We all make mistakes, but for some make choices and big mistakes that end up in an arrest. Data compiled by the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration and the Administration of Criminal Justice shows that approximately 23,000 people were arrested for violent crimes and over 165,000 people were arrested for nonviolent crimes in Louisiana. If you are one of the thousands of individuals arrested for a crime, you have the right to defends yourself and fight the charges you are facing.
Crime statistics in Louisiana
Following are four of the most common crimes in Louisiana:
Larceny and Theft- 60 percent
Burglary- 22 percent
Aggravated assault- 9 percent
Motor vehicle- 5 percent
Drug arrests in Louisiana
About 30 percent of inmates in Louisiana jails are there because of drug crimes, but when you factor in drug-related offenses such as larceny and burglary, the rate of incarceration for drug offenses jumps to 70 percent, according to the Louisiana Department of Corrections.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, 52 percent of drug arrests in the U.S. in 2010 were for marijuana, and most arrests didn’t involve dealers, they involved minor possession of marijuana. Even though some states are moving towards decriminalization of marijuana, Louisiana is not which means a person can spend time behind bars for minor possession of pot.
Penalties for minor possession of marijuana in Louisiana
Possession of 14 g or less (first offense)- 15 days in jail and a $300 fine.
Possession of more than 14 g but less than 2.5 lbs. (first offense)-Six months in jail and a $500 fine.
To learn more about the state’s marijuana laws, Louisiana Rev. Stat. § 40:966(E), visit http://legis.la.gov/legis/Law.aspx?d=98880.
Risks of a criminal record in Louisiana
Having a criminal record can affect many aspects of a person’s life, and many people with criminal record face constant barriers. A criminal record can limit where a person lives and can make it difficult to secure a good job. What’s more, your arrest, even if you weren’t convicted, will show up on a criminal record.
It is customary for employers to check the criminal record of any prospective applicants, so a criminal arrest and conviction can keep you from getting a better job and better pay. You can be overlooked for a job after job even if you have a minor crime on your record, so you need to launch a solid defense.
Some people with criminal convictions can have their records expunged and have their arrest and conviction cleared from their public criminal records. USAttorneys recommends you have a criminal defense lawyer assist you with your expungement application and administrative hearing. Your expungement request should be sent to the Clerk of Court in your area. For a complete list visit: http://www.laclerksofcourt.org/clerksofcourt.htm.
East Baton Rouge Parish Clerk of Court
222 St. Louis Street, Room 179
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
Lafayette Parish Clerk of Court
800 South Buchanan Street
Lafayette, LA 70501
Orleans Parish Clerk of Court – Criminal District
2700 Tulane Avenue, Room 114
New Orleans, LA 70119
Public defender vs. private attorney
Everyone in the U.S. facing a criminal charge in Louisiana is entitled to legal representation. If they don’t have the funds to hire a private defense attorney, they will be assigned a public defender. While public defenders are competent and effective, most people have far better outcomes for their cases when they enlist a criminal defense attorney with a private Louisiana practice.