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Baton Rouge Legal Blog

Petty theft is a misdemeanor offense

Many Louisiana residents may be confused about the different types of theft that are recognized under state law and how they are treated by law enforcement officials. Petty theft, for example, is a relatively minor crime that is classified as a misdemeanor offense. That is the overall gist of it. There is a whole lot more to know about petty theft, which will be covered in this week's column.

Theft, by definition, is taking something that belongs to someone else. Pretty simple. However, when it comes to how theft charges are filed, it all comes down to what was taken, the circumstances of the event and, most importantly, the value of the property that was stolen.

Drug convictions in Louisiana can bring harsh sentences

The state of Louisiana has a mixed history when it comes to convictions for drug crimes. The state's legislature has passed reforms that change the sentencing for convictions in drug crimes, in particular for heroin. 

Heroin is part of the opioid class of drugs that make up the major epidemic sweeping the entire country. Therefore, drug charges for opioid possession and sale are becoming increasingly common throughout the country. If law enforcement has found you in possession of drugs, including opioids such as heroin or illegally obtained prescription painkillers, it is important for you to understand your next steps and the potential penalties for your charges.

Louisiana criminal defense: Man accused of assaulting 2 officers

Police in Louisiana arrested a man who allegedly assaulted two of their own. This incident is said to have taken place near the end of November in Jefferson Parish. The accused is now facing serious charges and deserves the best criminal defense available to him.

According to a recent news report, police were called to a residence in Marrero after a fight broke out. When the deputies arrived, a 29-year-old male is said to have slapped one officer and punched another. Authorities claim that this individual even placed one of the deputies in a chokehold. A Taser was eventually deployed in order to subdue the man.

Drug charges filed against 3 Louisiana residents

Police in Louisiana were recently called the the scene of a shooting and attempted robbery. The three victims in this case ended up being arrested on drug charges. The individuals who attempted the robbery are still at large.

According to reports, at approximately 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 8, two individuals broke into an apartment located on Ben Hur Road in Baton Rouge. Three people were inside the apartment at the time -- one of whom was shot before the invaders fled the scene. When police arrived, they claim to have found various drugs in the apartment. As such, two of the victims were taken into police custody, the third was taken for treatment at a local hospital and then placed under arrest after his release.

What is embezzlement and what are the consequences?

With every type of criminal case, there are certain elements that must exist in order for a prosecuting attorney to prove a particular case and obtain a conviction. This week's column will go over the ins and out of embezzlement -- a very common in crime in Louisiana and elsewhere. It will also address the elements needed in order for one to be convicted.

When a person is placed in a position of responsibility or trust over certain assets and he or she takes or uses those assets for his or her own personal gain, he or she is said to have committed embezzlement. This often happens in corporate or other employment settings. This may involve money, or it may involve other items, such as computers, cars or other types of property.

Louisiana man facing DUI and other serious charges

A Louisiana man was out Halloween night with three children in his car when he was pulled over by police for speeding. This traffic stop ultimately ended with the driver being arrested and charged with DUI, child endangerment and various other charges. The consequences for these charges can be quite severe.

According to news reports, state police spotted an SUV allegedly going well above the speed limit. The trooper claims that the driver of the SUV was going approximately 98 mph in an area where the speed limit was 45. Minutes later, he was seen going 45 mph in a 25 mph zone.

Drug-free school zones can include more places than people expect

Like other states, Louisiana has enhanced laws on its books regarding drugs and schools. The point of the law is to protect children from the dangers of drug trafficking and drug activity.

The intent has been to involve the kinds of areas that children are often present in, such as schools and parks. What people may not realize, however, is that the reach of this law goes well beyond a school playground and violations can occur when one is unaware he or she is in a protected area, such as a state park or wildlife preserve.

DUI: The last thing you need as the holiday season approaches

Many Louisiana residents have already begun creating their guest lists and planning their menus for the upcoming holiday season. Whether you're an early planner or one who tends to wait to the last minute to get things done, the one thing you don't need is to face legal problems before the holidays get underway. If you enjoy imbibing a drink or two when you're kicking back for a night out with your spouse or friends, you may want to research various practical tips for avoiding DUI.

There have been people charged with intoxicated driving who swear they hadn't touched a single drop of alcohol before getting behind their wheels. Although it might sound unlikely, it is possible, as a police officer may arrest you on suspicion of this crime if your car was swerving or you tripped over your own two feet when he or she asked you to walk a straight line. If you did, in fact, consume even one alcoholic beverage before getting pulled over, things may get a lot worse before they get better.

A felony charge may follow a hit and run

When an auto accident happens, the driver deemed responsible is required to stop. This is according to the laws of Louisiana. However, not everyone does stop. Their reasons are their own, but failing to remain at the scene makes it a hit-and-run situation. This can result in a felony charge.

Why do some people leave? Staying at the scene of an accident that results in injury or death seems like the most reasonable thing to do for the vast majority of people. However, there are those who panic and leave, and those who may not even be aware that they hit anyone and keep driving. The point being, there are reasons people do not always stick around, and not all of them are criminal in nature.

Veteran DEA agent arrested on drug charges

A DEA agent with years of experience under his belt is proclaiming his innocence against allegations that he participated in the very crimes that he was investigating. The veteran agent was arrested in Louisiana on a number of claims, including drug charges, perjury and stealing thousands of dollars out of evidence. He faces 10 counts in all, although many of his co-workers have had their charges reduced or dropped in exchange for cooperating with the investigation against him.

The arrest comes after an undercover investigation of the task force for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency or DEA. The accused was a leader of that office for many years, investigating various claims of drug dealing across the state. The attorney representing him was once an assistant U.S. attorney and prosecutor in many of the cases that the accused investigated.

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