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Louisiana Governor hopes to combat street gangs and sex crimes

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has signed new legislation aimed at cracking down on crimes committed by sex offenders and street gangs. The new legislation requires sex offenders to immediately update any changes to their online identifier information. Prior to this new legislation a sex offender was only required to provide certain information when they register with law enforcement agencies. Information required, includes residential address, vehicle license plates and their online identifiers.

The requirement to periodically review and update this information depended on the specific sex crime they had been convicted of. Now, however, all offenders are required to update their information immediately upon any changes or face serious penalties for failing to do so. The law also seeks to define and strengthen previously passed legislation banning sex offenders from using social media websites by defining what social media is and what sites are not considered social media.

Another portion of the new legislation seeks to increase penalties for crimes committed by street gangs. In addition to adding to the list of crimes not covered under current law, such as; drive-by shootings, participating or inciting a riot, aggravated criminal damage to property and looting and simple burglary, the law increases the sentence for assisting a street gang in specific criminal activity. The increased sentence is to be served in addition to the sentence for the criminal offense itself. The goal is to increase the jail time for violent gang members and provide local law enforcement with more tools for combating illegal gang activity.

If you have been charged with a criminal offense, consult with a criminal defense attorney who at the very least can ensure the charges filed against you are appropriate for the offense in which you are accused. A defense attorney is also specifically trained in reviewing all evidence, including arrest reports to ensure police acted appropriately at all times. Police make mistakes just like everyone else and being charged with a criminal offense should not be considered an automatic conviction. Everyone has a right to and deserves a thorough defense, regardless of the charges filed against them.

Source: WAFB, "Jindal signs law to crack down on sex offenders and gangs," May 28, 2012

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