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Lake Charles Personal Injury And Criminal Law Blog

New Orleans' district attorney accused of using fake subpoenas

When someone has been the victim of a crime or has been witness to a crime, the last thing he or she should have to fear is the district attorney in charge of prosecuting the criminal.

Unfortunately, that's exactly what victims and witnesses had to fear in New Orleans.

How to stay safe on Halloween

Halloween is great for conjuring up images of goblins, ghouls and ghosts -- but the real scares are actually much more mundane. Frankly, it's easy to head out for a fun night trick-or-treating with the kids and wind up at the hospital instead if you aren't extra careful.

Follow these tips in order to keep you and your little ones safe this Halloween.

3 tips to avoid a DUI on Halloween

Halloween is coming up in just a few short weeks, and that means there's lots to do and see. Many people have parties, and alcohol isn't hard to come across. Even though it's normal to drink at Halloween parties, there's still a risk of suffering a DUI if you drink too much before driving.

Even if you go to a party and don't drink, there's a risk of drinks being spiked or having alcohol added when you thought the drink was nonalcoholic. What can you do to avoid a DUI on Halloween? Here are three tips.

  • Get a lift

What kind of expert witnesses are retained for injury cases?

Expert witnesses aren't a necessity in every personal injury case -- but they're invaluable when a critical issue is in dispute. A good expert witness can help clarify an issue and provide understandable evidence that will either sway a jury your way -- or even allow the case to settle out of court.

These are some of the most common expert witnesses you may find involved in your case:

Understand what an arraignment is all about

For many people, the first big moment after the arrest comes at their arraignment -- when they finally set foot in a courtroom.

If your arraignment is about to be held, this is what you can expect to happen:

  1. You'll be brought to the courtroom. If you've previously been given bail, you'll have been told where and when you need to attend. If you fail to show up, the judge will immediately revoke your bail and issue a warrant for your arrest. If you're still waiting in jail, you'll be brought to the courtroom directly from the jail. You will likely still be in the clothing the jail issued because you won't be seen by a jury at that time.
  2. You will learn exactly what formal charges are being brought against you. For example, if you were in a drunk driving accident, you'll find out if you have been charged with just driving while intoxicated (DWI) or if you face additional charges, like vehicular manslaughter, child endangerment or any other possible related crimes.
  3. You'll be asked if you have a private attorney or need a public defender. It's possible an attorney may be appointed to act as your representative temporarily -- just for the purposes of the arraignment -- if you don't have an attorney right at that moment. If so, he or she can help you decide how to plead.
  4. You'll be asked how you plead to the charges against you. If you plead "guilty," the case will pretty much be over -- you'll waive all your rights to a trial or defense and be scheduled for sentencing. That's seldom a wise choice, so most people plead "not guilty." Even if you ultimately change your plea, that gives you time to consider your options and talk to an attorney first.
  5. The issue of bail will probably be revisited and your next court date will be set. What surprises most people is that there is very little discussion about evidence and there is no opportunity to discuss any issues with the prosecutor or judge -- arraignment is a fairly quick, organized and somewhat mechanical process for most cases.

Depositions and personal injury claims: How to handle one

Have you been asked to give a deposition in your personal injury case? If so, you may already be starting to feel nervous -- and that's natural.

However, there are a few tips you can use to get through the deposition a little more easily:

Thousands of prison sentences under review

Just over 45 percent of the prison population of Louisiana could see changes in their sentences and an early release after correction officials get done reviewing their records.

Criminal law changes are slated to take effect on Nov. 1, 2017 -- reforms that many felt are necessary in light of the fact that Louisiana currently holds the record for the highest rate of incarcerations in not just the country but the entire world.

Heroin laws in Louisiana are incredibly harsh

People who cross the bridge into Lake Charles from Texas are sometimes shocked to find that Louisiana has some very strict drug laws. Texas is known for its strict penalties for cases involving heroin. However, the penalties in Louisiana are usually a lot harsher.

It is imperative that anyone who has anything to do with heroin understand the serious consequences they are facing if they are convicted of any charge related to heroin.

Can you sue for false imprisonment?

It seems like Louisiana has a problem with false imprisonment -- one that comes with financial motives that aren't too hard to discern.

False imprisonment is the unlawful and purposeful restraint or detention of an individual without the person's consent. It seems like that would be a pretty straightforward thing to remember, especially if you're operating a prison.

Louisiana criminal defendants were victims of fraud, racketeering

They were probably some of the easiest people to defraud: people already in trouble with the law for some reason.

Their credibility was low, many were uneducated or poor and few had the sympathy of the general public these days -- which has gone decidedly hard toward people even accused of a crime.

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