while a serious accident, is an accident just the same. A person need not think too hard to imagine what it is like having try to carry on in life with a serious criminal conviction on one's record. Aside from the real possibility of prison time and a lengthy and restrictive term of probation, the person who is convicted will have to live with the professional and social handicaps that a person with a felony conviction usually endures.

The elements of 'negligent homicide' in Louisiana

Last week's post reported that two Baton Rouge residents are facing "negligent homicide" charges because of the accidental death of a toddler in their care. The story be somewhat scary for everyday Louisianans since the two ladies were not accused of doing anything intentional to hurt the child; they simply made a very tragic error.

In a real sense, a Louisiana resident accused of negligent homicide could be facing a felony charge simply for making a human mistake. Fortunately, not all accidents could lead to a negligent homicide charge. For a person to be convicted, the prosecutor must prove that the person engaged in "criminal negligence" and that this criminal negligence caused another person to lose his or her life.

Two Baton Rouge women face homicide charges after child's death

Following the death of a child, two Baton Rouge day care operators, one of them being the owner of the facility, find themselves facing charges of negligent homicide. Because these accusations involving a felony charge, the women both could receive a substantial prison sentence if they are convicted.

The daycare had recently lost its state license because of an issue with the number of children vis a vi the number of adult workers. Nevertheless, on the day of the accident, the daycare was supposedly caring for 15 children, more than the maximum a daycare can watch without a proper license from the state.

How does a federal mandatory minimum work?

Last week's post discussed how The Law Offices of Ossie Brown in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, can help both residents of Louisiana and those who just happen to be visiting the state fight federal drug charges and the stiff penalties that often come with those charges. The post may have left some wondering exactly what a "mandatory minimum" is and how it works in the federal sentencing scheme.

Normally, sentencing in a federal court will be pursuant to federal sentencing guidelines. Although these guidelines are technically not binding on a federal judge, most federal courts will follow them most of the time when passing a sentence. Based on a number of factors, the guidelines prescribe a certain range of jail time that is presumptively appropriate for the offense in question.

Working diligently to defend against federal drug charges

In Louisiana, there is really no such thing as "minor" drug charges. All criminal offenses involving drug possession or drug trafficking will be taken very seriously by police and prosecutors, and they may try to levy a hefty jail sentence and fine on even a first-time offender.

Should a Baton Rouge resident have the misfortune of being accused of a federal drug crime, the stakes can be even higher. For one, federal investigators and prosecutors have the reputation of being particularly well-trained and well-equipped to be as aggressive as possible when pursuing a case.

Many synthetic drugs are illegal in Louisiana

Baton Rouge residents may remember that just a few short years ago, many Louisianans were turning to so-called synthetic marijuana and other synthetic drugs as a legal alternative to drugs that could otherwise land people in trouble with the law. Louisiana authorities quickly closed this legal loophole, however, such that now many synthetic drugs are illegal.

Those who use common forms of synthetic marijuana and other synthetic drugs now can face drug charges and the severe legal penalties that can come with those drug charges should they be convicted. Specifically, a person caught distributing these types of chemicals can receive a maximum sentence of 50 years at hard labor in a Louisiana prison. While penalties for synthetic marijuana distribution are more lenient, one can still wind in prison for 30 years should he or she get convicted on a synthetic marijuana distribution charge.

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