Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

Baton Rouge Criminal Defense Law Blog

What are the penalties for drug possession?

Searches and seizures can happen for various reasons. It could stem from a traffic stop, occur following an arrest and even happen when a search warrant is issued on a residence based on probable cause. During a search, various items could be uncovered, one of them being drugs. Being in possession of an illegal substance could result in drug charges. However, one being in possession of drugs does not mean he or she will be convicted of drug possession. There are defense options available, making it imperative to understand the elements of this crime, penalties that could result and what defense strategies a defendant could use.

In Louisiana and other states, the penalties for drug possession vary greatly. For example, simple possession could range from a fine of $100 or less and a few days in jail to thousands of dollars in fines and several years in prison. A simple possession charge is typically the lightest penalty one could face, but this is dependent on the drug in question.

Helping you defend against drug charges

Whether we read it in the news or see it on TV, it is clear that drug crimes are taken seriously. Be it minor possession charges or allegations of a drug ring, state and federal law enforcement in Louisiana and elsewhere are hard on these crimes. Due to this, defendants are often faced with various charges related to the offense, resulting in potential penalties that could impact the accused's personal and professional life.

While the prosecution is attempting to see what charges will stick by charging the alleged offender with every crime possible, it is important for defendants to understand that many of these charges will drop on their own because there is not enough evidence. And for the charges that remain, it is possible to poke holes in the case, as the evidence piling up against the accused could be challenged and suppressed.

Things to know about field sobriety tests before taking one

Have you ever noticed how things sometimes in happen in life when you least expect them? For instance, you may pack up a picnic and head to the lake because your weather forecast projected a bright, sunny day then find yourself in the midst of a sudden, unexpected rainstorm that leaves you dripping wet and disappointed.  

Some unexpected events can cause more than disappointment. They can prompt serious legal problems as well, such as if a Louisiana police officer pulls you over in traffic, asks you to take a field sobriety test then fails you and uses it as probable cause to arrest you for suspected drunk driving. That's why it's critical that you understand the ins and outs of such tests ahead of time and know how to protect your rights.  

Understanding manslaughter laws in Louisiana

Serious and fatal incidents unfortunately occur. Whether or not one intends for this to occur, a fatal incident could result in a person facing criminal charges for the death of another person. Homicide crimes range in severity and are based on the details of the crime. However, any homicide charge carries with it harsh penalties and consequences that could significantly impact the personal and professional life of the accused.

In the state of Louisiana defines manslaughter in two different ways. The first is as a homicide that would be categorized as a first degree murder or second degree murder if it were not for the offense being committed in sudden passion or in the heat of moment, caused by provocation that is sufficient to deprive an average person's self control.

How does Louisiana law define forgery?

Some employees are tasked with handling money, signing document and acting on behalf of the entire company. These roles not only entail huge responsibilities but are also tasks that come with much power. Misusing these powers can come with serious repercussions. Even more so, facing such allegations can have very damaging effects to the accused's professional and personal reputation.

How does Louisiana law define forgery? This white collar crime occurs when there is an intent to defraud by forging any signature, part or whole, or any writing that purports to have legal efficacy. This crime also occurs when an individual issues, transfers or possesses a forged writing with the intent to defraud and the offender is aware of the forged writing.

Louisiana police chief arrested for malfeasance

Holding a position in your community that makes you well known to the public often means that many members of the community will know you and the things that you do. Thus, if you are accused of a crime, this could be seriously detrimental to not only your personal reputation but also your professional one as well. On top of that, the criminal allegations could mean facing serious penalties and consequences, such as losing one's job if the crime occurred in the course of his or her employment.

This is the situation faced by a police chief in Louisiana. According to recent reports, the police chief was arrested after he was accused of using a village credit care to purchase gas for his personal vehicle. This charge amounted to $60.

Using self-defense as a defense action against a murder charge

Being accused of a violent crime is a serious situation to be in. The penalties associated with such a crime can be severe, causing a person's present and future to be significantly impacted. Thus, it is vital to understand what can be done to reduce the criminal consequences associated with a violent crime, such as murder or manslaughter. A strong criminal defense could help reduce or even dismiss the charges against a defendant.

Most people associate self-defense as a mechanism to prevent another from causing harm. However, if the harm attempted against another is deadly, the victim of that crime can defend him or herself with deadly force. It is essentially universally accepted that a person may protect him or herself from harm under the appropriate circumstances. This is true even when such conduct or behavior would usually constitute a crime.

Hypoglycemic? Things you should know about Breathalyzer tests

If a police officer pulls you over in traffic, you can bet he or she is going to claim to have had reasonable cause to do so. Whether that means you're tail light was not functioning or the officer allegedly caught you on a radar gun traveling at speeds that exceeded the posted limits in the area, the end result of the traffic stop may be a mere warning, a written citation or worse.

The latter may include many different issues, such as the officer asking you to exit your vehicle, which typically means he or she suspects you of drunk driving or some other impairment. At this point, it's critical that you clearly understand your rights and know where to seek support to help protect them. As the situation unfolds, the officer may ask you to take a breath test. Do you know that if you're hypoglycemic, the results of your test may mistakenly register positive for alcohol on your breath?

Louisiana DUI can put a damper on future opportunities

You'd likely be hard-pressed to find someone in Louisiana who hasn't made a poor choice that he or she later regretted at some point in life. Life is a journey and a learning experience. While we typically hope that our good choices will outweigh the bad, it doesn't always happen that way and how we react to negative consequences, as well as what types of resources we tap into to help us rebound from a bad situation may be key to rising above our problems and starting afresh in life.

You may undoubtedly find some types of situations more trying than others. For instance, if you've gone through divorce, you may consider it one of the most emotionally (and perhaps, legally) challenging experiences in your life to date. Facing DUI charges in this state or elsewhere would also probably rank high on your "difficult life situations" list. In fact, DUI convictions can have far-reaching, long-lasting negative implications. How well you're able to mitigate your circumstances may largely depend on the type of support system you build.

What constitutes first-degree murder in Louisiana?

The death of a person is a tragic event. And being accused of causing a death is a very serious situation to be in. Whether it is someone you know or not, facing a murder charge is one that not only has severe potential penalties but also has the ability to harm one's personal and professional reputation. Thus, it is vital to explore criminal defense options as a means to reduce and even prevent these consequences from occurring.

What constitutes first-degree murder in Louisiana? This offense occurs when a human being is killed and the offender has specific intent to kill or to inflict great bodily harm. Additionally, the offender engaged in the perpetration or attempted perpetration of an aggravated kidnapping, second degree kidnapping, aggravated escape, aggravated arson, aggravated or first degree rape, forcible or second degree rape, aggravated burglary, armed robbery, assault by drive-by shooting, first degree robbery, second degree robbery, simple robbery and other similar offenses.

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Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

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