Many tourists visit New Orleans for Mardi Gras and other celebrations. While New Orleans is a party town, there are still strict laws when it comes to drunk driving, public intoxication, drug use and certain other crimes. Unfortunately, this means that tourists who come to New Orleans to have a good time can sometimes find themselves arrested instead. An arrest is only the beginning of a nightmare, as you then move through the criminal justice system in Louisiana.
Our New Orleans criminal defense law firm understands the special challenges that individuals face when they were arrested while on vacation. As we explain in our video on Defending Tourists, coming back to New Orleans for court dates can be a big issue for many defendants and many people are very concerned with how to protect their rights and minimize their penalties when handling their case from a distance. The right New Orleans criminal defense lawyer can help.
Defending Tourists for Crimes in New Orleans
Some of the most common party crimes that people visiting New Orleans get arrested for include:
- Drunk driving
- Public intoxication
- Drunken and disorderly conduct
- Bar fights
- Possession of narcotics
- Underage possession of alcohol
When you are charged with these and other criminal acts while on vacation in Louisiana, you could be looking at either misdemeanor or felony charges depending upon the nature of your actions. If convicted, you could face a criminal record, fines and even jail time.
Avoiding conviction or finding alternative solutions such as a diversion program is usually the top concern for defendants who have been arrested. Of course, for those who live out of state, another concern relates to how to deal with the court appearances that will be required during trial.
Ignoring the charges and going home is a terrible idea, as explained in our Defending Tourists video, because the judge could issue a bench warrant for your arrest if you skip any pre-trial or trial hearings. This takes a situation from bad to much worse.
To make sure you don’t end up in much more serious trouble, a New Orleans criminal defense lawyer should be hired to act for you when facing charges, and especially if a bench warrant has been issued for you.
Your attorney can explain your options and do everything possible to help with your case. You may not need to come back to deal with your bench warrant because your New Orleans criminal defense lawyer can get the warrant resolved.
Once your bench warrant issues have been addressed, you have a few options for dealing with the charges: plea bargaining and pleading guilty. Many people want to plea bargain because they believe it is easier for an attorney to negotiate a deal with the prosecutor or DA assigned to the case, rather than having to come back for trial. However, plea decisions should be made only in conjunction with a lawyer and taking all factors into account, since a trial may be the right choice in your case.
Our New Orleans criminal defense law firm specializes in addressing bench warrant problems and defending out-of-state clients accused of criminal acts, so watch our video on Defending Tourists today at BloomLegalTv.com or call us for an evaluation of your case.