Categories
Driving Laws Reckless Driving

Reckless Driving Vs Negligent Driving

Reckless Driving Vs. Negligent Driving

Wondering about reckless driving vs. negligent driving? This post will give you all the info you need to know.

The difference between reckless driving, also known as reckless operation, and negligent driving, usually referred to as careless operation, is marginal. However, there are enough differences that they must be separated.

Let’s discuss the main contrasts between the two and what you should do if you ever find yourself charged in Louisiana with one of these violations. 

PRO TIP: If you are charged in Louisiana with either reckless driving or negligent driving, be sure to hire a criminal defense attorney. These cases often come with serious penalties that a skilled criminal defense lawyer can avoid.

What is reckless driving? What is Negligent driving?

Defining the Difference

The state of Louisiana has seen fit to separate the two charges since what leads to being charged with one of these violations is not the same as the others. Reckless driving is considered more intentional than negligent driving and therefore carries a higher charge. Let’s take at some differences between the two. 

  • Operating a vehicle and falling asleep is a form of negligent driving. Although it is dangerous and causes accidents, the law affirms that the person falling asleep did not intend an accident that occurs due to falling asleep. 
  • Distracted driving, such as glancing at your phone, is another example of negligent driving. As we know, many deaths are caused each year, and this charge may be considered with a higher charge in the future. 
  • Listening to music loud enough to not hear emergency vehicle sirens can be considered negligent driving. 
  • An accident caused by excessive and dangerous speed can be considered reckless driving. This is also clear when someone participates in a drag race or other similar intentional acts while driving and causes an accident. Going over 15 miles an hour over a maximum speed limit is considered reckless driving.
  • Intentionally endangering someone else with your driving is another example of reckless driving. 

Although this is not a complete list of examples of the two charges, you can understand the differences between the two. In addition, it is important to note that in many cases these crimes may also be committed alongside other crimes such as drug charges, DWI and more.

What to Do if Charged With Reckless or Negligent Driving

One issue with both charges is that you can be accused of either by the police, depending on what they think the evidence is. As noted reckless driving carries a more severe penalty, you could find yourself facing what many consider serious jail time. In such cases you may be wondering whether or not you need a lawyer. You may also be wondering whether first time offenders go to jail. Unfortunately, the answer is yes. They do.

Negligent driving is serious.

Regardless of which charge you are accused of, but especially reckless driving, you need to contact an attorney to help you defend your case. 

Upon the receipt of a ticket or being arrested, make sure to call a lawyer. Next, we will discuss what to look for in hiring an attorney for reckless or negligent driving. 

PRO TIP: Read these tips for handling a DWI if your case involves driving under the influence!

Hiring the Best Attorney for Your Charge

Hiring a lawyer to defend your case sounds simple, but there are things to consider before calling a lawyer. Below are what to look for in a lawyer to hire.

  • Make sure the attorney is experienced in defending reckless and negligent driving cases. Most attorneys specialize in certain types of cases. You probably would not hire a real estate attorney to defend you in a criminal case. Even criminal cases differ as lawyers practice in specific types of courts. If charged with a traffic violation, you will want to hire an attorney who spends much of their time defending traffic charges. 
  • Hire a local attorney. If you do not live in the town in which you were charged, you may be tempted to hire someone from your hometown area. This can be a mistake, as local attorneys are almost always the best option. They will understand the local court system’s nuances and know how the different judges react in court. Someone from the outside will not be aware of these subtle differences. 
  • Obtain the best local attorney for your charge. Ask any lawyer that you are interviewing what their record is for defending traffic cases. If they have a poor record, move on to the next interview. Any attorney with a good court record will be proud to share with you that record.  

PRO TIP: Read these tips for getting pulled over here! We know you’ll enjoy them!

You Hired an Attorney, What Now? 

Now that you have hired your attorney to represent you in court, the next step is to do what they advise you to do. Many people think that the hiring of an attorney is the last step in the process. The truth is, it is only the beginning of your journey in traffic court. This is especially true if you are facing jail time. 

What you cannot do, is get yourself arrested for the same type of charge or anything for that matter. Keeping yourself out of trouble and showing the court that you are not guilty or that you only made a one time mistake will fly out of the window if you are arrested while waiting on your charge to go to court.

Other than this, show up to court on time and dress as if this court hearing is vital to you and your future. Mostly, don’t panic and trust that your attorney will help you receive the best possible solution to your case.

We hope you now understand the difference between reckless driving vs. negligent driving and wish you all the best!

Categories
Criminal Law

Do I Need A Lawyer?

Do I Need A Lawyer? Here’s What You Need To Know!

Wondering “Do I need a lawyer?”… This post will explain everything you need to know regarding this sensitive subject.

Some People Are Lucky Throughout Their Life

Some people go through life without getting themselves in trouble with the law. Avoiding these run-ins are more by luck than anything. We all make mistakes in life, and sometimes so does law enforcement. Sometime during your adult life, you may find yourself charged with a crime. The question many people ask is; Do I need a lawyer? 

The conclusive answer is yes. In this article, we will discuss the different types of law violations that one can experience in a lifetime and why you need a lawyer if charged with one. 

Do I need a lawyer?
Do I need a lawyer? Yes! You probably do!

Expect A Better Outcome With A Lawyer

Crimes Involving Intoxication

One of the most common categories people find themselves in trouble for are crimes that involve alcohol. The night starts well enough. A friend asks you to join them to celebrate a birthday, or maybe you attend a Christmas party where the alcohol is flowing. There is no crime for drinking, as long as you meet the age requirements, but there are laws in place for what you can’t do while intoxicated. 

  • DUI: At the beginning of the night, you never expected to drive while under the influence, but one bad decision later, you find yourself charged with a DUI. Now facing license suspension, court fees, fines, and possibly jail time, your life could take a turn for the worse. This is when hiring a lawyer is a must. 
  • Public Intoxication: Although usually a minimal misdemeanor, this charge happens when you find yourself intoxicated and in public. If law enforcement believes you are a danger to yourself or others, you could find yourself charged with this crime.

Although most people will not receive severe repercussions from this charge, many jobs do not allow you to have even a public intoxication conviction. If you find yourself in this situation, a lawyer must keep you from having this on your criminal record as a conviction. 

Assault or Domestic Violence

Even being convicted of the lowest misdemeanor for assault, and especially domestic violence, will have a dramatic impact on someone’s life. An assault, no matter how minor you consider it, could show up on criminal history checks when pulled over by the police or during the job interview process. 

Domestic violence charges can have severe effects on your life as this type of charge comes with several restrictions imposed upon you. For both assault or domestic violence charges, an attorney should be hired before making any agreements with prosecutors. 

Firearm Charges

It is sometimes hard to know what local laws and restrictions are in place from state to state and city to city. This is particularly true when it comes to gun laws. Since it is up to you to know all local laws before carrying a gun into an area, many people find themselves charged with a gun violation. Your best bet is to know the local law and abide by them, but if you find yourself charged, seek out a lawyer immediately for hire. 

hire a lawyer for the best results!
Hire a lawyer for better results with your case!

Why You Should Always Hire an Attorney

Keeping the above examples in mind, if you find yourself charged with one of them or any other crime for that matter, hire an attorney to represent you. Even if you think it is “no big deal”, a prosecutor’s job is to find you guilty and have you punished. If you do not have someone to protect your rights when you step into court, you could find yourself receiving the harshest punishment for the charge. 

A criminal defense attorney represents you in a court case and has an obligation to defend you and get the best deal possible to finalize your charge. For those who are worried about how a criminal conviction looks on your record, there are times when a lawyer is able to have your charge dismissed or worked out in a way where the conviction does not show on your record. 

Those who are concerned about how much a lawyer costs will find that not hiring one may cost them more in the end. What you spend on an attorney can save you thousands of dollars in fines and fees. 

Who Should I Hire?

All lawyers are not alike. Those who practice law work in several different fields. Below are some examples of what to look for in a lawyer to defend you if charged with a crime. 

  • Make sure the criminal defense attorney is local. Local attorneys know the court system in their area and how it works. 
  • Always hire a lawyer who has experience defending the type of case you are charged with. Even the best attorneys are not experts in all of the law. If charged with a DUI, make sure you have representation by someone who had defended DUIs in the past.
  • Interview the attorney to make sure they are willing to fight your case in court. If they only want you to plead to the highest charge and take your money, they are probably not the best choice for you. Ask for examples of how they helped people in your past situation. 

Hiring an attorney should be standard practice for anyone charged with a crime. If you find yourself in trouble for assault, DUI, domestic violence, gun charges, or others, contact an attorney today to protect your rights.

We hope we have adequately answered your question, “do I need a lawyer” and wish you luck with your case!

Categories
Malfeasance In Office

Examples Of Malfeasance In Office

8 Examples Of Malfeasance In Office

If you want to know some surprising examples of malfeasance in office, this post will give you 8 of them. Malfeasance in office is often hard to define. However, these examples should give you clear cut ideas of what the phrase actually means.

Public Employees Have A Moral And Ethical Responsibility

Due to the very nature of public service, citizens expect those who fill public jobs to act in an ethical manner. College classes, businesses, and government jobs have stressed the importance, over the last few decades, of ethics. This campaign to eradicate corruption has been effective to a degree in the public service realm. 

Still, there are instances when those who work for the citizens of their local or state government in Louisiana have violated these ethics. For that reason, laws are in place, such as malfeasance in office that state it is a crime to use a public position in a way that suppresses others or benefits the public servant.

Malfeasance in office is a state law in Louisiana, so whether the public servant works in Shreveport or New Orleans, a suspected violation of the crime results in a felony charge. In the remainder of this article, we will discuss this law further and provide examples of what is considered malfeasance in office. 

Examples of Malfeasance in Office 

Example 1: Tampering with Evidence

While tampering with evidence is a crime in itself, a public servant can also be charged with malfeasance in office if they participated in this type of crime. An example of this is in the event a peace officer created evidence that was not genuine against another human. Another example would be if an employee of a public child protective agency destroyed evidence against someone harming a child. Both of these instances would violate the state’s malfeasance in office laws. 

tampering with evidence
tampering with evidence is one example of malfeasance in office

Example 2: Excessive Use of Force

Peace officers have rules that must be followed when dealing with the public. There are times when force can be used to control an individual while detaining or placing them under arrest for the officer and the public’s safety. These rules state how much force can be used. If a citizen resists or danger is present, an increase in the use of force can increase. The problem comes when excessive force is used by a peace officer where it is not warranted. When this happens, the officer could be charged with malfeasance in office. 

Example 3: Using A Position To Intimidate Others

Our next example of malfeasance in office occurs when someone in a public office uses their position to intimidate someone else. A judge who uses his power to threaten or have a neighbor arrested for revenge or to make them comply with their wishes would be a violation of malfeasance in office. 

using a position to intimidate others
using a position to intimidate others

Example 4: Using a Public Office to Have Sex

An extreme case of malfeasance in office happens when someone uses their position to force someone to have sexual intercourse with them. A case in point is if a probation officer for a parish used the threat of jail over a probationer’s head to force their consent to have intercourse. Although other charges could also occur, the law of malfeasance in office would be used to have the probation officer’s position terminated. 

Example 5: Using Political Position for Monetary Gain

This type of ethics violation is one of the oldest known on record and is one of the reasons society has malfeasance in office laws. Elected officials have the common responsibility of issuing contracts to companies and individuals on behalf of the parish or state they serve. A crime is committed when one of these public officials takes a bribe to issue one of these contracts. 

using position for monetary gain
Using a political position for monetary gain is an example of malfeasance in office

Example 6: Refusing to Perform the Responsibilities of a Position

When someone is a public official, they are hired or elected to perform certain functions and responsibilities that are needed for the betterment of the public. When one of these officials does not carry out these much-needed functions, they are violating their duty.

A public official who does not maintain their responsibilities can be found in violation of malfeasance in office and removed. For example, if a lawful order was given to a state employee to pull a liquor license from an establishment due to a violation and the employee did not because the owner of the license is a friend. This also applies when a public official allows someone who works under them not to perform their duties or lawful orders. 

Example 7: Using Public Property for Personal Benefit

Public employees are sometimes given cars and other items to be able and do their job more effectively. When one of these persons uses equipment or an expense account for their personal benefit, they can violate the malfeasance in office laws. An example is if a public official used a vehicle assigned for them to do their job functions to take a vacation trip to Florida with the family. Or, within the same line of thought, used a public gas card to purchase gas for the same vacation. These will trigger the malfeasance in office law in place, and the official may find themselves charged with a crime and removed from office. 

Another similar situation is if a public official was caught and charged with a DWI while operating a publicly owned and assigned car. 

8 examples malfeasance in office

Example 8: Using a Public Position to Enforce Personal Interests

This example of malfeasance in office is when a public official uses their power of position to enforce something that is not their responsibility. Ordering a house torn down due to being an eyesore without a legal order just because the official did not like it is one example. Those who issue orders without the lawful ability to do so will be considered to be in violation. 

Punishment

The criminal punishment for malfeasance in office in Louisiana is up to five years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine. Removal from the job position is also a consequence of being charged with this crime.

If you find yourself as a public employee charged with this abuse of power, you need to contact a criminal defense attorney to represent your case. An experienced and local attorney who understands how to defend a charge of malfeasance in office is your best option for both keeping your job and staying away from a conviction.

Categories
Assault Domestic Violence

Difference Between Domestic Violence And Assault

What is the Difference Between Assault and Domestic Violence?

There are laws in the state of Louisiana that are in place to reduce domestic violence. Many people equate domestic violence to assault, which, for the most part, go together. There are significant differences in being charged with an assault charge or one that involves domestic abuse and domestic violence. In this article, we will discuss any confusion between the two and how they relate to one another. 

Please Note: Hiring a good criminal defense attorney is key when dealing with assault and domestic violence. Contact us today to learn about your options.

Comparing Assault and Domestic Violence

There was a time in most U.S. states where it was legal to physically assault, including sexually, a spouse. In places where it was not legal, police sometimes looked the other way. Many police officers rationalized that an assault that occurred in a home was a private matter, and arrests rarely happened. This began to change during the last couple of decades of the twentieth century when domestic abuse was brought to the publics’ attention and highlighted the severity of the problem. 

Assault outside of the home, and whether a misdemeanor or felony was always enforced as long as the victim agreed to press charges. When this same scenario happened within a family environment, rarely did the victim agree to file charges against the abuser. The most straightforward answer for the difference between the two is that assault is unwanted physical contact with anyone other than a household member, which causes an injury. At the same time, domestic violence is an assault that occurs among members of the same household.  

domestic violence victim

Practical Differences

Realizing domestic violence had to be reduced, state legislatures began creating laws specific to making it a crime outside of standard assault charges. The main differences are the requirements put into place to protect members of a household from continuous abuse and death. Below are some common laws formed to guarantee these protections. 

  • Mandatory action taken was put in place when an assault occurred within a family unit. Unlike regular assault that required someone to file charges, domestic violence allowed law enforcement to charge the assailant if the evidence was clear of an assault. This is even in the event the family member asked not to file charges. By doing so, the law leaves the decision to arrest up to law enforcement. The fact that law enforcement had to act changed the idea that domestic violence was a private matter. 
  • Bail restrictions were developed to enhance the safety of the victim. No longer could someone charged with certain domestic violence charges be released on a personal recognizance bond. 
  • Peace bonds were developed that outlined specific conditions for the person charged with domestic violence had to follow for the protection of the victim.
  • Conditions against stalking, enhanced sentencing, restitution, and other laws that differ from a regular assault charge were instituted.
  • Gun restrictions against the assailant
our criminal law firm in New Orleans can help you with your case

What to Do if You Find Yourself Charged with Domestic Violence

Due to the seriousness that has been emphasized to end domestic violence, being charged with the crime can have consequences in your life. The best thing to do if an argument in your home occurs is to separate from each other until things calm down. If you find yourself charged with domestic violence charge, there are things you need to know, such as: 

  • When bail has been made, you may not be able to return to your home until your case is settled due to court orders and bail restrictions. 
  • If convicted for domestic battery in the state of Louisiana, you will not be able to possess a firearm for up to ten years. 
  • If a child is present during the abuse of 13 years old or younger, the domestic violence charged can be enhanced to a felony. 
  • Each conviction of domestic violence creates a higher charge each time you are arrested. It is important that if convicted of domestic violence, you do not make the same mistake again.

Knowing how serious domestic violence is, your first step if charged is to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Even before conviction, there can be restrictions in place that will severely limit your life. The attorney you hire needs to understand the many nuances of domestic violence laws and be a local attorney. By making sure you hire an attorney experienced in defending domestic violence charges, you will have the best chance to avoid a more serious outcome. 

Knowing the Difference

By knowing the difference between assault and domestic violence, you may be able to avoid going to jail and receiving a severe conviction when an argument gets out of hand at home. The state of Louisiana takes domestic violence seriously to the degree that you could find yourself serving time and creating problems for the duration of your life. Having a good defense attorney may help, but the only proper way to stay out of jail is to not commit domestic violence.

If you are interested in consulting with Barkemeyer Law Firm, please simply give us a call. We can answer any questions on key differences between assault and domestic violence.

Categories
Bail Criminal Court Process

When Can I Post Bail

When Can I Post Bail After An Arrest?

If you’re wondering when you can post bail after an arrest, this post will take you through all the facts and everything you should know. As you know, no one plans to be arrested when living in or visiting New Orleans. However, bad things happen from time to time and when they do sometimes you end up in jail.

If you find yourself in jail for a crime in New Orleans or anywhere in the state of Louisiana, you will almost always have a bail amount set for you. Here, we will discuss the ins and outs of the bail system in New Orleans and what it means if you find yourself charged and incarcerated in a local jail.  

PRO TIP: Read this post on how do bail bonds work. We know you’ll find it helpful.

What Bail Means

For those who do not know what bail is, let’s discuss it further. Bail is granted to those charged with a crime as a guarantee they will show for trial. When a person is charged with a crime they will, within a short time, go in front of a magistrate. This is where they will be officially arraigned and a bail set or have a preset bail. Once bail is set, different types of bail can be applied, such as: 

  • PR (personal recognizance) that allows the defendant to be released without fee and by pledging with a signature that they will appear on their scheduled court date to face the charges assigned to them. 
  • A Cash bond allows the defendant to put up the total amount of the bond set without using a third party. Once the person charged shows up for trial the cash bail amount will be refunded back to the defendant. 
  • Commercial bonds include a third party, usually known as a bonding agent, who puts up the bond amount for the defendant for a fee. 
  • A Property bond allows for property owned by the defendant to ensure they are present in court. If the defendant does not show for court, the property can be seized. 
arrest process and release on bail

When You Can Post Bail After an Arrest

In most cases, bail is straight forward. There are usually pre-set bail amounts assigned to lesser crimes to allow for more speedy bail time. For example, if you are arrested for a misdemeanor crime, the bail may already be set for your charge, at $200. This allows the defendant to skip the arraignment hearing and begin the bail process. 

Those who are charged with felonies, however, will usually find no set bail in place. If you are charged with a felony with no preset bail, you must wait for the arraignment hearing to have a bail set by the judge. With a felony charge, bail can take several hours or even days before you will be able to start the bail bonding process. Even with misdemeanor cases, you could be subject to the bonding agent’s schedule or a busy jail staff itself, as to when you can be released on bail. This can dishearten those who have a preset bail and still spend hours waiting to be released from jail. 

PRO TIP: Read this post on what to do if arrested. This will help you better understand the steps you should take in any situation.

What to Do Once Bail Is Set

The best-case scenario is that you have an attorney who can help you through the bond process. Most will only have access to a commercial bond at this time and go through an agent. With an attorney, you have most of the bail options above available for you, as your attorney may be able to ask for PR bail or start the process for a property bond, while you are in jail. Your attorney can help speed the process and have you back home much faster than those who try to take care of the process themselves. 

What To Do Once Released on Bail

Once you are released on bail, there are a few things that you absolutely should not do. 

  • Skip your court date: Missing your assigned court date will not only find you losing any bail money or property that you put up for collateral, but a warrant will also be issued for your arrest for not appearing. 
  • Get arrested again: Once out on bail, you must maintain your freedom by not getting charged with another crime. If this happens, you could find your original bail canceled and no way to get out of jail until your case is settled in court. 
  • Fail to check in with the bail agent: Most bail agents have rules that require you to check in with them on a regular schedule. This may include a phone call or an in-person visit. Either way, if you miss an appointment you can find your bail revoked and a warrant issued for your arrest. 
will I go to jail?

Summing Up

Getting released on bail is available to almost anyone charged with a crime. Bail will be either pre-set or set by a judge after you have been arrested. Preset bails make it easier and faster to be released from jail, but how fast is determined by factors such as how busy the jail or bonding agent is at the time. For felony charges, you may face several hours or days before being released. There are several rules to follow after making bail that must be obeyed or you will find yourself back in jail awaiting trial.

If you are looking for a criminal defense attorney with the experience and reputation to help you with your case, Barkemeyer Law Firm is the firm to call. We help thousands of individuals just like you and look forward to speaking to you.

We hope you have learned a little bit about when you can post bail after an arrest and wish you luck with your case.

Categories
DWI Public Intoxication

Public Drinking During Mardi Gras

Public Drinking During Mardi Gras: Laws You Need To Know

Are you wondering about public drinking during Mardi Gras? Great! This post will explain everything you need to know.

Mardis Gras is a unique event not quite like any other. Mardi Gras in New Orleans is even more special. Each year thousands of people from all over the world come to the city on the great Mississippi River to enjoy all that the holiday has to offer. 

PLEASE NOTE: Mardi Gras parades are experiencing major changes due to COVID-19. Parade dates are being moved and virtual parades will be available. Read more on this page here!

One thing that most have in common during Mardi Gras is the consumption of alcohol. While alcohol is part of the fun of Mardi Gras, everyone who attends needs to be aware of the local laws regarding imbibing alcoholic drinks during their visit. In this article, we will take a look at laws surrounding public drinking in New Orleans and what you need to know. 

drinking during Mardi Gras

Everyone is Subject to Local Public Drinking Laws

Most people understand this, but it is still important to point out. Some tourists tend to think that local laws do not apply to them. It does. Just because you are visiting and spending your hard-earned money in New Orleans doesn’t mean you do not have to follow the local public drinking laws. 

Law enforcement in New Orleans are experts at keeping civility and drunken party-goers under control, They also show a great deal of tolerance for the things that come with large crowds of drinkers. There will be lines you cannot cross, however. This is also true during special times such as the Covid-19 pandemic. Just because the scenarios of life may change, the laws remain the same. 

Drunkenness is A Crime

Public intoxication is a crime in New Orleans as it is in most places in the U.S. As mentioned the police in New Orleans will show patience with most people, knowing they are having a good time. If someone becomes a danger to themselves or others, however, they will find themselves arrested and charged with public intoxication. In these such events, hiring a reputable New Orleans criminal attorney is really your best bet.

Plastic Containers Must Be Used

Drinking alcohol while walking along the streets of the French Quarter area is legal in New Orleans. Those who are partaking must have alcohol in plastic containers. Drinking alcohol from containers such as glass is illegal. When purchasing a drink at a bar make sure your drink is in a plastic container before moving into the street. 

The Drinking Age Is 21 Years Old

Another way to find yourself in trouble during Mardi Gras is to drink while underage. The only exception is if you are 18 years old and in the presence of a guardian or spouse who is over the age limit themselves. If you are under the age of 21 and expect to drink publicly in New Orleans during Mardi Gras, you will need to reconsider as you may likely find yourself ticketed or jailed. 

Open Container Are Not Allowed in Cars

Planning on jumping in your car with an open container? Don’t. Even if you are not driving, no one in a car may have an open container of alcohol inside of a car in New Orleans. If you find yourself back at your vehicle after a night of partying make sure any passengers drink up or throw away any remaining beverages before getting into the car. You don’t want to be hit with a DWI in New Orleans or find yourself arrested for such reckless behavior.

24/7 Bars

While some bars have a closing time in New Orleans, many are open 24 hours. While legal, this can lead to excessive drinking for a lot of people since they simply don’t know when to go home. Be aware of this during Mardi Gras as time has a way of slipping by for you and your friends. Someone in our group may overdo it. 

Only Use Restrooms

We all know that a night of drinking can lead to having to relieve yourself many times during the night. Although this is not a law about drinking in public, it is connected to it just the same. If you find yourself needing to go to the restroom during Mardi Gras find a restroom. Public urination is a good way to find yourself in jail

What to Do if Arrested During Mardi Gras

Those who travel to New Orleans to partake in the Mardi Gras celebrations usually are only looking to have a good time. Some find themselves in trouble for violating public drinking and other laws during their visit. If this happens, you may find yourself charged. This charge could result in a ticket or taking a ride to jail. 

PRO TIP: Read these tips to handle a DWI in New Orleans. They’ll give you some great info that will really help!

Either way, it is a good idea to contact a local lawyer if you have been charged with an alcohol-related crime during your time in New Orleans. Local attorneys are experienced with defending persons arrested during Mardi Gras and best know how to help clients who have been charged.

A great firm that deals with many such cases is Barkemeyer Law Firm. They have several locations, however their New Orleans location is at 422 S Broad Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119. Barkemeyer Law Firm handles many cases of public drinking and intoxication during Mardi Gras and can help you out if you need representation.

If you find yourself or a friend in legal trouble while attending Mardi Gras contact an attorney for advice on how to handle the charge. We hope you better understand public drinking during Mardi Gras and wish you the best.

Categories
Criminal Law Gun Charges

Can Gun Charges Be Dropped?

Can Gun Charges Be Dropped

If you are wondering, “can gun charges be dropped?”, this post will explain everything you need to know. In the event of being charged with anything related to guns and weapons, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Different states have different laws regarding gun charges. In this post we will go over the in’s and out’s of the law out here in Louisiana.

Gun charges can be dropped, however, every case is different. See how.

In A Bind And Wondering If Gun Charges Can Be Dropped?

“Can gun charges be dropped?” is one of the most commonly asked questions regarding criminal lawsuits in the united states. For as long as citizens had the right to bear arms, citizens’ had regulations to follow.

Gun laws are tricky because they are so variable throughout the states. States like Louisiana allow residents to purchase a firearm without an issued permit, whereas states like Illinois require you to receive additional identification just to own a firearm. This variability causes a lot of ambiguity when individuals travel and/or move from state to state while carrying a firearm.

If you need to know how and when gun charges can be dropped, stay right where you are and keep reading. You may also need to contact a gun charge defense lawyer to help you with your case if your charges are combined with assault charges or another crime. But with the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney your charges could certainly be dropped!

Leading Causes For Gun Charges

Gun charges are very serious criminal offenses. Gun charges can be brought upon individuals for carrying without proper permitting, transporting a firearm incorrectly, and illicit use. In addition, being involved in another crime along with your gun charges can complicate the situation. If you are arrested for drug charges and are also carrying a weapon, this could make charges more severe.

Because gun laws fluctuate from state to state, it can be hard to discern where and how you can carry a firearm throughout the United States. Louisiana, for one, is an open-carry state. This means that in cities like New Orleans and Shreveport, residents of age can purchase firearms but are not permitted to conceal them without proper licensing.

People under the age of 17 can not possess handguns with a few exceptions. You can be in possession if you are hunting and have a valid hunting license or if you are at a designated range. Outside of these circumstances, those under the age of 17 can not carry a firearm. This can often be trouble when minors are transporting their firearms without the proper paperwork.

Another leading cause that brings gun charges against residents is illicit use. This does not necessarily mean shooting someone or murder charges. However, that in itself is a much more serious situation. Illicit could include:

  • Target practice shooting within range of others
  • Hunting without licensing
  • Using the firearm to insinuate threats
Barkemeyer Law Firm criminal lawyers of New Orleans can often get charges dropped!

The First Thing You Should Do

If you find yourself in a situation where you are in possession of a gun and are being accused of wrongly carrying or using it, the first thing you need to do is be safe. Being confronted by law enforcement can be quite volatile. It is important to announce the fact that you are carrying so that you can help law enforcement feel safe and consequently avoid any escalation of the matter. From there on, it is important to provide identification and any significant papers you may have that permits you to be carrying the way you are. This means hunting permits and concealed carry permits.

If charges are still brought against you, exercise your right to remain silent until you have proper representation. Gun charges are extremely serious and in order to strengthen your chances to get your charges dropped, you must remain calm and refrain from divulging unnecessary information.

Asking For Help

Asking for help is something every individual could benefit from. With the right help, gun charges can definitely be dropped. After criminal charges are brought against you, enlisting the help of a professional defense lawyer can mean the difference between spending time behind bars and having your case dismissed completely. Law offices, like the Barkemeyer Law Firm of New Orleans, specialize specifically in criminal law. Gun charges are one of the many cases they have extensive experience in and they have covered thousands of cases. This is one law firm that has demonstrated, again and again, that reaching out for a helping hand is the right choice. They have real testimonies from past clients preaching their professionalism and thanking them for getting their cases dismissed.

Following Through

After charges are pressed and a professional lawyer is contacted, it is crucial to trust your lawyer and follow the necessary steps to see your charges dismissed. This means telling your lawyer everything. In order for your lawyer to work as efficiently as he/she can, it is crucial that they are aware of every aspect of your case. Most lawyers will accept your case when they feel they can successfully negotiate favorable terms. In order to help your lawyer help you, disclose all the information you have and follow the instructions they give you.

Get Your Gun Charges Dropped

Gun charges can be dropped, but it is no easy feat. To efficiently work towards a dismissal of gun charges, you will need to reach out to a professional criminal defense lawyer. Barkemeyer Law Firm’s criminal defense attorneys of New Orleans are exemplary and have extensive experience in criminal law, and more specifically, gun charges. With the right help, you will have a fighting chance to get your gun charges dropped. Next time someone asks you, “Can gun charges be dropped?” you can say confidently that there is hope with help.

Categories
Drug Charges

Do First Time Drug Offenders Go To Jail

Do First-Time Drug Offenders Go To Jail?

Determining if you will go to jail on a first drug arrest depends on many factors.

So you’re wondering, “do first time drug offenders go to jail”? Chances are, if you are arrested in cities like Shreveport and New Orleans, Louisiana, on a drug charge, you could face jail time, even if it is your first drug offense.

That being said, there are plenty of examples where first-time offenders do not serve time in jail. Let’s discuss what a drug charge means in the state and also what to do to help your chances of avoiding time spent in lockup. 

Difference Between Marijuana and All Other Drugs

Whether you will go to jail for drug charges depends heavily on what type of drugs we are talking about. For those that don’t know marijuana in today’s society, it is clearly defined differently than all other “hard” drugs including prescription, cocaine, methamphetamine, and other hard drugs.  Since 1991, the state of Louisiana has allowed the medical use of marijuana. 

Recreational use of marijuana, considered illegal across the entire state, was decriminalized in 2015 to either a $300 fine or 15 days in jail. So, at a maximum, you could spend a couple of weeks in jail if you don’t have the money to pay the fine. 

Hard drugs are much different in Louisiana and not taken as lightly as marijuana at the moment. Let’s take a deeper look into what you can do to minimize your risk of jail time if caught with these hard drugs for the first time. 

TIP: If caught up in drug charges in New Orleans, hire an experienced New Orleans criminal defense attorney such as Barkemeyer Law Firm.

What First-Time Offenders Can Do to Help Their Case

If caught with a possession charge of a drug other than marijuana, you can count on going to jail and processed before being officially charged and arraigned by a judge. The point now is to make bail and know what to do, to help prevent spending any time in jail or prison in the future. 

Use Your Right To Remain Silent

If arrested for drug possession, the worst thing you can do is say something that will allow the prosecution to charge you with the manufacturing or distribution of the drug in question. Remember, anything you say can be used against you in court. Making and selling drugs is a more serious charge than simple possession. Don’t help the state prosecute your case by giving them what they need. If convicted of distributing drugs, your chances of avoiding jail will decrease dramatically.

Note: Having a sizeable amount of drugs in your possession can also mean that you are distributing, in the eyes of the court system. Keep this in mind if arrested with more than simple possession of drugs as you could be facing drug distribution charges.

will I go to jail?

Contact an Experienced Lawyer

Outside of not talking yourself into a higher charge, this next decision you make can have an impact if you spend time in jail after conviction or not. That next choice should be to call a criminal defense law firm that is experienced in defending drug cases. By doing so, you are helping your chances of avoiding jail time. 

Don’t Fight During an Arrest

Many people who have been charged with drug possession and have gone on to spend time in jail or prison were also charged with resisting arrest or worse. When faced with arrest for a drug offense, fighting the arrest will only make it harder for you to make the court understand you deserve a second chance. 

Resisting arrest and fighting the police will only add to your troubles and enhance any first-time drug charges you may be facing. 

Being a First-Time Drug Offender May Not Be Enough

When facing a judge for the first time on a drug charge can mean leniency by the state. However, if you have other felonies or misdemeanors that are not drug charges, they will be taken into consideration. 

For example, if your criminal history shows two burglaries, an assault charge, or other non-drug-related charges, the judge will consider those, just as if you had prior drug charges. Having a clean record is your best bet when walking into a courtroom with a drug charge. You are apt to gain a second chance in society if this is the case. 

Other Factors to Consider

Other than the information listed above, there are other ways to gain the court’s trust when being a first-time drug offender. 

  • Have support from someone in the community with good standing to show your character to the judge. This could mean a preacher, a coach, a police officer, or other credible persons who will write a letter on how you add value to society if not given jail time. 
  • Check into counseling if arrested on a first-time drug charge. Even if not addicted to drugs, having evidence that you are working on your life outside of court rulings can go a long way in keeping you out of jail. 
  • Volunteer for community service before sentencing, or given a plea arrangement. Anything you can show the judge you are doing on your own accord will serve you well in court. If you wait for the court to make these decisions for you, though, you will find they do not have as much impact as when you volunteer first. 
  • Make sure to have a job. Even if you are going to school full time, having a job shows responsibility in the eyes of most courts. The opposite is also true. A good example is a 24-year-old living at home with no job will be judged much differently than someone who is trying to live a responsible life. 
  • Finally, getting into more trouble, especially more drug-related charges, will hurt your chances of staying out of jail. If charged with a drug crime, it is imperative that you stay out of trouble until at least your court case is finalized. 

Conclusion

First-time drug offenders have a good probability of being given a second chance and staying out of jail. By listening to your experienced attorney and following some of the guidelines in this article, you can enhance your chances of staying out of jail. Those who do not follow these simple choices, however, take a chance that a first-time offense could cost them their freedom. 

We hope we answered your question do first time drug offenders go to jail and wish you the best of luck.

Categories
Gun Charges

Can I Carry A Gun In Louisiana

Can I carry a gun in Louisiana?

Gun carry in Louisiana including open carry and concealed carry.

Firearms laws differ from state to state and even between cities. The state of Louisiana has gun laws that are specific to its state. When the question arises if someone can carry a gun in Louisiana, the answer is a resounding, it depends on who is asking the question and how they plan to carry the weapon.  It’s important to understand all of the facts so you don’t get caught up in gun charges for your actions.

In this article, we have broken down the answers to this question to help you understand who, how, and when you are allowed to carry a gun in Louisiana. When visiting cities like Shreveport, New Orleans, and others here is what you need to know about carrying a gun in Louisiana. 

carrying a gun in New Orleans Louisiana: what you need to know
Gun charges in Louisiana can carry a hefty penalty

Concealed Handgun Carry for Residents of the State

We will get to citizens of other states visiting Louisiana, but for now, let’s discuss concealed carry for state citizens. To carry a concealed firearm as a citizen of the state of Louisiana you must first possess a concealed handgun permit, as explained by New Orleans criminal defense attorney Barkemeyer Law Firm

This permit has requirements such as: 

  • Be at a minimum of 21 years old
  • Pass a firearms training course
  • Pass a background check
  • Be a full-time resident (six months minimum), or military personnel stationed in Louisiana

As long as the applicant meets these requirements and pays any required fees, they are able to carry a concealed handgun on their person. Permits are good for five years and require a renewal to continue after the five year period.

Out Of State Residents and Concealed Handgun Carry

Non-residents of the state of Louisiana are not allowed to receive a concealed carry permit. They are, however, allowed to carry if they have a permit from the state they reside in and Louisiana has an agreement with that state to allow their permit holders to conceal carry in the state of Louisiana. 

People who are allowed to use their non-resident to conceal carry are required to follow all the laws and regulations of Louisiana and not those of their own state. 

Open Carry of Firearms

Outside of concealed handgun permits, it is legal to openly carry a firearm in the state of Louisiana. This means that as long as you have a firearm in plain view, you are allowed to carry it within non-restricted areas. There are no permits required for the open carrying of a gun. Once you conceal a handgun inside clothing, etc, you are no longer open carrying and required to have a permit. 

Restrictions for Concealed Carry Permitted or Open Carry

Whether you have a concealed handgun permit or are planning to open carry, there are some restrictions in the state on where you can have a gun in your possession. Below are a few places that you are not authorized to carry even with a permit as explained by Shreveport criminal defense lawyer, Carl Barkemeyer.

  • Prison or jail
  • A courthouse
  • A building being used to cast votes
  • The state capital building
  • A law enforcement office
  • Where prohibited by federal law within airports
  • Any place of worship
  • A permitted parade
  • School firearm free zones
  • Establishments that are licensed to sell and have alcohol consumed onsite

Private companies can also forbid firearms on their premises. This is enforced as a trespassing charge if the person carrying disobeyed the private owner’s rules after notice. If you see a sign forbidding firearms onsite or are asked to leave the premises due to carrying a gun on private property, leave the premises immediately. 

Carrying a Gun in a Car

As in other states, it is legal to carry a firearm in your vehicle in the state of Louisiana since your automobile is considered an extension of your home. Take care however as issues such as having a felony conviction and others can have a bearing on possession even in your own vehicle. Also, vehicles such as public transportation and taxis are not considered an extension of our home. 

Local Ordinances and Carrying a Gun

Each municipality and parish will have its own local ordinances for firearm restrictions. However, as of now, state laws supersede and ordinances unless they were created prior to 1985, as those have been grandfathered into the current law. It is up to the person carrying a gun to understand if any local ordinances are in place where they plan to carry a firearm. 

Arrest For Carrying a Gun

Simply because there are laws in place to protect persons who carry guns does not mean you will not ever have an issue with law enforcement. This is why it is important to have attorneys available to you if you find yourself arrested while carrying a firearm and facing gun charges. 

How does this happen? Being arrested for carrying a gun can occur for a variety of reasons. 

  • The police officer is not properly trained
  • You made a mistake and forgot to remove your gun before entering a restricted area
  • There is a local ordinance you were not aware of
  • You did not fully understand all of the restricted areas you cannot carry
  • And others

The point is, at some point, you could find yourself charged with carrying or trespassing. If this happens, you should contact a defense attorney who is experienced in both open carry and open carry laws and requirements of Louisiana. 

What to Do If Arrested for a Gun Related Charge in Louisiana

Other than contacting an attorney, there is one for sure thing that you cannot do when arrested for carrying a gun. Do not argue or fight with the arresting officer. You can have your day in court, and an experienced attorney will defend your rights.

Be aware that charges may be complicated if you are arrested for assault or drug related charges. However, a skilled criminal defense attorney can always make the situation better.

Even if the arrest is illegal you can still be charged with assaulting an officer if you fight back. Remain calm, cooperate and let your attorney fight the charges for you. 

In Conclusion

The state of Louisiana has several options for carrying a gun within the state. Whether you are a resident or not, there are ways that allow you to arm yourself as long as you follow any state and local restrictions legally placed upon you. If you do find yourself in trouble on a gun charge, make sure you contact an attorney who will defend your case professionally and effectively. 

Barkemeyer Law Firm is a criminal defense attorney committed to helping you with your case. We hope you now understand everything you wanted to know about your question, “Can I carry a gun in Louisiana?” and ask you to reach out at any time.

Categories
DWI

What To Expect From Court-Mandated Treatment for DUI

Driving under the influence is considered a crime in all 50 states. Unfortunately, driving under the influence (DUI) is a crime frequently committed in the United States. DUI arrests make up at least a third of substance-related arrests.

Court-mandated treatment is considered the main path of entry into alcoholism treatment for most individuals with a drinking problem. Several issues are considered relevant to the mandated DUI treatment, including:

  • Assessment
  • Screening
  • Effectiveness
  • Referral
  • DUI events as opportunities for intervention
  • Short interventions for offenders outside of the treatment that is mandated
  • Cost-effectiveness of the treatment that is mandated

The treatment’s effectiveness will depend to some extent on the offender’s motivation to participate, as some offenders may resist treatment when they feel like their participation is coerced.

For involuntary participants, treatment like motivational enhancement therapy has proven to be cost-effective. However, more research is required to look into impaired driving and multi-drug use and recent technologies that can help effectively monitor DUI offenders.

Different Forms of Mandated Treatment

Court-mandated interventions for DUI offenses can vary in frequency, duration, and intensity. It can range from one or two sessions, or it can be multi-component programs that are implemented over several weeks or even months.

DUI offenders who are mandated to treatment by the courts are often required to participate in various alcoholism treatment programs. Some of the mandated interventions for DUI include:

  • Generic alcoholism treatment programs (typically offered in local communities)
  • Referral to groups such as Alcoholic Anonymous (AA)
  • Education programs
  • Presentations by families of victims killed or by injured survivors of DUI-related crashes
  • Supervised probation

Assessment, Screening, and Referral

DUI offenders that are mandated to get treatment and intervention are often evaluated for personal problems and circumstances that have to be addressed during the intervention and treatment process.

Screening refers to the less extensive evaluation done to determine the offender’s risk level for impaired driving and the extent of their alcohol problems. Typically, the assessment results will be used to determine the kind of intervention needed and the length and intensity of the chosen treatment.

The primary goal of extensive assessment is to ensure that the most appropriate treatment, and intervention is provided based on the offender’s specific circumstances. The assessment is also included in the intervention process to ensure the offender’s problems are also addressed properly.

In some cases, individuals’ characteristics (i.e., tendency to take risks while driving) and comorbid conditions (i.e., depression) that can result in harmful consequences need to be considered for the treatment to be successful.

Proper screening, assessment, and referral are also needed to ensure the treatment’s best possible outcome.

Effectiveness of Court-Mandated DUI Treatments

An examination of DUI events and crashes over the years indicated that alcohol-specific interventions were way better at minimizing alcohol-related driving and crashes than interventions that are not alcohol specific.

However, some non-specific interventions (i.e., revoking the driver’s license) have also helped reduce all types of crashes because they helped minimize the overall driving exposure.

That said, many believe the best strategy is to combine treatment with licensing action. The stated strategy has been known to help dramatically reduce crashes and impaired driving in general, among offenders that are considered high-risk drivers (even when they are not impaired).

Conclusion

When it comes to DUI treatment, the most effective strategy combines education and treatment. The treatment aspect includes psychotherapy or counseling. Combining said techniques is also considered more effective since offenders have complex and diverse problems. Offering various approaches can help warrant different issues are addressed accordingly.