What Are the Do’s and Don’t When You Receive A Call From Jail?

Disturbing news from The Intercept regarding a hack of Securus Corporation. Securus is the largest provider of phone services to the nation’s prison population and records every call made by a prisoner in the facility. Most of these calls are to family members and you can be assured that even laziest, hack prosecutor will pull a defendant’s jail calls before trial and have his investigator listen to them. That’s disconcerting enough, however, The Intercept notes that this breach may be the largest violation of attorney client-privilege ever.  Read more

What will happen at the police station if I am arrested for aggravated rape in New Orleans?

What will happen at the police station if I am arrested for aggravated rape in New Orleans?

Something has you worried. You are concerned that you or a loved one could be arrested for aggravated rape, and you want to know what you should expect after your arrest, but before you or your loved one appears in court.

What You Can Expect

As soon as you are taken into police custody, the arresting officer should read you your Miranda rights. After that, the police officer will take you to the police station. Once there you can expect:

  • To be booked. The booking process includes having your picture taken and being fingerprinted. The police will take your personal property—such as your wallet and cell phone—from you, and give you a receipt for the property so that you can get it back later.
  • To be allowed to call your attorney. It is important to exercise this right so that your lawyer can advise you about the next steps of proceedings and make sure that all of your legal rights are protected.
  • To stay in a holding cell until your first appearance in court. This appearance typically happens quickly.

However, you do not have to wait for an arrest to happen. If you think that you might be arrested, then you can turn yourself in to the police station. You have the right to bring a criminal defense lawyer with you if you turn yourself in. The booking process, and your time in a holding cell, should be the same whether you are brought in by the police or you turn yourself in.

Please talk to a criminal defense lawyer about your options and about how to protect yourself throughout the proceedings.

How long can authorities take to initiate criminal proceedings against a suspect?

How long can authorities take to initiate criminal proceedings against a suspect?

The length of time the authorities have to initiate legal proceedings against someone is called the statute of limitations. In most federal criminal investigations, the statute of limitations is five years—meaning the charge must be brought within five years of the date the crime was committed.

However, some federal crimes have longer time limits. For example:

  • Ten years. Arson, defrauding a bank, and violations of immigration laws have a ten-year statute of limitations.
  • Twenty years. Art theft carries a twenty-year statute of limitations.
  • Lifetime. Certain crimes against children (such as kidnapping or sexual abuse) can be charged anywhere from ten years to the length of the child’s lifetime, whichever is longer.
  • No limit. Capital crimes, including murder or acts of terrorism, do not have a statute of limitations. In addition, the government does not have to adhere to a time limit if it has evidence that a person was actively avoiding authorities by leaving the country or going into hiding.
  • Flexible limits. Some crimes do not occur on one specific date, but can happen over a period of months or even years. In cases where a crime is ongoing, the statute of limitations does not begin until the crime or conspiracy has ended.
  • Foreign exceptions. If a federal prosecutor needs extra time to gather evidence from a foreign government, the statute of limitations may be extended to allow for international assistance with the investigation.

What to Do if You Are the Target of a Criminal Investigation

It is unwise to simply “wait out” the period of investigation. If federal investigators have begun building a case against you, you should speak to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Even if you intend to cooperate with the police, it is vital that you do not release any information without legal counsel at your side. Call Mordock Law Group today at (888) 254-0064 to find out how we can help.

I’m a retailer with a few large amounts in my accounts receivable. I’m not sure whether or not I should file a lawsuit against the people who owe my store money. How can a lawyer help me get paid?

I’m a retailer with a few large amounts in my accounts receivable. I’m not sure whether or not I should file a lawsuit against the people who owe my store money. How can a lawyer help me get paid?

When you sell a product, you trust that the person who buys will pay you what you agreed upon at the time of the transaction. As time goes on and you send bills each month, you start to wonder whether you will ever see the payment for your product. It’s frustrating, and it’s a waste of time.

Retailers struggle with this all of the time. For large, expensive items, letting unpaid debt go bad is dangerous and very costly. Many people avoid paying what they owe until they see their debt go to a collections lawyer.

How a Lawyer Fights For You To Be Paid

Putting a lawyer on your side is one of the best ways to recoup unpaid debt and get those large receivable accounts off your books. Here are a few ways a lawyer will work with you to collect debt in Louisiana:

  • Send demand letters. Demand letters that come from a lawyer carry more weight. There’s no doubt about that. People who might not respond to your demand letters will suddenly respond to the demand letters from your debt collection attorney. This speeds the payment process by showing that you’re serious about getting the money that is rightfully yours.
  • Attempt to negotiate payment plans. No one wants to go to trial. In order to do everything possible to avoid trial, your lawyer will try to negotiate a fair and reasonable payment plan. This gives the people who owe you money a way to pay back their debts in a timeframe that’s fair to you and to their financial situation.
  • Initiate the collection process. Whether you need to garnish the wages of the person who owes you money, put a lien on their property, or intercept tax refunds, we can help. By filing a lawsuit against the people who owe you money, a positive judgment awarded in your case enables you to initiate the collection process.

If your boss is struggling to collect debt in Louisiana but hesitant to hire a collections attorney, we encourage you to share this article with him. With a better understanding of how an attorney can help, he will be thankful you alerted him to this option instead of wasting time letting your demand letters fall on deaf ears.

Will the penalty I face for possession of marijuana be worse if I was arrested near a school in New Orleans?

Will the penalty I face for possession of marijuana be worse if I was arrested near a school in New Orleans?

Yes. If you are convicted of possession of marijuana near a school, or in any drug-free zone, you may face the maximum fine and a sentence of one and a half times what you would have served had your arrest occurred outside a drug-free zone. The state of Louisiana defines a drug free zone to be within 2,000 feet of a:

  • Schools. This includes public and private elementary schools, secondary schools, vocational schools, colleges and universities.
  • School property. This includes playgrounds, parks, recreational facilities and other property or buildings owned or operated by a school.
  • Drug treatment facility. This includes property that is used for diagnostic, treatment, or rehabilitative services for patients and their families for problems related to alcohol, drug, or substance abuse.
  • Religious building or property. This includes churches, synagogues, mosques, and other property that is used for religious worship or other religious purposes.
  • Public housing authority property. This is property owned or operated by a public housing authority or agency.
  • Child day care. This is any property that is licensed as a day care center or group child day care home.

You may not claim that you did not know you were in a drug-free zone as a defense, according to Louisiana law. That does not mean, however, that you do not have any defenses to the charges against you. Instead, it means that you must take the charges seriously and take action today to protect your rights. Whether you are from out of town or you live here in New Orleans, we encourage you to browse our free resources and to start a live chat with us today to learn more about your rights.

I was partying in the French Quarter. I was arrested for possession of marijuana. I’m not from Louisiana. What can I do?

I was partying in the French Quarter. I was arrested for possession of marijuana. I’m not from Louisiana. What can I do?

The French Quarter is one of the hottest tourist destinations in the country. Known for its fun vibe and crazy antics, people from all over the world flock to this area in New Orleans. With all the partying that takes place, the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) keep a close watch on Bourbon Street and the surrounding neighborhoods in the French Quarter.

What to Do After an Arrest in the French Quarter

Being arrested by the NOPD is scary. If you’re not from Louisiana, it’s even more frightening.

In Louisiana, crimes work a little bit differently than in other parts of the country. You are not charged right away for your crime. Instead, prosecutors have 45 days to specify the charges you will face for a misdemeanor offense—and 60 days for a felony. During this time, the district attorney’s office reviews your arrest and decides what crime to charge you with. It is not always the same crime as you were arrested for and accused of committing.

Getting a lawyer on your side as soon as possible is critical, especially if you are from out of town! When finding a lawyer in New Orleans, there are three core things you must look for:

  • Experience. You need your lawyer to have experience working in the court systems so that while you’re back at home, you have an established connection here in New Orleans working on your case. Your lawyer will start talking to the right people and get your case moving in the right direction.
  • Around-the-clock contact. You are in another time zone. You might need a lawyer after normal business hours. Look for a legal practice where someone will answer the phones around the clock, 365 days a year.
  • Team defense. Planning your defense takes a village, even for misdemeanor charges. Find a New Orleans criminal defense attorney backed by a team to help you put together the strongest defense possible.

 

At Mordock Law Group, we work with many people arrested in the French Quarter. We know what you’re going through and we’re here to help. Contact us today at 504-304-2335 to start your case!

Am I eligible to have my Louisiana misdemeanor criminal conviction expunged?

Am I eligible to have my Louisiana misdemeanor criminal conviction expunged?

Over on my blog, I discussed how the new Louisiana expungement law can benefit people who have criminal convictions. But, I have received some feedback from readers asking whether they were eligible to have their misdemanor or felony conviction expunged.

Misdemeanor Expungement

1. Your misdemeanor arrest can be expunged, once the District Attorney:

  • refuses charges against you or
  • dismisses prosecution.

2. Your misdemeanor conviction can be expunged if it was pursuant to Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure Article 894 and your conviction was set aside.

3. If your misdemeanor conviction was not pursuant to Article 894, you may still have your misdemeanor conviction expunged, if you:

  • you have successfully completed your sentence and
  • more than 5 years have passed since your sentence has ended.

4. You may have your misdemeanor conviction expunged, even though you may have recieved a previous expungement if

  • it has been 15 years since your last expungement.

5. You may not receive an expungement if your misdemanor conviction was for

  • a sex crime
  • domestic abuse battery.

Receiving a misdemeanor expungement can be benefical to you both personally and professionally. After getting a conviction expunged, you can put your criminal record behind you and you do not have to disclose the arrest or conviction to potential employers. As a criminal defense attorney practicing in New Orleans, I help people get their misdemeanor convictions expunged and welcome the opportunity to explain the process. Please contact me at 504-304-2335, if you have any questions.

Am I eligible to have my Louisiana felony conviction expunged?

Am I eligible to have my Louisiana felony conviction expunged?

On my blog, I discussed the ways an expungement could benefit you. In a previous FAQ, I addressed under what circumstances your misdemeanor conviction could be expunged. Today, we are going to look at whether your felony conviction can be removed from your record.

Felony Expungements

1. Your felony arrest is eligible to be removed from your record if the District Attorney has:

  • Refused all charges against you or
  • dismissed the prosecution of your case.

2. Your felony conviction is eligible to be expunged if:

  • Your plea was pursuant to Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure Article 893(E) and you have completed your sentence.
  • Even if you did not plea under Article 893(E), you were convicted of a non-capital, non-violent felony and 10 years have passed since the completition of your sentence.

3. You may also have your felony conviction expunged if you pled guilty to certain drug crimes such as:

  • Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance
  • Possession with Intent to Distribute

4. Your felony conviction may be eligible to be expunged, if you meet the above conditions and it has been:

  • 15 years since your last expungement.

5. You are not eligible for a felony expungement if:

  • You served time in jail as part of your sentence
  • You pled guilty to a crime of violence pursuant to Louisiana R.S. 14:2
  • You pled guilty to a drug crime punishable by a minimum sentence of years in incaceration.
  • You pled guilty to a sex crime that is not a crime of violence.
  • You pled guilty to felony domestic violence battery.
  • You were found guilty at a trial on the merits of your matter.

As you can see having your felony conviction removed from your record is a difficult process. It is best to consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer familiar with the expungement statutes to see if you are eligible and to guide you through the court system and the eventual removal of the conviction from your record. I answer questions from people every day. Please do not hesitate to call me at 504-304-2335, if you have questions on how the expungement process works.