Categories
Criminal Court Process

What to Do If You’re Arrested in New Orleans

New Orleans is renowned for being a city with one of the largest party scenes. Unfortunately, though, this often leads to legal troubles for those who let things get out of hand.

If you’ve been arrested, though, it’s not the end of the world— you just need to know what steps to take next.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about how to handle getting arrested in New Orleans.

Common Reasons for Getting Arrested

New Orleans is renowned for its festivities and nightlife. But, it’s also notorious for being a place that’s notably easy to run into legal trouble.

While being on the wrong side of the law is never a pleasant situation, the consequences can easily become exacerbated for those who are from out of town.

The best way to prevent legal trouble is to understand what type of situations you should avoid. Let’s explore a few of the most notable reasons why people get arrested in the city.

Public Intoxication

As you may expect, this is one of the most common reasons why people end up in handcuffs in New Orleans. This becomes especially true during the cities annual Mardi Gras celebration.

The main issue with public intoxication is that it’s not tied to a single action, which means there are hundreds of ways to get charged with this crime. It is technically Disturbing the Peace under Louisiana law.

For example, a drunk college student who attempts to climb up a fire escape ladder on an apartment building could be charged with public intoxication if they disturb tenants.

Similarly, a rowdy bargoer who suddenly has the urge to throw a traffic cone may find himself charged with this crime if the thrown object breaks the window of a nearby store.

Assault

Although not quite as common, assaults are bound to happen within crowded areas where people are drinking.

A typical scenario involves an argument that turns into a fistfight, which often leads to the person who first made physical contact with the other party getting arrested.

But, even shoving your way through a crowd could end up with you being charged with assault if someone falls and hurts themselves. Interestingly, an assault charge could also involve making a threat of bodily harm without actually taking physical action against another person.

It’s also important to understand the distinction between assault, aggravated assault, and battery in Louisiana:

  • Assault- The conscious attempt to commit a battery against another party or threaten to do so
  • Aggravated assault- An assault committed against another party with a weapon that law enforcement categorizes as dangerous, such as a baseball bat
  • Battery- Intentionally using violence or force against another party.

As such, it’s fairly easy to commit an assault without even realizing it during the heat of the moment.

Public Indecency

With enough alcohol consumption, this type of behavior begins to arise fairly easily. As with public intoxication, a public indecency charge isn’t tied to hey single action.

But, it’s not difficult to understand what qualifies as public indecency. This can include behavior like:

  • Committing a sex act in a public place or around other people
  • Urinating in public
  • Being nude or exposing oneself in a public area

Generally, public indecency involves two types of charges— indecent exposure and lewd conduct.

It’s important to note, though, that public indecency is often defined by engaging in this type of behavior with the intent to cause arousal or shock in others. So, someone who acts in this manner in a concealed space may not be charged with either of the above two crimes if caught.

Driving Under the Influence

After a night of partying, many people feel confident enough to drive home without any issue. Unfortunately, alcohol is notoriously effective impairing judgment, and many drivers who think they are navigating the roads efficiently end up swerving across lanes.

Other times, people are simply too impatient to wait for a taxi or Uber or don’t have the money to do so.

So, it’s not uncommon to hear of someone getting charged with a DUI during their trip to New Orleans.

What to Do If You’ve Been Arrested

Under certain circumstances, getting arrested can be terrifying. This is especially true for those who have never been involved in a conflict with law-enforcement before.

The thought of posting bail, going to court, etc. is something that evokes a negative response from most people.

Fortunately, there are steps that you can take in order to ensure that do you have the best chance possible things going in your favor.

Let’s dive in.

Comply With Law-Enforcement

No matter how badly you may wish to argue with the officers who arrested you, it’s best to do exactly as they say. Not only could you be stuck with additional charges, but getting aggressive with law-enforcement could leave you with physical injury if they deem you to be a threat to others or yourself.

When in doubt, follow directions exactly as they are told to you and remain as calm as possible.

Remain Silent

Although the vast majority of us are aware of our inherent right to remain silent while in custody, it’s absolutely imperative that you do so.

Politely tell the officers that you’re only willing to provide basic information (such as your full name and address) and that you won’t answer any other questions without a lawyer present.

While on your way to jail, avoid saying anything at all. Even a statement like “I didn’t mean to” or I’m sorry could result in legal complications in the future.

Contact a Legal Professional

As soon as you get the opportunity to do so, contact a reputable legal professional who operates in New Orleans. They’ll be able to handle your case as efficiently as possible due to their familiarity with legal conflicts that often occur in the city.

When looking for an attorney, search for someone who has significant legal experience, successful history of positive outcomes for their clients, and someone who you feel comfortable communicating with.

Afterward, you’ll be able to move forward with your legal proceedings and begin working on your defense.

Dealing With Getting Arrested Can Seem Difficult

But it doesn’t have to be.

With the above information about what to do after getting arrested in New Orleans in mind, you’ll be well on your way toward ensuring that you create the best chance possible of legally defending yourself.

Want to learn more about how we can help? Feel free to get in touch with us today to see what we can do.

Categories
Summons

What Is a Summons and How Is It Different Than a Subpoena?

Are you wondering what is a summons is? Trying to figure out how it differs from a subpoena?

Well, you’re in the right place. Considering that both documents are quite similar, it’s best to get in-depth and approach the question with tangible information. 

In this article, we will cover exactly what a summons is, and what a subpoena is. 

Keep reading to also find out what happens if you ignore either.

What Is A Summons?

The official notice for a lawsuit is called a summons. It is delivered to a person who is being sued. The reason is quite simple, if you have a lawsuit filed against you – you have the right to know about it. 

It is required by the laws of the state to provide a summons to a defendant, in order for the case to be filed properly.

Anytime a party files a lawsuit against another party, they must give them a summons. The formal process of giving the summons to come to court is called the service of process. Each defendant has to get a separate summons. And you as the suing party cannot serve notice. 

Here are three ways a summons can be served:

  1. Via sheriff
  2. Via private process services
  3. Via certified mail (in some cases)

Service via sheriff is an easier way to serve a summons. You simply pay a fee to the sheriff’s office, unless you have a court order to waive the fee.

You will need the original and two copies with the lawsuit complaint attached to all documents. The sheriff will serve the summons to the person listed on the document. They can also give it to a party within the residence over the age of 13.

Usually, a sheriff will try to serve a summons once. If the defendant is not there, you will have to use a private process. You have to ask the course to use a private process server. For this, you file a motion for appointed with a special server.  

This person has to be at least 18 years of age and not related to the lawsuit. In most cases, such servers are private investigators. The person can serve the defendant after the judge has given their approval. After the summons has been served, the private process server will complete an affidavit and notarize it. The court has to have a record of the summons being given.

Last, you can deliver summons via certified mail. This is usually done in small claims cases. It is not required to have other people to serve a defendant. You can have all documents delivered via mail.

However, in all cases, a summons can be improperly served. If this did happen, it is recommended to go to court on the date of the summons and inform the judge of the summons being served in an inappropriate manner. The judge should not proceed with the case until you have been properly served. The judge will not dismiss the case, but he will enforce the plaintiff to serve you again.

What Is A Subpoena?

A court order that may require a party to go to court, deposition, or evidence proposition is called a subpoena. The subpoena also has to be served on the person.

Subpoenas are necessary because a witness to a crime might not want to testify in court. Then you can issue a subpoena for a witness, and require them to come to court under the law. A subpoena can be used during discovery. The process in which both sides to the case discover information and evidence in preparation for the case. 

It is during this period of time that you can subpoena a person to attend a hearing or deposition. You can also subpoena to acquire evidence from a person who is not being sued.

In general, you can subpoena a person by getting a form from the office clerk. You fill in the blank, such as the case name, contact information for witnesses, and the courtroom for the case. When a witness has been subpoenaed, you have to pay them a witness fee and cover their costs of travel. The clerk of the court should be able to help you determine the amount. 

At this point, unlike a summons – any adult can serve the subpoena and payment to the witness. And it can also be given via certified mail.

What Happens If You Ignore a Subpoena or Summons?

Even though subpoena and summons are different, they should not be ignored. If you do get either, you should speak to a defense attorney. 

As mentioned, a summons is an invitation to come to court. It is not an order, therefore it is not necessary to follow through. But if you do ignore it, you can lose the case in front of the eyes of the court. When people don’t show up, the court decides the case against them. 

The court could also mandate that you pay a fine or cease to do something. You will have to adhere to the final decision, regardless of you going to court or not.

But you cannot ignore a summons citation to discover assets. If you lose a lawsuit and end up owing money and don’t pay it – you can get this citation. If you ignore this, you will face serious penalties.

A subpoena cannot be ignored. You are ordered to court – if you want to ignore the subpoena, the court will hold you in contempt. And they might issue a warrant for your arrest. 

You will face jail time, as well as a large fine. If you get a subpoena and don’t want to go, talk to a defense attorney ASAP, but don’t ignore it.

The Difference To An End

Now that you know what is a summons, and what is a subpoena. You can safely presume their differences, and react to them in an appropriate manner. 

When it comes down to the most important difference, one requires you to come to court, the other does not. With a subpoena – you are required to show up. With a summons – you are invited to show up.

If you want to properly deal with a summons, get in touch with me (Carl Barkemeyer), a criminal defense attorney in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area.

Categories
Shoplifting

Can You Be Prosecuted for Shoplifting After Leaving the Store?

Shoplifting may seem like a low-level crime committed mostly by rebellious teenagers, but the Louisiana state statute considers it to be a severe offense. Getting caught and charged with shoplifting in Louisiana can mean facing fines and even jail time.

Even still, many people have a lot of questions about Louisiana shoplifting laws. For example, can you be prosecuted for shoplifting after leaving the store?

Here’s what you need to know.

What Counts as Shoplifting?

Shoplifting has its own statute under Louisiana theft laws. It’s called “theft of goods,” and it occurs whenever you take something from a store or merchant without paying for it. That can include putting something in your bag and walking out of the store, but it also includes acts like:

  • Transferring price tags
  • Altering price tags
  • Damaging goods to make them unsalable
  • Tampering with the cash register

If caught, any of these acts can result in civil or criminal shoplifting charges.

But when do these charges apply? In the store? Outside the store? After you leave?

Can You Be Prosecuted for Shoplifting After Leaving the Store?

The most uncomplicated shoplifting charges for the state or store to prove are when you get caught shoplifting after leaving the store.

Some stores will only approach you for alleged shoplifting after you walk out the door. It’s hard to prove intent if the store sees you put something in a bag and wander the store with it. When you leave the store with an item you didn’t pay for or an item you tampered with, the case is considered to be relatively open and shut.

The state can bring criminal charges against you for up to three years after the date you were caught shoplifting.

Will the police find you if caught shoplifting on camera? The answer is often “yes.” For example, if you get caught shoplifting on camera in the store and then go to your car, they can see your license plates and identify you that way.

Additionally, if the camera catches you, then the store may have a record or photo of your face. If you return to the store, and the security team recognizes you, they may call the police or detain you themselves. 

Is a Store Allowed to Detain You for Shoplifting?

Let’s say a store suspects you of shoplifting. What happens next?

Many stores wait until you walk out the front door to accuse you of stealing because it gives their case a better chance of success. But a merchant (or their asset protection or security team) has the right to not only detain you but to use reasonable force to do so if they believe you are shoplifting.

A store can detain you for one hour unless they have reasonable circumstances to extend it. They can do this when they have reasonable cause to believe you committed theft.

As long as they have reasonable cause, the merchant has this right no matter the value of the products allegedly stolen. They can detain you for pocketing makeup, and they can hold you for switching labels on high-end televisions.

If a store detains you for questioning, you are not under arrest.

However, they can call the police, and a peace officer may arrest you. A peace offer doesn’t need a warrant to arrest you, and they can arrest you regardless of the value of the goods.

What Are the Penalties for Shoplifting in Louisiana? 

If you are arrested, charged, and convicted of shoplifting, your penalty will depend on the value of the goods stolen and whether you have past offenses on your record.

The scale of penalties for theft of goods is as follows:

  • $500 or less (with no more than one prior offense): fine up to $500 and jail of up to six months
  • $500 or less (with two or more prior offenses): fine of up to $1,000 and jail time of up to two years
  • $500-$1,500: fine of up to $2,000 and jail time of up to five years
  • $1,500 or more: fine of up to $3,000 and jail time of up to 10 years

As you can see, shoplifting can come with jail time even if its a first offense and even if the value of the stolen product is low. Keep in mind that a merchant also reserves the right to pursue a civil case against you, if they choose. They may do this in small claims court or even choose a full civil lawsuit.

However, first time shoplifting offenders may request what’s called pretrial diversion. These programs are an alternative to criminal prosecution. When you complete the program, the court dismisses the criminal charges.

What Are the Defenses for Shoplifting?

There are defenses available to those accused of shoplifting, but first, you need to know this: you can’t confess to shoplifting if detained by the store. The store has the right to hold you, and you should stay at the scene and agree to reasonable demands. However, the store cannot force you to confess. If you do, then any criminal charges are difficult to beat.

It’s essential for shoppers to understand this regardless of whether you engage in shoplifting or not. Retail loss prevention teams use interrogation tactics designed to encourage confessions. You don’t want to confess at all, particularly if you are falsely accused.

If the store decides to charge you, you will need a criminal defense attorney. They can encourage the store to lessen or even drop the charges. However, when they can’t, they can identify reasonable doubt in the store’s case against you.

Stores and States Take Shoplifting Seriously

To many people, shoplifting seems like a pretty minor non-violent crime. However, both merchants and the police take it seriously. Even if you intentionally shoplift and make it home without being approached, you’re not necessarily in the clear.

Can you be prosecuted for shoplifting after leaving the store? The answer is yes. Most accusations and charges occur after you walk out the front door. And they can charge you for shoplifting months or even years later.

Are you facing shoplifting accusations or charges? You need a criminal defense attorney to help. Barkemeyer Law Firm are criminal defense attorneys in New Orleans ready to help you on your shoplifting case.

Categories
Theft

Theft vs Robbery in Louisiana: The Key Differences Explained

Theft and robbery both involve stealing something that doesn’t belong to you. But did you know that Louisana law distinguishes between the two acts?

The Louisiana Criminal Code deals with the differences between theft vs. robbery beginning in Section 14:01. While there are plenty of nuances in the law, one of the key differences between theft vs. robbery depends on whether the victim is present when the crime occurs.

Are you or someone you love accused of one of these crimes? Here’s what you need to know about the law to craft a defense.

What is Theft?

Louisiana state statute defines theft as taking something that doesn’t belong to you with the intention of keeping it. The state labels it “misappropriation without violence.”

You can commit theft without ever seeing the property’s true owner. Theft is defined by stealing something without making contact with the person who owns it.

Theft can be as simple as picking up a cell phone that someone left on a table and pocketing it with no effort made to give it back. Another very common example is shoplifting from a store.

The theft statute also deals with big items, like livestock, firearms, or cars. It also covers identity theft. 

Commonly, theft occurs through fraud. For example, if a person misrepresents themselves as the IRS and demands payment for back taxes, then that’s theft. However, there may also be fraud charges involved depending on the evidence.

What are the Penalties for Theft?

The penalties for theft depend on the value of the property stolen.

If you’re charged with theft of goods (i.e., shoplifting), and you are accused of stealing items valued at under $500, and you have one or fewer prior vaccinations, you can see a fine of up to $500 and potentially jail time up of to six months. The penalties grow as the value grows. If you are charged with theft of goods over $1,500, then you can face a fine of up to $3,000 and jail time of up to 10 years.

If you’re caught stealing something noted in the statutes, like timber, livestock, animals, crawfish, or anhydrous ammonia, and the theft is valued at over $25,000, then you could face a maximum fine of $10,000 and ten years of hard labor.

What is Robbery?

Robbery is a more serious crime compared to theft because robbery occurs when you take someone directly from someone else: it’s a crime against another person. In the words of the state, it’s “misappropriation with violence to the person.”

Lousiana law describes several types of robberies:

  • Armed robbery
  • First-degree robbery
  • Armed robbery with the use of a firearm
  • Second-degree robbery
  • Simple robbery

Armed robbery occurs when someone uses force or intimidation with a dangerous weapon to take anything of value that’s in the victim’s possession. A weapon might be a knife, an ax, or anything other than a firearm that can be used to injure or kill the victim.

First-degree robbery is similar to armed robbery, but in this case, the assailant doesn’t have a deadly weapon even when they lead the victim to believe otherwise. This can mean using a fake gun or knife or merely saying they have a gun even if they don’t.

Armed robbery with the use of a firearm relates specifically to armed robberies committed with a gun.

Simple robbery occurs when you take something of value from another person by use of force or intimidation but without a weapon. 

Carjacking and purse-snatching are also robberies, but they fall under separate statutes.

What Are the Penalties for Robbery in Louisiana?

Robbery is a varied crime, and it comes with a wide range of charges and penalties.

As you can imagine, the penalties escalate as the severity of the crime grows. But one of the big differences between theft vs. robbery is that robbery charges aren’t necessarily based on the value of what’s stolen.

Instead, they’re more often based on the type or level of intimidation involved. Using a firearm – loaded or not – automatically adds five years to any robbery sentence.

The penalties are as follows:

  • Armed robbery: 10-99 years hard labor (no parole, probation, or suspended sentences)
  • First-degree robbery: 3-40 years hard labor (no parole, probation, or suspended sentences)
  • Armed robbery with use of a firearm: an additional five years for use of firearm (on top of armed robbery sentence)
  • Simple robbery: fine of up to $3,000, or imprisonment of up to 7 years with or without hard labor, or both
  • Carjacking: 2-20 years hard labor
  • Purse-snatching: 2-20 years imprisonment with or without hard labor

As with theft, prior convictions play a role in sentencing. However, the mandatory minimums for robbery in Louisiana are much higher than they are for most types of theft.

Defending Theft vs. Robbery in Louisiana

The differences between theft vs. robbery mean that the defenses are very different. When dealing with theft, there may or may not be any witnesses. But in a robbery, the witness is the victim, and a robbery is usually considered to be a violent crime.

Preparing the right defense requires a criminal defense attorney in Baton Rouge to examine the case very carefully and tailor it to the circumstances. Both crimes might include finding witnesses who might not have come forward, talking to the arresting officer, and hiring forensic experts.

Are You Facing Theft or Robbery Charges?

The difference between theft vs. robbery is substantial. Theft can be as simple as shoplifting a lipstick and escalate to a substantial crime, but robbery is a violent crime by definition.

No matter the charges, you need a defense tailored to the charges, circumstances, and your personal history.

Have you been arrested for theft, robbery, or an associated crime? Carl Barkemeyer is still accepting clients – no office visit needed. Get in touch today for a phone consultation with a criminal defense attorney in Baton Rouge.

Categories
Jail

St. Tammany Parish Jail: Guidelines You Need to Follow

Is your friend or family member detained pending trial in St. Tammany? All things considered, there is just one place where persons awaiting trial or sentencing are held in St. Tammany; The St. Tammany Parish jail. 

St. Tammany Parish’s Jail is a parish detention center situated at #1200 Champagne Street PO Box 908, Covington, LA, 70433. The prison typically houses convicted misdemeanor and felony offenders. But there are a handful of inmates in the facility who are there pending their trail or transfer to a more regimented correctional facility. This parish jail has a capacity of 330 inmates and its hallways are constantly monitored with surveillance cameras. Because it is a county jail, its operations are somewhat different from the state and federal prisons. As a result, you may have a hard time locating an inmate in its yard. But if you use the right channels and ask the right questions, you’ll locate your inmate in no time. 

While we recommend that you connect with the right criminal defense attorney when you or someone you love is blamed for a crime in St. Tammany, you may also want to formalize yourself with how the Parish’s detention center works. Here are some of the frequently asked questions that we experience every day at the Barkemeyer Law Firm. By formalizing yourself with the information provided below, you can make your inmate’s stay at St. Tammany Parish Detention Center comfortable. 

How to locate an inmate?

One of the most

heartbreaking things about long-term lock-up are the segregation of inmates from

the general populace, particularly their friends and family. Sometimes, you may have to conduct a series of searches to locate your inmate in the detention

center where s/he is being held. Though straight forward, the inmate location

process can become a bit of a daunting task if you don’t know the right places

to look. That’s why it is important to have an aggressive criminal defense

attorney working on your loved one’s case from the very beginning. 

Before you can visit or talk with someone who is locked up at St. Tammany Parish Prison, you must, first of all, ascertain that such an inmate is housed in the facility. With the right information and the right locator, you can clear your doubts about your inmate’s whereabouts in a matter of minutes. 

Whereas there are many ways to locate an inmate in the St. Tammany Prison facility, the simplest is through this locator. As there are many similarly-named inmates in the state records, you’ll need to know certain things about your inmate to effectively navigate through the inmate finder. Here are some of the information you’ll need to find an inmate in St. Tammany Parish Prison, and in most parish prisons across the state.

The Inmate’s name (First and last name)
Birthdate 
Inmate ID number

St. Tammany Parish Prison goes extra miles to ensure all information about persons in custody is accurate. So, you won’t have a hard time locating your inmate with the right information. The facility has an extensive database of all inmates housed in its yard, so searching through the records can be overwhelming at first. However, if you are patient, you’ll find your inmate in a matter of minutes. 

On the other hand, if your search through the facility’s online database does not yield profit and you are convinced that the inmate that you are searching for is housed at St. Tammany. You can try the traditional method of calling the prison’s reception desk. Of course, you’ll need to provide the details mentioned above to the jail official, for an effective search through the prison’s records. You can reach the St. Tammany Jail through its direct contact number, 985-276-1001. You should know, however, that you’ll incur toll charges when you call the prison facility through a cellular network. 

Another thing to have at the back of your mind when searching for an inmate in St. Tammany Jail, is the prison’s obligation to withhold information about minors held in its custody. The prison may also withhold relevant information about persons put in protective custody in the facility. If your inmate falls in any of the aforementioned categories, you may need to hire an attorney to help you locate your inmate. Nevertheless, the facility may deny all access to inmates under protective custody if such an inmate’s safety is being threatened.

Can I visit an Inmate?

All inmates are permitted to host visitors in the St. Tammany Parish Prison. Nevertheless, inmates who have refused to comport themselves nicely or considered a threat to prison officials and other inmates may be denied visitation. What’s more, all visitations are monitored and timed. 

Before you can be allowed to visit an inmate in the facility, you’ll be searched for contrabands and dangerous metals. You are not permitted to touch an inmate or be touched by one during visitations, except with the supervision of prison officials. Besides, you must visit the facility at the hours stipulated for visitation. The visitation hours for St. Tammany Parish Prison goes as thus;

Monday 7:30 AM to 9:00 PM
Tuesday 7:30 AM to 9:00 PM
Wednesday 7:30 AM to 9:00 PM 
Thursday 7:30 AM to 9:00 PM 
Friday 7:30 AM to 9:00 PM 
Saturday 7:30 Am to 2:30 PM
Sunday7:30 Am to 2:30 PM

Whereas most people think of inmate visitation as an entitlement, that is not always the case. Visitations are a privilege; not a right. The prison can allow or forbid you from seeing an inmate at any point. For instance, if you are caught violating the facility’s rules, visitation would be suspended or denied. 

Here are a few rules to have at the back of your mind when visiting an inmate at St. Tammany Parish Prison:

Inmates are allowed only twenty minutes’ visit per day
Inmates can entertain only two adults and two children visitors at the same time
Inmate’s attorneys can visit the facility at any time. 
Visitors who are 17 years or older, must visit the facility with a valid ID card. 
Visitors must adhere to the facility’s dress code during visitations. No sleeveless, see-through, Ripped, torn, or spandex clothing is allowed. If you are visiting in a dress or shorts, make sure your attire is at least 3 inches above your knees. 
No mobile phones in the visitation area

Failure to adhere to the aforementioned instructions would mean the denial of your visitation rights. 

How to call and receive calls from an inmate?

St. Tammany Jail permits cellular communication between inmates and loved ones outside. But that does not mean that you can pick up your phone at the time of your choosing and reach out to an inmate. It doesn’t work like that. Persons in custody can use the prison phone to make a collect call to their loved ones outside, but they are not permitted to own phones in the facility. Nevertheless, you can reach an inmate through the facility’s phone to discuss an emergency. Of course, you’ll have to convince the prison’s personnel that your emergency is genuine before you’ll be redirected to your inmate. 

An inmate can make calls to the outside world through the detention center’s preferred phone company. Typically, St. Tammany Parish jail uses Securus Technologies for its telephone services. As such, calls made from the facility to family and friends outside will pass through Securus. 

In the past, the facility allows persons in custody to purchase phone cards from the Commissary. But that time has long passed. Although some inmates still visit the commissary to buy time increments, others rely on their family and friends outside to fund their trust account. 

The facility’s phone company provides three different call plans for people who want to communicate with inmates through a cellular network. 

Advance Connect: This phone plan is quite similar to your prepaid phone plans. By subscribing to this plan, you can control the cost of phone time with your inmate. It is particularly helpful for people who are looking to save money on phone time.


Direct Bill: This plan works just like conventional phone services. You can talk for as long as you like without worrying about your budget. Then at the end of the month, you’ll get a bill for the time used.

Whereas this plan is not the most economical choice for communicating with inmates over cellular networks, it provides a lot of leeway when discussing important matters with attorneys, bails bondsmen, and family members. 


Inmate Debit: This is the only plan among the three phone plans offered by Securus that does not require an account set up in your name. With this plan, the toll expenses will be deducted directly from the inmate’s account. You can still fund the account if you like, but it will be tied to the inmate’s name. 

How do I mail an inmate?

You can send mails to persons in custody of St. Tammany Parish jail from almost anywhere in the city. If there’s one thing inmates can receive from their family and friends without violating the prison’s laws, it’s letters. Nevertheless, detainees can receive magazines, newspapers, and educational materials straight from the office of the publisher. If they come from a personal address, the books will be returned to the sender. Besides, hardback books are considered illegal in St. Tammany parish prison. As a result, only paperback books are permitted to be sent as mail to an inmate by a publisher.  

The facility also has strict guidelines on the type and content of letters that should be mailed to inmates in custody. So, keep that in mind when sending a mail to persons detained at St. Tammany Parish Prison. 

St. Tammany Parish Prison will return mail containing the following to the sender. 

Stamps
Song Lyrics
Stains
Words/items that advocate racial supremacy
Money orders
Words/items that promote violence
Pictures larger than 5×7
Internet Print-outs
Postcards
Nudity Photos
money
 greeting cards
Newspapers (including clippings of important sections)
Magazines
Books
Cash
Shading or coloring materials
Puzzle Books
Tattoo Pictures

Personal letters to persons in custody of St. Tammany Parish jail must include the following;

· Inmate’s housing facility

· Inmate’s cell block number

· Inmate’s full name

· Inmate’s SPN

· Sender’s full name

· Sender’s full address

How to send money to an inmate?

Inmates need money to enjoy certain privileges in the prison’s commissary. A Commissary is analogous to your regular grocery store. It is open to inmates at specific times during the week. The store provides non-threatening care items, such as soaps, lotions, and toothpaste. It also provides educational materials like books, magazines, newspapers, and a bunch of other helpful materials. To access these privileges, an inmate must have a funded trust account. This commissary account can be funded by friends and family outside, or with paychecks earned by an inmate from minor prison jobs. 

For people looking to send money to their loved ones in St. Tammany Parish Prison, the process is pretty straight forward. The Facility has worked hard in this area to provide three different channels for sending money to inmates held in its yard. You can use any of the three funding channels provided by the facility to instantly put money into your inmate’s trust account. But keep in mind that each transaction you make through these funding channels will expose you to processing tax or fees. 

Kiosk Method

St. Tammany parish prison’s lobby is lined with kiosks resembling ATM stands. But you shouldn’t mistake these machines for your conventional ATMs; they don’t give out money. Instead, they accept cash deposits to help fund inmates’ accounts. You can visit any of these kiosks to fund your inmate’s commissary account. The Machine allows you to fund inmates’ account with your debit/credit card, that is visa or MasterCard. For cash deposits, the machine only accepts $5 bills or higher and you can deposit up to $300 at a go. The kiosk services are available 24/7, but transactions of $300 and above will accompany a $4 service charge.

Phone Method

If you can’t muster the strength to visit the prison’s lobby and deposit funds into your inmate’s commissary account, you can try the phone method. The funding process is just as straight forward as the kiosk alternative. All you have to do is to make a toll-free call to 985-276-1001 and make a deposit using your debit or credit card. Only Visa and MasterCard credit or debit cards are allowed for a telephone deposit. So, keep that in mind when calling the afore-mentioned number. 

Online Method

Many correctional institutes in Louisiana are using the internet and electronic media for their operations nowadays. This advancement in technology makes it possible for friends and family of inmates to fund their commissary account, even from the comfort of their homes. To use this funding method to credit an inmate’s commissary account, you’ll have to visit Access Corrections online. Note that you’ll have to set up an online account to use this channel for your transactions. Also, each transaction you make using the online platform will accompany service fees, as depicted below. 

Transactions below $19.99 will accompany a $2.95 service fee
Transactions ranging from $20.00 to $99.99 will accompany a $5.95 service fee
Transactions ranging from $100.00 to $199.99 will accompany a $7.95 service fee
Transaction ranging from $200.00 to $300.00 will accompany a $9.95 service fee

How to bail out inmates at St. Tammany Parish Jail?

Until a verdict is passed on an inmate in custody of St. Tammany Parish Jail, the inmate is subject to bail. This implies that you can post bail for an inmate, at any time before and during the trial. so he or she can stand trial as a free man or woman. Needless to say, that you’ll need an aggressive lawyer to help you secure the most favorable outcome when considering bail for persons in custody at St. Tammany Parish jail. 

The bail money can come from personal funds or bail bondsmen. However, using Bail bonds to post bail in prison facilities across Louisiana may expose you to exorbitant service charges of up to $50. You can also expect the procedure for securing bail for inmates to differ slightly depending on the court presiding over the inmate’s case.  

You can post bail with cash, cashier’s check or bail bonds. But you are not allowed to post bail with personal checks. The cashier’s check must be addressed to the court presiding over the inmate’s case, with the inmate’s details affixed to the address. 

Does St. Tammany Parish jail have doctors?

St. Tammany Parish Jail is a county prison, and as such, it is not as heavily fortified as state or federal prisons. Nevertheless, the jail features a more regimented daily routine compared to minimum security prisons. The jail provides identical outfits for inmates to tell them apart from visitors and personnel. Also, it provides humane confinement conditions for inmates. The facility ensures that each inmate has a blanket and bed to themselves, and a public shower to wash. The prison’s lobby, hallways, and common areas are supervised by guards through surveillance cameras, 24 hours a day. Also, the prison has dedicated cell rooms for inmates who fail to comport themselves wisely amongst other inmates. These tiny isolation cells are monitored by jail officials several times a day. 

The prison also provides special wards for sick inmates to recoup until they are fit enough to join the prison’s populace. So, to answer your question of whether St. Tammany Parish Jail has doctors? Yes, it does. 

St. Tammany Parish prison, like other county prisons in Louisiana, is legally obligated to provide comfortable confinement conditions for inmates to meet inmates, mental and health care needs. For the entirety of an inmate’s stay at the detention center, the prison will provide his/her medical and prescription needs. 

Inmates that are considered a threat to the prison’s populace will be isolated. This also applies to inmates who are constantly harassed by other inmates in the prison. For safety reasons, gang members may also be segregated at St. Tammany Parish Prison. 

If you have a loved one in St. Tammany Parish prison who is being targeted, harassed, or threatened, call the facility’s direct contact number to file a report. 

Can I send books or magazines to inmates?

St. Tammany Parish Jail does not accept personal mails containing newspapers, books, or magazines. However, if the item is mailed to the prison directly from the publisher’s office, it would be delivered to the inmate. All you have to do is to provide your inmate’s details (full name, ID number, etc.), and the publisher will send a magazine to your inmate for the subsequent months. Depending on the publisher and the method used to set up the magazine subscription, your inmate may get his/her first magazine within 2 to 12 weeks. But regardless of how a book is mailed to an inmate in St. Tammany Parish prison, it would be scrutinized upon delivery. So, make sure the book or magazine that you are sending does not violate any of the prison’s rules. 

Who to call for when detained at St. Tammany Parish prison?

If you or anyone you know is detained at St. Tammany Parish Prison pending trial or sentencing, call Barkemeyer Law Firm. Our team of experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorneys that can help you make sense of your case. Our criminal attorney has acquired a wealth of experience in St. Tammany bail procedure, and as such, he can help you secure a favorable outcome in your case. We’ll be there during your hearings, whispering the words of wisdom into your ears and guiding you on the best step to take to litigate a favorable outcome for your case. 

Barkemeyer Law Firm understands how difficult it is for families to be separated from their inmates, that’s why we make it our priority to litigate favorable outcomes for our clients during trial. Call us today, to enjoy the full support of the team of well-versed lawyers at Barkemeyer Law Firm.

Categories
Criminal Law

Guide: Louisiana Criminal Law Terms

Accessory after the fact – a person who aids or hides another person whom he believes to have committed a felony offense when the accessory intends that the offender escape prosecution.

Accomplice – a person who knowingly consents and engages in criminal conduct with another.

Acquittal – dismissal of the charge by the judge or a not guilty verdict by the jury.

Adult Age – 17 years old in Louisiana.

Alibi – an affirmative defense that the defendant was at another place during the commission of the crime.

Arraignment – criminal proceeding in which the defendant is informed of the charges against him and is asked to enter a plea.

Attempt – when a person, who has specific intent to commit a crime, does or omits an act for the purpose of accomplishing the crime. Does not matter whether or not he would have actually been able to commit the crime.

Bond – in amount of money determined by the court which must be posted to ensure that the defendant will appear in court.

Bail bondsman – an agency that may be hired to post a bond with the court in exchange for a fee by the surety.

Bond forfeiture – on the court keeps the bond that was posted because the defendant failed to appear in court.

Bench warrant – warrant issued by a judge when the defendant fails to appear at court.

Beyond a reasonable doubt – the standard of proof required by the state to prove the defendant’s guilt.

Bill of information – the formal charge filed by the District Attorney.

Bill of Particulars – statement of details filed by the state in response to defendant’s motion regarding the charge.

Booking – the process at the jail after arrest whereby identifying information is obtained by the arrestee.

Capital offense – the charge whereby the defendant could be sentenced to death.

Conspiracy – agreement or combination of 2 more offenders with a goal of committing a crime when one or more of the offenders does an act in furtherance.

Conviction – when the defendant is found guilty of committing a crime after he enters a guilty plea or is found guilty by a jury or judge.

Constitutional rights – the right to an attorney, right to a trial, right to cross-examine witnesses, right to subpoena witnesses, privilege against self-incrimination.

Crime – conduct that is defined as criminal in the Louisiana laws.

Dangerous weapon – includes any gas, liquid or other substance or instrumentality, which, in the manner used by the offender, could produce death or great bodily harm.

Expungement – process of removing an arrest or conviction from public record.

Extradition – when one state surrenders an accused that is in custody to another other state.

Felony – any crime for which offender may be sentenced to death or imprisonment at hard labor.

Foreseeable – that which would be ordinarily anticipated by human being of average reasonable intelligence and perception.

General criminal intent – is present whenever there is specific intent as well as when the offender, in the ordinary course of human experience, reasonably knew that the criminal consequences would follow due to his act or failure to act.

Guilty plea – when a defendant admits guilt in open court, usually under oath.

Incarceration – imprisonment in the parish jail or state prison.

Indictment – the formal charge issued by a grand jury after proceeding has been held to determine whether or not the grand jury believes there is enough evidence to justify a trial.

Initial appearance – when the defendant goes before a judge shortly after her arrest for probable cause determination.

Insanity – what circumstances indicate that because of a mental disorder, the offender was incapable of telling that mean right and wrong with reference to the illegal conduct.

Justification – when the offender’s conduct is otherwise illegal, the law provides for certain exceptions that it deems are justified.

Misdemeanor – a crime other than a felony.

Nolo Contendere – a plea of no contest, which has the same effect as a plea of guilty, but is not considered as an admission of guilt outside of the criminal court.

Parole – the release of an inmate after serving time for conviction.

Principal – all persons involved in the commission of a crime.

Probation – when the court supervises or monitors a defendant for a specified period of time as opposed to placing the defendant in jail.

Revocation – when the court revokes the proration of an offender due to the offender failing to complete conditions of probation or commits another crime. Also applicable to parole.

Sentence – the punishment ordered by the court following the defendant’s conviction, which may be agreed upon between the parties or determined solely by the judge.

Specific intent – the state of mind that exists when the circumstances indicate that the offender actively desired the prescribed criminal consequences to follow his act or failure to act.

Warrant – an order authorized by the judge allowing law enforcement officers to conduct a search or make an arrest pursuant to the probable cause stated in the affidavit, which is presented to the judge prior to his signing of the warrant.

Categories
Bail

How to Bail Someone Out of Jail in Louisiana

Bail Bond Process

It can be very stressful when a friend or family member lands in prison. Many people don’t even know the first step to getting someone out. In truth, there are many factors to consider when getting someone out of jail and that’s what we’d like to discuss with you today.

How is bail determined?

Generally, before someone can be released, bail must be set to assure the court that the arrestee will appear for court. Usually, a judge or magistrate sets the bail. The judge may consider the type of charge, the facts, the residence, and even the criminal background of the arrestee before setting bail. The amount of bail set by a judge is based on different factors, including the seriousness of the charge, the weight of the evidence, a previous criminal record, the ability to pay bail, the danger the defendant presents to the community, and any other circumstances affecting the probability of the defendant’s appearance.

Types of Bail

There are various different types of bail, too. These include those with a commercial surety, a secured personal surety, a cash deposit, an unsecured personal surety, or those without surety.

Once bail is set, the defendant can be bonded out. If you can’t afford to post the entire bond, you can hire a bail bondsman. He may require a fee of 10-12% for putting up the entire amount of the bond. The bondsman’s fee will not be returned. That is his fee for putting up the entire bond and assuming the risk that the defendant will appear in court.

The surety can also post a property bond. In this case, the surety agrees to place a mortgage on a piece of property in Louisiana. The property must be unencumbered in the amount of the bail.

Another option is to post bail as an unsecured personal surety. This requires an affidavit that you have enough property in the state. Usually, it also requires you to describe your work history and you must have a clean criminal record.

In some situations, the judge may allow someone to bail out of jail on their own recognizance without posting a bond.

You may also post the entire cash bond yourself at the jail. After the case has concluded, you should be entitled to all the money you put up. However, it must be ensured that the defendant will appear in court.

Probation or parole?

If someone is on probation or parole, a hold may be placed, barring their release. You wouldn’t want to post bond on the new charge if there’s a probation or parole hold, since they won’t be released and that would cause them to serve “dead time” on the new charge.

If there’s an active warrant for a defendant’s arrest, a hold may be placed. The warrant would need to be cleared before the defendant can be released on the new charge. This may require the defendant to appear before the judge that issued the bench warrant. In the event of an arrest warrant, the defendant may need to be transported to the jurisdiction of the arresting agency.

Contact the Louisiana criminal lawyers at the Barkemeyer Law Firm if you have a friend or loved one in jail or recently released.

Categories
Drug Charges

Prescription Opioids, Heroin, Fentanyl in Louisiana

Fentanyl Lawyer Louisiana

There is an opioid epidemic in Louisiana and the rest of the country.  Prescription opioids, heroin, and fentanyl have created a lot of substance abuse addictions and deaths.  The Barkemeyer Law Firm focuses its practice on defending clients with drug charges, including possession of prescription pills, heroin, and fentanyl in Louisiana.  Contact us if you need a fentanyl possession lawyer for a drug charge in Louisiana.

Types of Painkillers

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) act on substances in the body that can cause inflammation, pain, and fever.
  • Corticosteroids are often administered as an injection at the site of musculoskeletal injuries. They exert powerful anti-inflammatory effects. They can also be taken orally to decrease inflammation and relieve pain.
  • Acetaminophen increases the body’s pain threshold, but it has little effect on inflammation.
  • Opioids, also known as narcotic analgesics, modify pain by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord. Opioids decrease a patient’s perception of pain.
  • Muscle relaxants reduce pain from tense muscle groups, most likely through inhibitory actions in the central nervous system.
  • Benzodiazepines reduce pain through muscle relaxation properties. Benzodiazepines also reduce pain complaints through psychotropic effects (antianxiety).
  • Some antidepressants, particularly tricyclics and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI), may reduce pain transmission through inhibitory actions in the spinal cord.
  • Some anticonvulsant drugs also relieve pain by stabilizing effects on peripheral nerves and by central inhibitory actions.

Common Prescription Opioids

  • Codeine (only available in generic form)
  • Fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic, Fentora, Abstral, Onsolis)
  • Hydrocodone (Hysingla, Zohydro ER)
  • Hydrocodone/acetaminophen (Lorcet, Lortab, Norco, Vicodin)
  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid, Exalgo)
  • Meperidine (Demerol)
  • Methadone (Dolophine, Methadose)
  •  Morphine (Kadian, MS Contin, Morphabond)
  • Oxycodone (OxyContin, Oxaydo)
  •  Oxycodone and acetaminophen (Percocet, Roxicet)
  • Oxycodone and naloxone
types of opioids

Opioid Epidemic

  • Every day, more than 115 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids.
  • In 2016, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription opioids and illegal opioids like heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl) was 5 times higher than in 1999.
  • The CDC estimates that the total “economic burden” of prescription opioid misuse alone in the U.S. is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement.
  • In 2016, there were 346 opioid-related overdose deaths­­­ in Louisiana—a rate of 7.7 deaths per 100,000 persons—compared to the national rate of 13.3 deaths per 100,000. The main driver of opioid-related overdose deaths through 2012 was prescription opioids. Since then, heroin and synthetic opioids have increased dramatically. From 2012 to 2016, heroin and synthetic opioid-related overdose deaths increased from 51 to 149 deaths and from 19 to 89 deaths, respectively.
opioid death chart

How did this happen?

  • In the late 1990s, pharmaceutical companies reassured the medical community that patients would not become addicted to prescription opioid pain relievers, and healthcare providers began to prescribe them at greater rates.
  • This subsequently led to widespread diversion and misuse of these medications before it became clear that these medications could indeed be highly addictive. Opioid overdose rates began to increase.
  • In 2015, more than 33,000 Americans died as a result of an opioid overdose, including prescription opioids, heroin, and illicitly manufactured fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid.
  • That same year, an estimated 2 million people in the United States suffered from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers, and 591,000 suffered from a heroin use disorder (not mutually exclusive).
  • In 2017, 72,000 Americans died from overdose

New Problem: Fentanyl

  • Schedule II prescription opioid.
  • It is a synthetic opioid 50 to 100 times more potent than heroin
  • When it’s introduced into an unregulated, illicit drug supply, where more and more of the country has become opioid dependent, it wreaks havoc.
  • Fentanyl is engineered to be potent and ridiculously fast acting. People are dying with needles in their arms.
  • Fentanyl is much cheaper than heroin.
  • Fentanyl is added to heroin.
  • Users have no idea how much fentanyl is in their heroin.
  • Mexican cartels are cutting fentanyl into their dope before sending it along to the United States.
  • Can purchase fentanyl online.
  • Experts and the DEA all seem to agree that Fentanyl and its constituent parts, or precursors, are coming from China. It’s probable that it’s being diverted from the labs that make fentanyl for legitimate, medical use.
  • Fentanyl testing strips are being passed out.
  • Naloxone (brand name Narcan) is used for heroin overdose.
  • Synthetic opioids could displace heroin markets around the world.
  • Poppy farmers in Mexico are forced to sell their product 40 to 80 percent below what they’re used to.

What is LA Legislature doing about it?

  • New Laws in 2017-2018
  • 7-day supply
  • Expands the Prescription Monitoring Program
  • Requires continuing education for prescribers

7 Day Supply

New Laws:

Prohibit a medical practitioner from prescribing more than a seven-day supply when issuing a first-time opioid prescription for outpatient use to an adult patient with an acute condition.

Prohibit a medical practitioner from issuing a prescription for more than a seven-day supply of an opioid to a minor at any time and requires the practitioner to discuss with a parent, tutor, or guardian of the minor the risks associated with opioid use and the reasons why the prescription is necessary.

Exempt prescriptions for more than a seven-day supply which, in the professional medical judgment of the medical practitioner, are necessary to treat the adult or minor patient’s acute medical condition or are necessary for the treatment of chronic pain management, pain associated with a cancer diagnosis, or for palliative care.

La R.S. 40:978

Prescription Monitoring Program

New law expands the mandate to access the PMP program prior to initially prescribing any opioid and if the patient’s course of treatment continues for more than 90 days. It further provides for exceptions when a prescriber is not required to check the program.

La R.S. 40:973, 40:978, 40:1001

Continuing Education for Physicians

New law requires all prescribers of controlled dangerous substances (CDS) in Louisiana to obtain three continuing education credit hours as a prerequisite of license renewal in the first annual renewal cycle after Jan. 1, 2018. CME course completion is a one-time requirement for all CDS permit holders in the state. The course content shall encompass drug diversion training, best practices for the prescribing of controlled substances, and appropriate treatment for addiction.

New law requires the health profession licensing boards that regulate prescribing practitioners to promulgate rules and regulations to implement the continuing education requirements established by new law, requires the boards to collect and maintain data on compliance and submit aggregate compliance data to the Senate and House committees on health and welfare, and clarifies that these continuing education hours shall be considered among those already required on the effective date of new law and not be in addition to what is already required.

La R.S. 40:978.3 now requires 3 hours continuing education.

More Information on Drug Charges in Louisiana:

Cocaine
Creation of Meth Lab
Distribution
Felony Drug Charges
Fentanyl
Heroin
Legend Drug
Marijuana
Misdemeanor Drug Charges
Methamphetamine
Obtaining Pills by Fraud
Opioids
Possession
Possession with Intent
Synthetic Cannabinoids
Categories
DWI

Hardship License for DWI in Louisiana

One of the most unfortunate inconveniences associated with a DWI arrest in Louisiana is the suspension of one’s driver’s license. The possession of a driver’s license is a privilege, not a right. Therefore, the license can be suspended by the Department of Public Safety for many reasons. However, if the offender follows proper procedure, he may become eligible for a hardship license. 

Refusal of Breathalyzer

The arrestee’s driver’s license may be suspended as a result of refusing to take the breathalyzer.  In Louisiana, everyone with a driver’s license gives informed consent to take this test upon request. Therefore, when a person refuses, the State can suspend his/her driver’s license for one year on the first refusal. The penalties increase with the number of refusals. 

It is important to request an administrative hearing within thirty (30) days of arrest. If you do not request the hearing during that time, you waive it. You should have an attorney experienced at handling these types of hearings to attend and argue on your behalf.

Submit to Breathalyzer

If you submit to the breathalyzer and blow over the limit of .08 BAC, the State may suspend your license for ninety (90) days. If the offender is underage, the penalty is a suspension on six (6) months. 

You have a right to a hearing to contest the suspension on a submittal. There may exist some technical defenses that your experienced lawyer can argue at the hearing.  Once again, you or your attorney must request the hearing within thirty (30) days of the date of arrest or else you waive the right to it.

DWI Conviction

The State of Louisiana may suspend a person’s driver’s license if he/she was convicted of a DWI in criminal court. Typically, the period of suspension on a first offense DWI is one year. Depending on the number of prior DWI convictions, the period of suspension may vary. However, an experienced DWI attorney may be able to get you sentenced in a way to avoid the suspension. 

In all the scenarios above, the State provides that the offender may apply for a restricted hardship license. An ignition interlock device will be required.

Hardship License Lawyer in Louisiana

Louisiana would also be known for its finer things. As such, it is a great place to live. One of the reasons why people decide to settle down there is because of their strict adherence to the laws of the state. One of those laws is the law which governs intoxication while driving which is usually known as the DWI or DUI. In most states, this offense is usually divided between misdemeanor and felony. Depending on which the person is convicted of, the punishments attached can be little to very strict.

For most people, they find it easy to cope with this offense when they have a lawyer by their side. If you live in St. Tammany, Jefferson, or Orleans parish, then you would likely have a chance to get a criminal defense lawyer in Louisiana. Barkemeyer law firm would be a brilliant place to start. Barkemeyer Law Firm are DWI lawyers who are fully immersed in helping persons who are facing criminal charges in Louisiana. From DWI charges to other more serious charges, our DWI lawyers at the Barkemeyer Law Firm are properly grounded in criminal defense. With him by your side, your chances would immediately be boosted.

Getting convicted for DWI charge would come with certain challenges even in the situation that you do not get jail time. One of them would be the suspension of your license. When your license is taken away, the only step which can offer some form of relief would be the hardship license. There are many reasons why your license could get suspended for a year or more. One of them would be the refusal to take the breath analyzer

In St. Tammany Parish, refusal to take the step would be against the law and it can have some serious repercussions. If you refuse to take the step for the first time, you would most likely have your license suspended for a year. If you refuse on another occasion, it would even be worse. So the best course of action would be to take the breath analyzer test if you are asked to take it. This comes with its benefits.

If you take the test and you have your license suspended, you would have the right to contest the suspension of your license. Usually, this is called the administrative hearing. You would usually have about 15 days to request for such a hearing. If this is not done, then it would be suspended. The law still gives you 15 days to argue this decision if you feel you have a right to. If you do not request for a hearing, then the law will deem that you have waived your right to the hearing.

The important thing to do if you want to have the processes all dealt with professionally would be to get yourself a criminal defense attorney in Covington, Louisiana. This would ensure that you have a well-trained attorney who would be able to get all the processes which you would need to be done. That is the key to success when it comes to handling a DWI matter in Louisiana.

Suspension due to conviction

Another time in which your license would be suspended is when you are convicted by a court. When you are convicted, you would have the chance to apply for a hardship license after 30 days of the conviction. It is important to note that the hardship license usually available to persons that have committed the offense of DWI just once.

The requirement for the hardship license is fairly straightforward one. The only requirement which is normally given is that you must prove to the judge that the use of a car is important if you are to perform your daily activities in your life. Some of the things which would fall into this category could be the need for medical care, or to go to school regularly and early.

How to request for a hardship license

If you live in St. Tammany parish and you wish to get a hardship license, the first thing which you would do is to write a petition to the district court in the parish. If granted, you would have to write a petition to the court again if, during the hardship license period, you have had a change of circumstances. Some of the requirements which would come from being granted a hardship license would be that you would have to have an interlock device installed in your car. The judge might also require to breathe or blow gently into a machine which would analyze how much alcohol is your body then.

Once you have gotten your hardship license during the period which you are suspended and you have not landed yourself into more trouble through a violation of any other rules, you would get a notice stating that you are done with your time of suspension and you can now apply for your license to be given back to you.

Having a criminal defense lawyer in St. Tammany parish taking care of all the petitions and things you would have to do with the court can prove to be quite useful at this point. It would allow you to get yourself back together while giving you the chance to drive a car once more.

One of the Louisiana DWI law firms which you should consider when trying to choose a fitting lawyer should be Barkemeyer law firm. We here at the firm are made up of very good lawyers who know just the right angle to attack any case relating to DWI. This means that no matter what is thrown at us, we have the necessary experience to deal with it competently.

We also understand the mental trauma you might be going through at this point and we would love to help you get over it by representing a good defense to you. While DWI is serious and could cost you a lot, you can avoid further damage by acting on time.

Categories
DWI

Underage DWI Lawyer in Louisiana

When the operator of a motor vehicle is believed to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs and he is under the age of twenty-one (21), he may be arrested and charged with Underage DWI.  Underage DWI is a separate statute that regular DWI. 

Underage DWI or DUI

A person under that age of 21 is presumed to be under the influence of alcohol if his/her blood alcohol content is .02 or greater. The charge of Underage DWI is a misdemeanor offense. If the driver blows .08 or above, he.she can be charged with the adult-version of DWI, which has stiffer penalties.  Keep in mind that the operator, regardless of age, has fifteen (15) days from the date of arrest to request an administrative hearing. He can usually do this through his/her attorney. This is important because the laws regarding suspension of license for refusal and submittal of the breathalyzer or more stringent for underage offenders.

Underage DWI Lawyer in Louisiana

When it comes to younger ones coming of age, there are a lot of privileges that come with it. When a young child reaches the age of 16, they would be able to use a vehicle for their daily activities. What most youngsters do not understand is that the privileges which are given would also call for a measure of responsibility. While this privilege is given to them at the age of 16, the right to consume alcohol is still withheld until the age of 21.

This rule most times is bent and youngsters get involved with alcohol earlier than they are meant to. While that is against the law on its own, it gets even worse when it is linked to DWI which stands for driving while intoxicated.

In Louisiana, DWI is a serious offense and could land you in serious trouble. Anyone which is caught driving while intoxicated would normally have to face penalties. However, things would get interesting if the person caught driving under the influence of alcohol or intoxication is someone which is below the ages of 21 years. So, what happens if a person who is below the age of 21 years is caught driving while intoxicated?

When someone below the age of 21 is caught driving while intoxicated, then the person would be arrested and charged for that offense. However, the charge would for the offense of underage DWI not the normal offense of DWI.

Understanding Underage DWI

When a person who is not up to 21 years is charged with DWI, it is usually called underage DWI. This is usually proved when it is shown that the alcohol content in his blood is more than .02. The truth is that when someone is charged with a misdemeanor. This case can be quite tricky as a blood sample when it is asked for by a police officer cannot be denied. One reason why it is especially important not to get this offense on your books is because of the age precisely. As a young person, you have your whole life ahead of you. You have school, probably sports and even future jobs on your mind. This one offense can put all of that into doubt.

If you live in New Orleans, Jefferson, or St. Tammany and you have been charged with an underage DWI, it is quite easy to panic and feels like it is the end of the world. However, it is not the time to feel that way. If you get this on your cards, then you would most likely have a lot of issues going to the University of your choice or having to get good employment that you would have wanted.

There are several differences between the underage DWI and the normal DWI charge. However, the main issue with underage DWI is that it could be called up if you later get convicted or charged with DWI when you are now an adult.

Penalties

Unlike the normal DWI charge, the underage is usually only considered to be a misdemeanor. The penalties for violating the underage DWI rules are different. Most times, if you are convicted for the offense of underage DWI charges, you would most likely get a jail term plus fines. However, this can be taken away if you offer to do some sort of community service. You would have to fulfill the hour requirement for the community service which should be about 32 hours.

The judge may decide to include 16 hours of this community service a litter pick up which would be on the roadside. You might also have to take part in programs which would be focused on the abuse of drugs or alcohol. The judge might also see to it that you attend an institution which deals with improving your driving skills. However, if you are a first offender, you would probably not get any jail time which is a plus.

If you wish to avoid the penalties which come from with the underage DWI charge, then you would need to defend yourself in court. To get the most out of the case which is before you, you would need to get yourself a criminal defense lawyer as soon as you can. If you live in St. Tammany Parish, then you would find good law offices in the area. One of them would be the Barkemeyer Law Firm. This law firm is full of excellent lawyers who have great records when it comes to dealing with these problems.

They also understand that your future might be at stake. Hence, they make it their goal to ensure that you have a great chance should the issue should go to litigation. You can be assured with the Barkemeyer law firm by your side, you would have a great chance of getting a favorable result.

Fine or punishment when found in possession of alcohol

If you are less than 21 and you are found in possession of alcohol in Louisiana while driving, it is usually considered to be a serious offense. You would be facing at least 10 days of jail time which can be upwards to about 6 months. You might also be fined up to $125 which can also climb up to $500. This is to the discretion of the judge.

This offense would be the same irrespective of the fact that no one in the car was drinking. As far there is a container of alcohol in the car that is driven by a person driving who is less than 21 years, then you would most likely be charged for the offense. Getting a criminal defense lawyer in Covington would be the best step which you can take.

We understand that being charged with an offense when you are so young can be an extra burden to carry on your shoulders. We here at Barkemeyer Law Firm would be ready to assist you in whatever way we can. You would find our services quite reassuring.

Contact a Louisiana Underage DWI Attorney

Barkemeyer Law Firm has defended numerous clients arrested and charged with Underage DWI in Louisiana. We take an aggressive approach to handling these types of cases to get the best result possible.