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Receiving a Car Accident Court Summons: What to Do Next

You are at fault in a traffic accident so you pay the ticket to resolve the matter. You are shocked when you later receive a court summons.  Now, what do you do?

A summons is an official notice to the recipient that they are being sued. The summons arrives with the complaint stating the allegations made against you and requests the court to award a sum of money to the Plaintiff.

If you receive service of a car accident court summons, it is imperative that you respond within the required time frame to avoid being found in default. A default means you have not answered, and the Plaintiff wins their lawsuit.

Read on to learn how to protect yourself if you are being sued.

I Received a Car Accident Court Summons – Now What?

When you receive a summons and complaint, the clock immediately starts ticking. To make sure the deadline for response is not missed, make a note of the date on which you receive service.  The 2011 Louisiana Laws Code of Civil Procedure CCP 1001 states that you must file the answer to a complaint within 15 days of receiving service unless otherwise provided by law.

You have the choice of representing yourself, called going pro se, or hiring an attorney who specialized in civil lawsuits.

Going pro se may seem like a money-saving option, but it can cost you far more in the end if you lose the case. A reputable civil law attorney will have solid client reviews showing their expertise in law. They will know how to review car accident records, demand discovery, conduct depositions, file and answer motions, subpoena medical records, and present evidence in court.

The Lawsuit Process

The first step after you receive a summons or complaint is to prepare an answer. You must follow proper court format, which includes the appropriate header, answering each allegation in the same numbered format as the complaint, and including your prayers for relief.

In answering each of the allegations as “admitted as true” or denied as untrue” and providing the reason it is untrue, you are establishing the areas you contest in the lawsuit. These are the factors that must be either negotiated for a settlement or will be decided before a judge.

Do You Have the Right to a Jury Trial?

The value the Plaintiff is alleging in the original pleadings determines whether or not you may request a jury trial. If the Plaintiff’s complaint values the case at less than $50,000 then neither party a right to request a jury pursuant to the Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure, Article 1732.

Filing for Exceptions

In Louisiana, Defendants have the right to file “exceptions” to the lawsuit. This includes things such as claiming that the lawsuit is too vague, or is “prescribed” because it was untimely filed.

Another exception would be if the filing took place in the wrong venue, meaning location. The court is likely to waive exceptions unless they are filed before or with the answer.

Pretrial and Scheduling Conference

The court may require the parties and attorneys in a lawsuit to appear before the court for a pretrial conference. The matters discussed at this conference may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Simplifying the issues, including eliminating any frivolous claims or defenses
  • Whether amendments to the pleadings need to be filed
  • What material facts and issues have no substantial controversy
  • What material facts and issues are in good faith controverted
  • Proof or stipulations regarding the authenticity of documents
  • Advance rulings from the court on the admissibility of evidence
  • Limitations, regulations, or restrictions on expert testimony under the Louisiana Code of Evidence Article 702
  • Control and scheduling of discovery and any issues regarding disclosure
  • Identifying witnesses, documents and exhibits

Following the pretrial and scheduling conference, the court will issue an order that recites the agreements made and actions taken at the conference.  All attorneys and parties must comply with the order or be subject to sanction by the court pursuant to LA Code Civ Pro 1551

Louisiana does not have a statute that sets forth a time requirement on when a case must be complete. Litigation can take months or years, depending on the complexity of the case.

Discovery

Discovery is an all-encompassing term for obtaining evidence to support your position. This begins with accident reports, medical records, and witness statements. 

Either party may file interrogatories, requests for admission, and requests for production of documents. Interrogatories are questions presented in writing and answered in writing under oath.

Requests for Admission are statements the other party wants you to admit or deny. Again, you must reply in writing under oath. If you do not respond they may be deemed admitted.

The response to a Request for Production of Documents must be in writing and include the documents requested or an objection and reason for the objection.

Depositions are verbal testimony done with the attorneys before a court recorder. The person being deposed may be a witness or a party to the lawsuit.  Testimony is under oath and may be entered into court in lieu of live testimony.

The most frequent use of depositions is to obtain information. They may be used during the trial to accuse a witness of perjury if they give different factual statements on a witness stand then they gave under oath during a deposition.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

When negotiating a lawsuit, it is common for the parties to participate in alternative dispute resolution. This is a process in which the parties agree to allow an outside mediator to review the merits of the case. The parties agree to be legally bound by the mediator’s assessment of the case.

Don’t Hesitate to Act

A good legal defense attorney brings peace of mind. If you have been served with a car accident court summons do not hesitate to contact the Barkemeyer Law Firm. With three convenient locations in Covington, Metairie, and New Orleans, we are never far away. Schedule your consultation today!

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What to Expect When Facing Assault Charges in Louisiana

You may think that trying to intimidate someone by threatening them is okay. The truth is, threatening someone is committing assault. You may receive assault charges for violating Louisiana law, which states an assault is a threat of bodily harm that makes a person fear impending violence. Aggravated assault is if you use a weapon during the assault.  

The New Orleans Crime Statistics Summary report shows that in 2016, the last year of actual data available on crime, there were 2,093 incidents of aggravated assault. The projection is that there will be 1,897 incidents of aggravated assault in 2020.  The projection relies on an analysis of 17 years of data.

Here is what you can expect to take place if assault charges are filed against you.

The Arrest

When arrested you are only legally obligated to provide your name and address to the police. You have the right to remain silent and not answer any questions without an attorney present.

If the police want to question you, tell them you want an attorney. Do not respond to their questions until your attorney is present. Many people think they will not say anything that hurts their case, or that appearing helpful will help them. This often causes more harm than good.  

What Happens After Arrest on Assault Charges

When arrested on assault charges in Louisiana, you will likely need to post a bond for release from jail. If you are not able to post a bond, you will remain incarcerated throughout the court process.

Probable Cause Determination

The probable cause determination takes place within 48 hours of your arrest and may take place without you or your attorney. A judge and the district attorney will conduct the hearing to determine if there is probable cause to justify your arrest.

First Appearance: Bond Hearing

If your assault charge is a felony crime, you will need to appear before a magistrate for a bond hearing. At this time your bond will be set based on the nature of the alleged assault, your prior criminal record, and the likelihood of you returning to court for future hearings.

District Attorney Reviews Case

Following the arrest and bond hearing, the district attorney’s office will review the file to decide if they will file formal charges.

If you are in jail, the district attorney must file an indictment or bill of information within 45 days of the arrest on a misdemeanor charge. They have 60 days following the arrest if it is a felony charge.

If you are released on bond, the district attorney has 90 days to file an indictment or bill of information for a misdemeanor. They have 150 days to file paperwork on a felony.

If the district attorney does not initiate prosecution within the designated time frame, they must release you from jail. They can only continue to hold you if the government shows a reason for their delay.

Arraignment

Once the District Attorney files charges an arraignment takes place. You and your attorney will appear in court and enter a formal plea, which is usually “not guilty.” 

Plea Bargain

While a case is pending the district attorney and your attorney will likely engage in negotiations for a plea bargain. The goal is to reach an agreement that is acceptable to you, your attorney, the district attorney, and the court.

Plea agreements are reached when a reduction or dismissal in charges is made or the parties agree to a lesser sentence. This resolves the matter without the need to have a full trial.

Trial

If your attorney is not able to negotiate an acceptable plea agreement, the court will set the matter for trial. When charges are for misdemeanor assault, a judge will conduct the trial. If your charges are for a felony, the trial may be before a judge or jury.

When a trial is heard solely by a judge, the judge decides all matters of law and fact, and whether you are innocent or guilty of the crime.

If a trial is before a jury, the judge determines all matters of law, and the jury decides matters of fact, including whether you are innocent or guilty of the crime.

Right to Speedy Trial

You have the right to a speedy trial, and the countdown begins on the day the district attorney files the indictment or bill of information. If your charges are for a capital offense the trial must be held within three years. If the charges are for a felony the trial must be held within two years, and for a misdemeanor within one year.

Sentencing

When you take a plea bargain or are convicted by a judge or jury, sentencing sets forth the terms of your fines, probation, or incarceration. If a plea bargain enters the sentence it is sometimes pre-arranged with the district attorney and judge prior to the entry of the plea. Sentencing is based on the current conviction and your criminal record.

Assault, also referred to as simple assault, is a misdemeanor. The sentence on this charge is up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $200 pursuant to LA Code RS 14:38

Aggravated assault is a criminal offense that includes a dangerous weapon. This charge has a sentence of up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. The exception is if the assault is against an employee of a retail business during the commitment of robbery or attempted robbery, the minimum sentence is 120 days to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 pursuant to LA Code RS 14:37.

Aggravated assault with a firearm includes the discharge of a weapon. This is a felony charge with sentencing up to 5 years in jail and a fine of up to $5,000 pursuant to LA Code RS 14:37.4

When to Hire an Attorney

If you or a loved one are arrested on assault charges you need to contact an attorney immediately. Assault charges carry severe penalties and negotiating the court system is challenging. A criminal defense attorney will be familiar with the law, criminal process, and will negotiate the best plea bargain possible or go to trial with you.

Many people wait to see what will happen, hoping the problem will go away because they are innocent. Do not make this life-altering mistake. Whether you are guilty or innocent, we will fight to achieve the best outcome possible on your behalf.

Call the Barkemeyer Law Firm today. With offices in New Orleans (504) 226-2299 and Covington (985) 888-0009 we can handle your case in New Orleans, Jefferson, or the surrounding area.  You can also contact us online to schedule a consultation. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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Your Complete Guide Underage Drinking Laws in Louisiana

Underage drinking is very common in Louisiana, and around the United States in general. Statistics show that 58% of American teens will have had at least one alcoholic drink by the time they reach 18.

Generally, American laws on underage alcohol consumption are much stricter than in other countries. However, Louisiana’s legal system is different to those of other American states in many ways.

Louisiana’s laws on underage drinking, therefore, take a little getting used to if you haven’t visited the state before.

Read on to learn more about these laws and how they’re likely to affect you if you’re new to the state.

What’s Different About the Law in Louisiana?

While the federal government sets down the basic laws Americans must abide by, states are in charge of setting more specific rules and regulations. Louisiana approaches this process in a different way than any other state.

Other states decide matters in court with the help of legal precedent. This means that they look at the decisions of courts in similar matters previously and base their findings on these.

However, Louisiana follows French and Spanish legal traditions. These don’t rely on judicial precedent, preferring to allow the judge to make a ruling based entirely on their interpretation of the laws and statutes.

This legal system has thrown up some quirks in the way Louisiana authorities deal with alcohol. Anyone who is a native of New Orleans will tell you of the drive-thru daiquiri stands dotted around the city. Despite strict drink driving laws, these stands are perfectly legal.

However, other areas in the state have much stricter alcohol laws. Before you travel to Louisiana, you should read up on the parish you’re going to and the laws they have.

Underage Drinking in Louisiana

All American states must abide by the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984. This sets out that no person under the age of 21 years will be allowed to drink or possess alcohol.

Louisiana law sets out that this will apply other than in the case of limited exceptions. These exceptions include the following:

  • Where the person is accompanied by a parent, guardian, or spouse that is over 21.
  • Where the person must handle alcohol as part of their job, such as in a restaurant.
  • Where the person consumes alcohol in a private residence.
  • Where the person consumes alcohol as part of a religious celebration.

Therefore, if you’re concerned that your son or daughter won’t be able to drink with you while you’re on vacation in Louisiana, you should know that you won’t break any laws as long as you accompany them.

Penalties for Underage Possession or Consumption of Alcohol

If you are over the age of 18 and under the age of 21, you will face legal sanctions if you are caught in possession or under the influence of alcohol.

You may face a fine of up to $100, a driving license suspension of up to 180 days, or a jail term of as much as six months. The severity of the sentence will depend on whether you are a repeat offender, as well as various other life circumstances.

To ensure that you get as favorable an outcome as possible after being charged with underage possession or consumption of alcohol, you need to hire a lawyer with experience of dealing with cases involving younger people.

Purchasing Alcohol for a Minor

It is illegal to purchase alcohol for a minor unless you are a parent, guardian, or spouse of the minor in question. 

The penalties for breaching this rule are wide-ranging and potentially severe. A judge can impose a fine of up to $500, a driving license suspension of up to 180 days, or even a jail term of up to 30 days.

Selling Alcohol to a Minor

It is an offense to provide anyone under the age of 21 with an alcoholic beverage unless the provider is a parent, guardian, or spouse over that age. Another exception arises if the person owns or works for a licensed establishment and is accepting the delivery of the alcohol in a professional capacity.

Servers of alcoholic beverages in bars and restaurants must be at least 18 years of age.

As is the case for someone who purchases alcohol for a minor, the penalties here are potentially quite severe. A court can impose a fine of up to $1,000 or a jail term of up to six months. 

Driving Under the Influence as a Minor

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal no matter what age you are. If a police officer apprehends you committing this offense, they will issue a DUI or DWI.

However, the rules are much stricter for someone under the age of 21.

If you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of over 0.02%, the police will assume that you’ve consumed alcohol. For a first offense, you will receive a fine of up to $250, as well as having to sit a driver improvement course and undergo a substance abuse evaluation.

For repeat offenses, sanctions are much stricter. Judges can impose a jail term of up to three months if they feel it is necessary. 

Staying on the Right Side of the Law

Whether you’re just coming to Jefferson or New Orleans on vacation, or you’re moving to the state of Louisiana permanently, you’ll need to read up on underage drinking laws to make sure you don’t break a rule. While Louisiana is less strict than other places when it comes to alcohol, law enforcement officers still punish transgressions.

If you need advice on an incident relating to underage drinking, or any of our other practice areas, contact us today.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.