What Kind of Criminal Cases Do You Handle?
At Bloom Legal, we handle most types of criminal defense cases, both at the misdemeanor and felony level.
Under misdemeanors, we handle a lot of what we call the “party crimes.” These include charges like DWI, disturbing the peace, drunk in public, battery charges, or criminal trespass, among others. Whether you were visiting New Orleans and got in trouble, or whether you live here—we can help. We handle many cases of this nature. We can help get people out of jail, and back on their feet.
We also handle both misdemeanor and felony drug crimes. We understand that addiction is a disease, and the way these issues and drug users are treated in our society is often biased and stigmatized. We want to help people. We want to push people towards rehabilitation, and we also want to defend them and protect their rights.
Ever since its founding in 2004, Bloom Legal has devoted itself to representing good people. We understand that mistakes happen, and life can sometimes be harsh and unforgiving. We want to help as many people as we can, and we approach each case with empathy and compassion.
We care about our clients, and that reflects in the work we do. Give us a call today for a free phone consultation on your case.
What Should You Do If You’re Arrested in New Orleans?
Getting arrested is an experience nobody wants to go through. If it does happen to you, there are a number of things you should know in order to protect yourself, and to set yourself up for success should your case go to trial.
When getting arrested, always remain calm and cooperative with the police. Do not give the police any reason to antagonize or suspect you further. Maintain a cordial tone when answering questions, and do not swear or get worked up.
The police will likely ask you a number of questions, both at the scene of the crime and once you are taken to the station for processing. Answer only those questions necessary to get you through processing. These will mostly be personal questions about your identity.
Beyond that, it is best to ensure that your New Orleans criminal defense lawyer is present before you answer any more questions. You can refuse to answer certain questions without becoming hostile. Without raising your voice or becoming agitated, politely inform the officers that you want to see your attorney before you will answer any more questions. You are within your rights to make this request, per the Fifth Amendment.
When you are arrested, the police are required by law read you your Miranda Rights. If you’ve ever watched a cop show, you’ve probably heard the Miranda Rights a hundred times:
- You have the right to remain silent.
- Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
- You have a right to an attorney.
- If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.
The Fifth Amendment and the Miranda Rights are designed to protect a person being arrested from acting as a witness against or further incriminating themselves.
While you have the right not to incriminate yourself, you must exercise this right. Anything and everything that happens or is said during the process of your arrest is fair game for a criminal trial. This is why it is important to have an experienced attorney present to help protect you. Your New Orleans criminal defense lawyer can assist you through all the phases of your arrest, beginning with police interrogation, and onward through your criminal defense, bail, plea bargaining, and trial.
On a similar note, during your arrest, it is important to pay close attention to everything that is happening. This information may be useful for your criminal defense down the road. The more thorough you can be the better, so if possible write down the details of your arrest as soon as you can.
Did the police forget or forgo part of the arrest process? Did they make you uncomfortable or refuse any requests? For example, if the police failed to read you your Miranda Rights, this information could be used by your attorney to defend you in court.
A licensed, experienced New Orleans criminal defense attorney is the most effective way to ensure you are protected during and after your arrest. If you have been arrested, the criminal law professionals at Bloom Legal LLC are standing by and ready to fight for you. In issues of criminal defense, time can play a key role. Contact us today to set up your free consultation.
How To Get Someone Out of Jail
If someone you know has been arrested you probably want to get them out of jail as soon as possible. However, finding out where they are detained and coming up with the money for bail is no simple task.
Check out our helpful guide below for all you need to know if a friend or loved one has been locked up.
How To Find Out Where They Are Detained
If you don’t receive a call directly, you may have trouble determining where they are being held. If you are in the New Orleans area, you can visit the Orleans Parish sheriff’s website, opcso.org, to search a database of current detainees. These days, many other parishes and counties around the country offer this kind of online tool.
It helps to know what parish the crime was committed in. Even if there is no online database, you can contact the sheriff’s office or the police department in the parish directly to try to locate the person.
If you aren’t sure which parish they were arrested in, you may have to do a bit of calling around. It should also be noted that sometimes the booking process can take some time. The person won’t appear in the database until the booking process is complete, so you may need to keep checking around if you can’t locate the person initially.
How To Find Out The Bail Amount
The bail amount is normally determined by these factors:
- The severity of the crime(s)
- The suspect’s criminal record
- Potential damage the suspect could pose to the public if released
- The suspect’s obligations or responsibility to family and employment
- Extended residence in a community
In some cases a bond may be automatically set. For example, this is not uncommon in DWI cases.
If the bond has not been automatically set, one will be set at the arrested person’s arraignment. The date set for the arraignment will usually be within the next 24 to 48 hours after the arrest.
An attorney can negotiate with the court to get a bail set prior to arraignment, so that you can get your friend or loved one out of jail sooner. Having an attorney on your side in these situations is always a big plus, since you will often find yourself dealing a lot of varying factors and circumstances.
Due to the complexity of these matters, it’s hard to say that there are any hard and fast rules. Each arrest and each case is different. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help navigate and expedite the process.
Two Types of Bonds
Once you determine what the bail amount is then you have to figure out how to pay it. Effectively a bond is a set amount of money that you pay to get someone released from jail. The bond is a kind of deposit, ensuring that the accused will appear for all future court dates. If they fail to appear, the entire bond may be forfeited.
There are two types of bonds—cash bonds and surety bonds.
Cash bonds are paid direct, and in full to the jail or police department.
In many cases, however, you might not have the money necessary at the drop of a hat to get someone out of jail. That’s where a surety bond comes in. With these types of bond, a bail bondsman acts as a middleman. You pay them a percentage of the bond—usually 13%—and they cover the bond in order to bail your friend or loved one out.
Of course, the bondsman is putting themselves on the line, promising that the accused will show up for court. If they fail to show up, the bondsman then becomes responsible for that money. If you are unable to pay them back, they may send you to collections, or send this guy after you.
What is “bail motion” and “bail schedule?”
A bail schedule refers to the standard bail amounts given for certain crimes. Not all crimes have a recommended bail amount, and ultimately the given court where the crime was committed will determine the bail amount.
The eighth amendment protects individuals against excessive bail amounts.
An attorney may negotiate with the court on behalf of the accused in order to reduce the bail amount. This negotiation is known as a bail motion.
The attorney may argue for a bail reduction by claiming that their client is not a flight risk—meaning they will show up for their court dates— that they are not a threat to society, or that their bail was set unreasonably high.
What is release under one’s own recognizance?
In some cases arrested individuals may be released under their own recognizance. This means that the person is released without paying any bail or posting a bond. Instead, they sign a document promising to show up for all future court dates.
In determining whether individuals may be released under their own recognizance, the court will consider severity of the crime. The suspect’s prior criminal record can also play a part. First time offenders are usually more likely to be released under their own recognizance, though this is not always the case.
Other factors that may be considered are the suspect’s potential danger to the public, and their family and employment obligations. For example, a single mother without anyone else to care for her children may be more likely to be released without bail.
Usually individuals released under their own recognizance have to abide by certain legal stipulations. They may be required to stay within the jurisdiction where their crime was committed until their court date. Be sure to clarify with the appropriate courts any stipulations on your release, to make sure you remain compliant.
Other stipulations may include abstaining from drug or alcohol use, forfeiture of driver’s license, or reporting to a probation officer.
If a suspect is released on their own recognizance and then fails to show up for a court date, a warrant for their arrest will be issued immediately. As might be expected, the bail set for their release this time around will typically be substantial.
What Are Your Criminal Defense Fees?
Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced New Orleans Criminal Defense Attorney
For locals and tourists embroiled in civil litigation or criminal charges following their evening out in New Orleans, Bloom Legal can assist in expunging these charges or settling any and all civil cases.
Do not hesitate to contact us as soon as possible after your arrest or if you are being questioned by police in connection with a crime. Call Bloom Legal today at 504-517-0487, or contact us online now to schedule a case evaluation with an experienced New Orleans criminal defense attorney and learn more about how we can provide criminal defense services tailored to your needs.
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Hear What Our Clients Have To Say
I contacted Bloom Legal out of the blue with a strange question for a fiction series I’m writing that takes place in New Orleans. Being from Maryland I was in the dark and needed assistance and they jumped at the chance to help me (they were the only law firm that responded to my e-mail). His team worked quickly and carefully to find the information I needed. Because of the help they provided it changed a large aspect of my novel and for that I am very grateful.
Posted by: Sarah Perrie