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Baton Rouge Criminal Defense Law Blog

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.

TV star facing allegations of molesting a child

The star of a Discovery Channel reality show, likely watched by many in Louisiana, is facing the possibility of serious penal and professional consequences after being accused of molesting a child. According to reports, the celebrity gun store owner and firearms aficionado denied the allegations. He claims instead that a former girlfriend has made up the allegations of child sexual abuse to get back at him because their relationship soured. The alleged victim is reportedly the celebrity's daughter.

Although jail officials, when asked, declined to speak about the case because a judge has placed the details under seal, according to TMZ, a celebrity website, the man had to post $150,000 in bail in order to be given his liberty pending the disposition of these charges. Reportedly, the man and his current wife still have custody of the alleged victim in this case even though child welfare officials spoke with the child about the allegations.

Baton Rouge men accused of soliciting sex, child pornography

Eight men, about half of whom are from Baton Rouge and the remainder of whom reside in other parts of Louisiana, are facing serious charges in the wake of an investigation conducted by several state and federal agencies. Most of the men face child pornography charges, and reports also suggested that some of these men also might face legal allegations that they were soliciting sex with minors.

As many Louisianans already know, a conviction on any of these charges can ruin a person's life. First, the person will no doubt face a real possibility of going to jail for an extended period of time, followed by a long period of very restrictive probation. In addition to having to explain a felony on his record, these men may also have to register as a sex offender. Being on the sex offender registry carries with it a powerful social stigma and can ruin a person's chances at having a good job in the future.

Young man faces multiple charges after alleged crime spree

Baton Rouge residents probably know that being accused of a felony is a serious matter, and most people in Baton Rouge probably never want such a thing to happen to them. Even one felony charge can mean that a person could serve a lengthy prison sentence, pay a hefty time and be forced to deal with the long-term professional and personal consequences that follow a felony conviction. This situation is made even worse, however, when a person faces more than one felony.

As a case in point, a teen from the Baton Rouge area faces multiple felony charges, including attempted murder, kidnapping, rape and robbery charges, after he and two other people allegedly held up two women and then forced the women into their car. According to reports, the women were taken to an isolated area and raped. According to police, this young man also shot another person who happened to step outside during this crime spree. These crimes allegedly took place in and around Baton Rouge.

Baton Rouge man faces unusual felony charge

Louisiana residents who read this blog frequently know that violent crimes like robbery, rape, assault and murder can carry with them substantial penalties, including a lengthy prison sentence. For this reason, a Baton Rouge resident accused of these types of crimes may want to mount an aggressive defense against the state's charges. What some people might not realize, however, is that Louisiana also has laws on the books that can quickly turn what some might see as obnoxious or provocative behavior into a serious felony charge.

One Baton Rouge man unfortunately found this out the hard way when he was charged with "intentional exposure of the AIDS virus" against a deputy. The man now faces the possibility of a hefty fine and an 11-year prison sentence.

Baton Rouge sobriety checkpoints lead to DUI charges

Drivers could be stopped for various reasons. An officer could suspect that a traffic violation has been committed. In other cases, a driver is questioned and possibly arrested following an accident. Moreover, a driver could be stopped at various checkpoints. This often occurs when authorities seek to deter drunk drivers on the roadways.

In what some Louisiana residents may see as part of a holiday tradition, Baton Rouge authorities conducted more than one field sobriety checkpoint on the local roads in an effort to nab suspected drunk drivers who were reveling during the long Independence Day weekend.

Four detained on allegations of drug trafficking

Louisiana authorities recently arrested four people who were traveling on an interstate in West Baton Rouge Parish after they discovered $500,000 worth of "Molly," a synthetic drug that has been compared to the party drug ecstasy.

Police claim they made a routine traffic stop of a vehicle that was traveling through the area. Apparently, the driver was not using his lane of traffic properly. Police say that during the stop, they noted unusual behavior and decided to call in a drug dog. Allegedly, the drug dog was able to "hit" on the car, alerting authorities to the presence of drugs in the vehicle.

US Supreme Court restricts police inspection of cellphones

As its term winds down for the year, the United States Supreme Court has issued an important decision that will both affect the rights of Louisiana residents accused of crimes and require Louisiana officials to exercise extra care before looking through a suspect's cellphone when they take the suspect into custody.

The Court ruled unanimously that police may not rely on the mere fact that they have arrested someone as a justification for searching that person's cellphone for evidence of crimes. The Court reasoned that in the present day and age, people store a lot of deeply personal information on their phones, and that law enforcement officials must therefore obtain a search warrant before lifting data from these phones.

National prostitution sweep leads to 20 arrests in Baton Rouge

In a story that has attracted national attention, federal agents made arrests across the country for prostitution and related allegations recently. Several people from the Baton Rouge area found themselves involved in this roundup. In all, 20 people, including 3 alleged "pimps" and 17 alleged prostitutes, were charged with sex crimes in connection with this sweep. This sweep, however, is only part of a lengthy federal crackdown on sex trafficking.

People from other cities in Louisiana did not escape from the federal dragnet. Authorities arrested people in New Orleans, Monroe, Alexandria, Lake Charles and Shreveport.

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