When a tree farmer near Pearl River, Louisiana, discovered that nine of his trees were destroyed by vandals, he hired "a whole lot of eyes" to watch his trees. The "eyes" were surveillance cameras. The use of the cameras led to the arrest of four teenagers, who now face criminal charges for vandalism.
Louisiana and her neighboring states often cooperate in tracking and arresting persons wanted for serious crimes. A recent example of this cooperation occurred in New Orleans when police arrested a man for shoplifting, only to discover that he was one of Tennessee's 10 most-wanted criminals and was facing serious criminal charges in the Volunteer State.
Louisiana's insanity defense was on full display when psychiatric experts retained by the defendant in a homicide case clashed with similar experts retained by the prosecutors in a criminal trial. The mother is facing a variety of criminal charges, including first-degree murder, in connection with the murder of her two young children in 2012. The mother is charged with fatally shooting her 3-year old son and drowning her 4-year-old daughter. In earlier testimony, the defendant confessed that she killed her children to spare them a life of poverty.
Every criminal defendant has a constitutional right to be represented by a competent lawyer. Even murder convictions can be set aside if the court believes that the defendant's lawyer did not provide an effective defense to the criminal charges in the case. In a recent case, an Orleans parish judge reversed a murder conviction after finding that the defendant's attorney did not provide a competent defense.
Most people who are arrested and charged for possession or sale of child pornography use they home computers for the criminal activity. In a remarkable variation on this theme, the recent arrest of a former employee of the Louisiana Secretary of State's office was facilitated by the defendant's use of his office computer to acquire the illegal images. The man now faces a number of potentially serious criminal charges.
Domestic violence, sometimes called domestic assault or domestic abuse, occurs when a person assaults or abuses a member of their family or household. It can include a pattern or cycle of violence and can involve physical violence, emotional abuse and other forms of inflicted harm. In Louisiana and jurisdictions throughout the country, domestic violence charges can be alleged in marital relationships, parent-child relationships, relationships that involve unmarried cohabitation and other domestic situations.
In the American criminal justice system, defendants are to be considered innocent until they are proven guilty. As such, the prosecutors who bring charges against individuals in the criminal courts are tasked with proving all of the elements of the crimes that they allege the defendants to have committed in order to secure guilty verdicts at trial. However, as some Baton Rouge residents may know, a presumption of innocence after a criminal charge may feel like empty words during a stressful and tense pretrial period.
Television crime shows provide many Baton Rouge residents with entertainment each week but also, in a very limited and generalized way, provide a small glimpse into some of the areas of defense work that individuals may use to lighten or eliminate their pending criminal charges. One element of a criminal defense strategy that readers may be familiar with is plea negotiation, and this post will discuss in general some of the ways this strategy can help criminal defendants.
During the investigations of allegedly criminal matters Louisiana law enforcement officials collect DNA evidence that they attempt to match to DNA samples in a database so that they may learn the identities of the individuals they believe perpetrated the underlying crimes. There are problems with the current system of collecting and testing DNA; in some cases individuals are wrongly identified as the perpetrators of violent crimes when in fact they are completely innocent.
There are a variety of ways a criminal case may progress through the criminal justice process. One method of resolving a case is through a plea bargain. Plea bargains are a common method of resolving criminal cases in the United States. A plea bargain is an agreement between the individual accused of a crime and the prosecuting attorney in which the accused individual pleads guilty typically in order to receive a reduced sentence or reduced criminal charges. Plea bargains are primarily utilized as a method of saving time and money while resolving criminal cases.