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Shreveport Criminal Law Blog

Don't let auto injuries wreck your life

A seemingly ordinary day can quickly turn into an unforgettably traumatic one if you are involved in a motor vehicle crash. Sadly, these types of car accidents are often the result of another driver's carelessness.

If you suffer serious injuries due to another person's negligence behind the wheel, you have the right to seek compensation for many of the associated costs along with your pain and suffering. Here are a few types of motor vehicle accident injuries for which you may have the right to pursue damages.  

Sheriff terminates deputy after 2nd drunk driving offense

The reports of law enforcement officers being arrested in Louisiana and nationwide on various criminal charges seems to be a permanent phenomenon going forward. In the past, the occasional arrest of a police officer was a highly newsworthy event. Now, however, such news is commonplace and it hardly causes much of a ripple in the public eye. Possibly the most reported offense for law enforcement officers is drunk driving.

The most recent arrest in that respect involves a 22-year veteran of the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office who was arrested recently by the Louisiana State Police for drunk driving. Because it was the man's second offense, Sheriff Jeff Wiley announced that the man has been terminated from his job. Police say that he was pulled over for driving erratically and that he caused an accident with what was described as minor injuries.

Registered sex offender may have criminal defense to charges

Louisiana has its fair share of registered sex offenders. The problem with them is not generally that they repeat their offenses. Most of them encounter trouble by not properly reporting under the sex offender registration law, according to police and criminal defense attorneys.

The registration law in Louisiana, much like similar laws around the country, has very harsh reporting requirements. There is a seemingly bottomless pit of registration requirements that many individuals find difficult to keep up with. That fact may have something to do with the arrest of a 26-year-old recently in Caddo Parish by sheriff's deputies.

Drug charges after traffic stop must pass constitutional muster

Traffic stops account for a significant percentage of the drug crimes charged each year in Louisiana. There are specific constitutional restraints, however, that police must meet regarding drug charges arising out of a traffic stop. The first consideration is that the police may not stop a vehicle without a reasonable suspicion that a crime is being committed and/or that a traffic offense is occurring.

In order to go beyond that initial stop and check, the police must have probable cause. Many cases turn on whether the evidence cited by the police is sufficient to justify making a full search of the car and its occupants. These issues are likely to be relevant in the recent arrest of a driver and his passenger by the Mangham Police in Richland Parish.

Attempted murder, drug charges filed against man re car chase

Unarmed suspects in Louisiana and nationwide have been shot by police, sometimes fatally, in a pattern of similar controversial incidents in recent years. The cloak of suspicion has been cast on police behavior because the suspect is usually unarmed, leaving few if any legitimate reasons to justify police use of deadly force. A twist on those facts occurred on Oct. 6 in Houma when the suspect allegedly weaponized his car in trying to run down and kill a sheriff's deputy, according to the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff's Office. The incident ultimately resulted in the suspect's arrest for several offenses, including attempted murder, property destruction and drug charges for possession of crystal meth.

However, he won't be answering those charges immediately because he is hospitalized in stable condition with multiple gunshot wounds. It appears that after he allegedly tried to run down and kill the deputy who was approaching the suspect's vehicle on foot, that officer and others got off numerous gun shots against the man while he fled in his car. The officers then engaged in a car chase of the suspect through the streets of Houma.

Man asserts criminal defense to arson and assault charges

Arson is a serious crime in Louisiana that can carry a substantial prison sentence. The seriousness of the punishment is distinguished by the level of damages that are caused. If the damages are less than $500, the punishment carries a fine and a sentence of imprisonment up to five years without hard labor. If the damage is more than $500, the fine can be much higher and sentence of imprisonment can reach as high as 15 years with or without hard labor. Presenting a criminal defense to a charge of arson requires strong representation by a defense attorney as soon as practically possible.

Sometimes arson crosses paths with domestic violence crimes. Domestic disputes occasionally result in a person in the relationship setting fire to the mutual residence. Authorities in Avoyelles Parish recently arrested a 27-year-old male for simple arson, domestic abuse battery and criminal property damage. Arson requires proof of specific criminal intent by the accused.

You can stand up for justice following a pedestrian crash

A car accident can easily cause you to suffer grave injuries in certain situations. This is especially true in the case of a pedestrian accident, as pedestrians lack the protection that those riding in passenger cars enjoy.

In some situations, pedestrian accidents here in Louisiana occur due to the carelessness of a motor vehicle driver. Fortunately, if a car driver negligently strikes and hurts you while you are walking along or across the street, you have the right to seek justice in civil court.

Drunk driving charge imposed on truck driver after fiery crash

In all states, including Louisiana, the punishment for conviction of a DWI offense will be increased if an accident is caused by the accused during the commission of the offense. The punishment for conviction of drunk driving goes up significantly if the accident is accompanied by property damages. It increases further if the accused causes personal injury or death as a result of the accident.

A truck driver accused of drunk driving will face enhanced punishment after being arrested on Sept. 22 on Interstate I-10 in Prairieville. Louisiana State Police accuse the 55-year-old tractor-trailer driver of driving drunk and causing an accident in which his truck struck concrete construction barriers and a guard rail. The collision resulted in a rupture to the fuel tank of the truck. Police say the accused kept driving after the collision until it was clear that there was a substantial fire that would destroy most of the vehicle.

Man charged with vehicular homicide in death of 2-year-old

In Louisiana and elsewhere driving drunk with children in the vehicle is a particularly heinous offense that the courts and law enforcement agencies seek to penalize strictly. When a child dies in a drunk driving accident that is charged as vehicular homicide, the accused will face a stiff sentence of imprisonment if convicted. In a fatal accident that occurred on Sept. 15 state police arrested a 27-year-old man for vehicular homicide, first offense DWI and related offenses. Tragically, a 2-year-old child died as a result of the accident.

The Louisiana State Police say that the collision occurred on La. 70 near La. 3120 in Ascension Parish. They allege that the accused was driving east on La. 3120 when he ran a stop sign while driving a pickup truck and drove into the path of another pickup that was being operated in a southerly direction on La. 70. There were three children and one additional adult in the alleged offender's vehicle, according to police.

Man charged with drunk driving after noise ruckus outside store

Louisiana continues to have serious problems with drunk driving offenses and the weight of destruction that they leave in their path. When a driver is severely impaired with alcohol, members of the public and law enforcement officers often do not know what to expect. For example, the police in Calcasieu Parish recently responded to a drunk driving call regarding a man who was allegedly sitting in the driver's seat of a car, slumped over on the steering wheel and pressing on the horn. The car was outside a grocery store in Lake Charles, and the man was also reportedly vomiting at the same time. 

If true, the spectacle is consistent with drunk driving behavior. The police say that, when they arrived, they shut off the engine. They allege that the man admitted to drinking a bottle of Vodka, which was supported by their purported finding of an empty Vodka bottle in the car. The deputy who conducted the investigation reports also that he smelled alcohol on the suspect.