It may come as a surprise to Louisiana residents, but not those who have had run ins with the criminal justice system, that Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the world. The state's governor recently announced his plan to overhaul the state's sentencing plan, in an effort to reduce their incarceration rate.
Louisiana residents may use the terms theft and burglary interchangeably, and may not even be aware that there is a crime called larceny, but in fact though these crimes are similar in some respects, there are some major differences between them. They are similar in the sense that they all involve an element of stealing-- taking someone else's property without authorization from them. However, that is where the similarity ends in the eyes of the law.
If a Louisiana resident is arrested on suspicion of committing a crime, many people may not be aware that the categorization of the offense determines how the case is treated in the court system. To put it simply, not all criminal charges are created equal-the penalties differ based on the category of crime one is accused of.
There are different types of police misconduct but all may have a significant impact on individuals who have been accused of a crime and had an interaction with the police. In addition, police misconduct may be an important aspect of a criminal defense if the police misconduct, such as a violation of procedures and the rights of an accused individual, played a role in the accused individual's case.
Felonies are the most serious type of criminal charges an individual can be charged with. They carry the most serious consequences and harsh penalties. Felonies can be punished with a year or more in prison and fines. The potential length of punishment distinguishes them from lesser criminal charges such as misdemeanors which can be punished by less than a year in jail. The location of potential incarceration also distinguishes felonies from misdemeanors as felonies can result in prison confinement, while misdemeanors can result in a jail sentence.
Disputes between domestic partners can become heated and emotional. Partners may have a long history together and when they begin to argue, the situation can escalate quickly. Such was the case for one couple following a recent altercation in Baton Rouge.
Many Louisianans may have heard of the National Sex Offender Registry. They may not, however, be familiar with it, or how a person becomes listed on the National Sex Offender Registry. The National Sex Offender Public Registry was established in 2005, and then subsequently renamed the National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW).
A hate crime is a criminal act in which a perpetrator acts based on animus for another's ethnicity, gender, religion, race, disability or sexual orientation. In Louisiana, police officers and other public safety personnel, including firefighters, may soon be included as a protected class, making it a hate crime to target these persons.
A threat can be about many things. The threat of bad weather, for example, or a threat to cause harm. Many threats are harmless and can even be made in jest. Yet, Louisianans may not realize that some threats can rise to the level of felonious behavior. Specifically, the felony crime of extortion occurs when a person threatens another with the goal of obtaining something of value, including an advantage or immunity in some form.
When prosecutors charge a Louisianan with a felony, the defendant may benefit from learning as much as possible about the pending charge and developing an adequate legal defense. Knowledge can be an advantage for plea negotiations or in the event a case proceeds to trial. For example, it can be helpful for a defendant to fully understand all of the elements of a crime, who potential witnesses might be, as well as available defenses, as this blog reported in a previous post.