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Shreveport Criminal Law Blog

Former officer charged with vehicular homicide

Facing criminal charges means having much at stake. In addition to the uncertainty the future holds, there is also the potential damage to one's personal and professional lives, especially if the person in question works as a public servant. One Louisiana man is likely dealing with these issues following an accident that resulted in charges of vehicular homicide.

Until recently, the 22-year-old man had been an officer on the local police force. Just after 1 a.m. on a recent Saturday, he was driving his pickup truck along a main road when he hit the back of a bicycle operated by a 34-year-old man. Investigators believe the bicyclist was heading to a nearby casino where his wife was waiting. The former officer stopped and rendered aid, attempting CPR, but the bicyclist was already deceased.

Police seize large amount of cocaine; 3 arrested on drug charges

Louisiana defense counsel must always examine the arrest papers, warrants and affidavits closely when representing a criminal defendant. When the police stop a moving vehicle and make an arrest on drug charges, the investigation by defense counsel must be detailed and thorough. It is always possible that the police have made a mistake in stopping the vehicle, or in their investigation or treatment of the suspect.

These issues are of possible concern as a result of a vehicular stop by the Louisiana State Police on Friday, July 13 on I-10 near Lake Charles. They arrested a 43-year-old man and charged him with conspiracy to distribute cocaine after allegedly finding seven kilos of cocaine in a hidden compartment in the man's car. On the same date, federal officials executed a search warrant at the man's residence where they allege that they seized one kilo of cocaine, six pounds of marijuana and other contraband.

Drunk driving suspect accused of homicide

A Louisiana man who was arrested on July 3 has had charges against him upgraded, according to local sources. Police in Baton Rouge arrested the man for suspected drunk driving after he crashed into a bench. The charges have been upgraded to include vehicular homicide now that the victim who had been sitting on the bench at the time has died.

Police say the accident happened around 2:15 p.m. when the driver, a 39-year-old man, lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a bench at a bus stop on the side of the road. The report goes on to say the man fled the scene in his vehicle. The occupant of the bench, who has not been publicly identified, suffered injuries, including two broken legs, head injuries and a broken knee cap. He was taken to a local hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Semi-truck accident can leave you with physical, financial scars

You make your way along the highway with the expectation that you will reach your workplace relatively quickly. However, a commercial truck stops you in your tracks -- literally -- by colliding into you and causing you injuries. Now, instead of focusing on your job tasks, your mind is on how to handle the serious truck accident you have just experienced.

Semi-trucks are much larger than the average personal vehicle is. Therefore, when truck collisions take place in Louisiana, the resulting injuries can easily be catastrophic. Fortunately, if you have suffered injuries in a semi-truck resulting from a truck driver's carelessness, you have the right to seek justice through the civil court system.

Boating under the influence similar to other impairment offenses

In Louisiana, boating while drunk or impaired is a criminal offense similar to driving a vehicle when impaired. The proof of a boating under the influence offense and the punishment meted out for a conviction follow virtually the same rules. The parish sheriff's departments all have special units for law enforcement of boating operations. These enforcement units patrol the waterways applicable to their respective jurisdictions.

When a person is charged with a drunk boating allegation, he or she should obtain legal counsel as soon as possible. This will assure that all of one's rights under the law are protected and that a false charge is not allowed to stand. Where there is sufficient evidence and no viable defense, then the accused will need counsel to negotiate a plea agreement.

Criminal defense counsel may file to suppress coerced confessions

Louisiana, like all other states, is seeing an increase of criminal charges and convictions of persons in authority for a variety of crimes. Recently, there has been a flood of law enforcement officers being arrested on various charges relating to their treatment of suspects, including those arrested for alleged traffic or DUI offenses. There have always been a small number of cases where narcotics officers are dealing in drugs and addicted to boot. One of the most curious types of offenses is the arsonist who works for the local fire department; this situation puzzles and amazes both prosecutors and criminal defense counsel alike.  

The Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal recently arrested a female volunteer firefighter and charged her with five total counts of arson. The charges included three counts of simple arson and two counts of aggravated arson. With arson normally being a felony, she may face a lengthy period of imprisonment without credible mitigating circumstances or a viable defense. That may be unlikely because the authorities say that the suspect confessed to setting all three fires.

Police charge 18-wheeler driver with drunk driving, hit and run

It is not that often that Louisiana authorities arrest the operator of an 18-wheeler for DWI while driving through city roadways. The Houma police reported recently that they had that distinction when they detained and charged a 35-year-old male with drunk driving and hit and run. The police responded to reports that a rig towing a large box trailer was being recklessly operated on a city street.

When police arrived, they reportedly observed damage to a fire hydrant, stop sign, street sign and a fence on local streets. They detained the operator after allegedly following him to a Walmart parking lot where he parked the truck. The police say that the man showed visible signs of impairment and emanated a strong odor of alcohol.

2 localities won't hold suspects without criminal defense rights

Frontier "justice" may have recently come to an end in certain rural parts of Louisiana. Capping an investigation that started a few years ago, the U.S. Justice Department has announced that it has entered into agreements with local governments in the city of Ville Platte and in Evangeline Parish, which are located about 80 miles west of Baton Rouge. The police in those localities, apparently oblivious to such things as constitutional law, were accustomed for many years to arresting and holding people for questioning without due process, including with no criminal defense counsel, arraignment, bail or other required protections.

Some victims of the practice were strip searched and held without process for days, according to the Justice Department. The 'holds' were conducted without probable cause, making them unconstitutional violations of the Fourth Amendment's protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. Part of the agreements require the city and the Parish to better train their officers to assure that the practice will not start up again.

Taking photos immediately following a car wreck may be helpful

The experience of being in a motor vehicle crash caused by another person's carelessness can understandably be devastating. Emotions will typically run high, and if you have suffered an injury in the accident, you may have many worries about how this will impact you financially going forward.

Although the crash scene may certainly be chaotic, preserving evidence at the scene of the incident is paramount. Here are some tips for preserving evidence by using a camera if you ever become involved in such an unfortunate situation.   

Consent is not a criminal defense to sexual assault by police

A new Louisiana law that regulates police behavior during an arrest has been passed without any discernible opposition by police organizations or individual officers. The law prohibits police from having "consensual sex" with a suspect during an arrest. The issue was raised in the past year when two police officers in another state tried to assert the criminal defense of consent in a case where the officers were arrested for allegedly raping a female suspect in the back of a police van.

One legislator explained that its purpose is to make it absolutely clear that a person who is being arrested or in police custody for any reason is legally incapable of giving consent to sexual contact. In a sense, the concept is similar to the common provision that makes it legally impossible for a person under 16 to give consent to sexual relations. Although the need for such a law may seem far-fetched, there has been a steady increase of such complaints made against male police officers in recent years.