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Shreveport Criminal Law Blog

Criminal defense: 10 charged in fraternity hazing death

The fraternity Phi Delta Theta closed its chapter at Louisiana State University after the recent death of one of its pledge members. Ten students were arrested on charges related to the young man's death. Police report that all ten suspects voluntarily turned themselves in, and it is likely that they have begun criminal defense preparations.

The 18-year-old Phi Delta Theta pledge allegedly died after going through a hazing event for the fraternity. Approximately 20 other pledges were also in attendance that night, and they were apparently made to drink heavily when they incorrectly answered a question about the fraternity history or had difficultly saying the Greek alphabet. Although there were many other pledges participating in the hazing, the victim was supposedly singled out and made to drink much larger amounts of stronger liquor.

Drunk driving arrests could increase soon

Some people in Louisiana may soon see an increased number of police officers on the road. Backed by a grant, one sheriff's office plans to increase checkpoints, officers and dedicated traffic patrols as they target a handful of violations. Although the department plans to go after a number of traffic violations, they have singled out potential drunk drivers at the top of their list.

The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission provided the $87,305 grant. The local sheriff's office claims the money will provide about 2,180 additional man hours. They will also be using the money to hire additional officers whose main focus will be traffic violations.

Reducing the odds of an accident when walking near traffic

There are a multitude of reasons you may prefer walking from place to place as opposed to driving. Aside from being a healthier form of travel, you may also feel walking is much safer, especially with the ever-increasing number of vehicles out on the roads.

While pedestrianism might have its apparent advantages, there could also be a certain level of risk in choosing the sidewalk. With far less in the way of protective measures to shield you from a collision, understanding the hazards you may face and how to handle them could play a crucial role in preventing a disaster.

Early criminal defense plans essential for DUI charges

Few criminal charges have the same real-world impact as those for drunk driving. Even first time offenders can face jail time, fines and the loss of their driving privileges. When faced with allegations of driving under the influence in Louisiana, it is incredibly important to begin considering all possible criminal defense options as early on as possible.

A conviction for a first-time DUI offense carries a minimum sentence of 2 days in jail. While this might not seem extensive, any time spent behind bars can have devastating consequences. For some, missing two days of work can lead to their termination. For others, there might be no one to look after their children during their 48 hours away from home. The minimum time behind bars increases with each subsequent offense, with 30 days for second offenses and 45 days for third.

Driver faces multiple charges for alleged drunk driving accident

Charges for driving while intoxicated can be especially serious when filed alongside other criminal allegations. A man in Louisiana is currently facing multiple charges for what authorities describe as a drunk driving accident. Two people -- including the driver -- were injured in the wreck, and another was killed.

Police believe that the 25-year-old man was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the wreck. Reports indicate that he was driving his pickup truck eastbound on an area highway when he veered across the center yellow line and into oncoming traffic. He collided head-on with a westbound vehicle carrying two people. The pickup truck driver suffered only moderate injuries in the wreck, and the driver of the westbound vehicle reported minor injuries. However, the 16-year-old passenger in the second vehicle apparently suffered life-threatening injuries and had to be transported to the hospital, where he died about two weeks after the wreck.

Criminal defense needs differs for misdemeanor and felony DWIs

Drunk driving charges tend to get lumped into one, broad category that many people in Louisiana perceive as the same thing. While the differences between misdemeanor and felony DWI charges can sometimes -- although not always -- be subtle, the consequences can vary greatly. Felonies typically carry harsher penalties if convicted and usually require a different criminal defense approach. These are just a few situations that sometimes lead to felony drunk driving charges.

Driving with an especially high blood alcohol concentration can result in felony allegations. A .08 BAC is usually considered the threshold for adult drivers who are over the age of 21 and will lead to a misdemeanor charge, regardless of whether the driver feels that his or her ability to drive is impaired. A BAC that registers as slightly higher than the legal limit is not likely to lead to felony charges, while BACs that hit close to .16 -- about double the legal limit -- can.

Fatal accident leads to drunk driving homicide charges

Blood alcohol concentration tests are not always reliable. Nevertheless, when drivers in Louisiana find their BAC measures .08 or higher, they may conclude there is no reason to fight the drunk driving charges against them. However, this is not always the best course of action. In fact, for many, accepting the charges and their potential penalties may disrupt their lives in unimaginable ways.

One example may be a recent arrest police made more than a year after a traffic incident. Last May, a 30-year-old man was traveling north around 1 a.m. when his pickup truck collided with another vehicle at an intersection. The driver of the other vehicle suffered fatal injuries. Police reports indicate that the deceased driver had been making an illegal U-turn at the time of the collision.

Boating under the influence is no way to end summer

Summer may be quickly coming to an end, and kids are already back in school. However, there are still plenty of pleasant weekends ahead for getting out on the water. While some in Louisiana may try to cram as much fun and enjoyment into these waning days of summer, boaters may do well to heed reminders about the dangers of boating under the influence.

No matter if one is operating a yacht or a rowboat, it is illegal in every state to do so after having too much to drink. What many boaters fail to realize is that the environment on a boat increases the effects of alcohol on a boater's system. The motion of the boat on the water combined with sun and the spray can cause one's reaction time to rapidly decrease. When alcohol combines with these factors, a weekend boat operator soon becomes fatigued, and he or she may lose coordination and good judgment.

Louisiana police officer faces drug charges

Police officers are held to a higher standard, especially when it comes to avoiding any participation in criminal activity. When rumors surface of an officer facing accusations for criminal conduct, the public is often quick to judge before the evidence is presented. Recently, a Louisiana police officer was named after an investigation into suspected illegal activity. The officer is now facing drug charges and other accusations.

The state police refuse to divulge where they received the information that led to the officer's arrest. However, the officer has apparently been under investigation for about a month. Police reports indicate that he allegedly distributed a Schedule I controlled dangerous substance while on duty. The 42-year-old officer also faces felony charges of possessing drugs while carrying a firearm. Additionally, the officer's alleged relations with a woman while on duty constitutes malfeasance in office.

Steps for protecting yourself after a car crash

As you take a short drive to town on a sunny day, life may feel good. However, your trip may quickly take a turn for the worst if another motorist strikes your car unexpectedly. All of a sudden, your short drive on a sunny day may turn into a long, gloomy ordeal.

Sometimes, these types of motor vehicle accidents in Louisiana occur due to the carelessness of another driver. A few tips may help you to protect your own best interests following a car crash.