If you’ve been arrested for domestic violence in Louisiana, it’s essential to take the charge seriously. All domestic violence convictions, even misdemeanors, can result in life-altering consequences. Even a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction can drastically alter the course of your life. It’s critical that you understand all the potential ramifications before you make a decision. Judges and prosecutors aren’t there to look out for your best interests. Because these types of convictions have such long-lasting and wide-ranging consequences, it’s important to have an experienced Louisiana domestic violence attorney on your side whether you decide to accept a plea or to take the case to trial.
A New Orleans Domestic Violence Attorney Will Provide the Help You Need
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Restraining and Protective Orders
If you have been accused of domestic violence in New Orleans, you need an attorney who will rigorously defend your case by examining all the facts. Legal remedies such as restraining orders or protective orders may be sought against you, and an attorney can help you try to get your life back to normal in these situations. Court protective orders prohibit a party, usually the accused, from interacting with the person who has sought the protective order. The main objective of these court orders is to stop further violence against the victim. Protective orders and restraining orders are difficult to cope with because they likely restrict your access to your home and/or children. You need legal representation to help you get your life back on track.
To properly defend someone accused of domestic violence, a criminal defense law firm must examine all evidence to determine whether it is sufficient to support the charges, or to have the case dismissed or charges reduced. A variety of defenses may be used, and defenses vary by case. The facts relating to the case may include self-defense or a showing of evidence not sufficient to support the claim.
What Are the Penalties for a Domestic Violence Charge in Louisiana?
The penalties for domestic violence charges vary. The possible baseline penalties mostly depend on the nature of the underlying charge. Things become complicated because the domestic violence statute includes, and sometimes demands, enhanced punishments.
Here’s what that means in plain English. Louisiana’s domestic violence statute requires jail time for most offenses. Even first-time convictions can result in jail time. The more prior convictions, the more jail time the law imposes. Commit two misdemeanor crimes involving domestic violence, and if you’re found guilty a third time, the statute requires the judge to convict you of a felony—even if we’re talking three different alleged victims. An experienced New Orleans domestic violence attorney will walk you through the possible penalties, and make sure you understand all the consequences of this sort of conviction.
Domestic Violence and Gun Rights in Louisiana
Domestic violence convictions carry serious implications when it comes to your right to own or use a gun. Individuals convicted of crimes involving domestic violence often lose the right to own, operate or carry a firearm. This prohibition will most likely remain in effect during the time you’re on probation or parole and for ten years after you’re released from supervision.
Most felony domestic violence convictions come with a standard protective order prohibiting contact with the alleged victim. In some cases, the domestic violence statute requires judges to include a firearm prohibition in that protective order. Get caught with a gun while you’re on probation or parole, and the district attorney can prosecute you for violating a protective order.
The domestic violence statute in Louisiana also requires courts to report the names of individuals convicted of specific domestic violence felonies to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, NICS. This will essentially prevent you from purchasing a firearm anywhere in the US.
What if I’m a Law Enforcement Officer or in the Military?
Because of the prohibition against gun possession or ownership, even a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction can end a promising military or law enforcement career. Judges sometimes enter orders preventing defendants from possessing firearms during the pre-trial period–which can have serious ramifications if you can no longer perform employment-related duties. Because violation of a protective order is another crime, it’s critical to follow these court orders. The lawyers of Bloom Legal will make sure you understand precisely what you’re prohibited from doing and can petition the court to revise employment-damaging conditions.
Can a Domestic Violence Conviction Impact My Child Custody?
Yes. Louisiana statues permit judges to take several factors into consideration when deciding child custody matters, including information relevant to determinations of a minor’s safety. The law allows judges to consider domestic violence convictions as part of this evaluation.
When Should I Contact an Attorney?
Reach out as soon as possible after your arrest. Sooner is always better in these sorts of situations. Our investigators can speak with witnesses while memories are still fresh. They can also take accurate pictures of injuries that we might be able to use during negotiations with the prosecution or to present a convincing defense at trial. We can also address issues such as bond, and petition the court to make changes to problematic protective order conditions.
At Bloom Legal, we believe that no one should ever have to face a criminal charge on their own. We believe in your right to counsel, your right to know what’s going on and your right to have an experienced representative at your side. We’re here to guide you through what we know can be an incredibly stressful and challenging process, and to help you get on with your life.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
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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