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New Orleans Criminal Defense and Personal Injury Law Blog

Seeking compensation in auto accidents

The screeching of brakes, the crunch of metal and the snap of bones are just some of the sounds many people hear when a collision happens. Whether you saw it coming or not, when your vehicle finally comes to a stop, it may take you a few seconds to realize what just happened. When you do, you may also become keenly aware of pain in certain parts of your body and recognize that you suffered serious injuries. This is a common scenario in auto accidents that take place here in Louisiana and elsewhere.

More than likely, your first priority is to get to a hospital for treatment of your injuries. However, as the days, weeks and possibly months after the accident go by, you realize that your financial situation is becoming critical. You believe that the other driver was responsible for the accident, and you file a claim with that person's insurance company. In the alternative, the insurance company has already contacted you offering a settlement.

What to expect if your underage kid faces alcohol-related charges

You leave for the weekend or send your kid off to college with your full trust. Unfortunately, you get the call that your child was caught consuming alcohol. You might be distraught, confused and wondering what will happen next. In this situation, it is important for you to know about the laws about underage drinking in Louisiana and potential punishments.

The exact consequences will vary on the details of the situation, including whether your child is a first-time offender and if there is a charge for driving under the influence involved. Keep reading for more information about the laws and penalties about underage drinking.

Louisiana city's pilot program may affect drunk driving charges

For some Louisiana residents, refusing to take a breath test is a strategic move since law enforcement officials may need to wait until the following day to receive a search warrant for a blood sample. During that time, the individual's blood alcohol concentration will more than likely go down. Even though there are formulas to determine what it may have been at the time of an arrest for drunk driving, there is still room for doubt in court.

That could change if a new initiative in one Louisiana city gains popularity. Under this program, if a person suspected of driving under the influence refuses to submit to a breath test, a judge will be on call to approve a search warrant outside of normal business hours. If the judge approves the warrant, the driver is taken to the city's police department where is nurse will be standing by for the blood draw.

A look at marijuana laws in Louisiana

Minds and laws across about marijuana are changing across the country. Even Louisiana has seen the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes in 2015. The state also passed a bill in 2015 that reduced criminal penalties for marijuana possession. New Orleans has also decriminalized recreational possession of the drug. The difference in how marijuana is treated for certain purposes or in specific ordinances can make it confusing.

So what does the state law say about possession now? If law enforcement catches you with marijuana in Louisiana, you could still face criminal penalties. Here is an overview of the state of marijuana in Louisiana so you can understand the potential consequences. 

When accused of committing felonies, what you do next matters

Like most Louisiana residents, when you are accused of something, you want to tell your side of the story. However, when you are accused of committing felonies, are under arrest and potentially face serious charges, telling your story without first consulting a criminal defense attorney would probably be a mistake. In fact, any statements you make could end up being used against you in court no matter how innocent they sounded in your head when you made them. 

For many people, the right to remain silent is the most important constitutional right they have. No matter how friendly or persuasive police officers and investigators may seem, make no mistake -- their sole purpose is to obtain information from you. They are not looking out for your best interests.

Wrong-way auto accidents rarely end well

When two objects heading from opposite directions collide, the force of the impact is often greater than it would be if the objects were heading in the same direction. This can be seen in wrong-way auto accidents in which two vehicles often collide head-on with great force. These types of accidents rarely end well whether they occur here in Louisiana or elsewhere, and the victims tend to suffer catastrophic or deadly injuries.

Take for instance a crash that occurred in the early morning hours of a recent Sunday on LA 3127. An unsuspecting 25-year-old woman was heading eastbound on the highway at approximately 1 a.m. She had no idea that another vehicle was approaching hers from the opposite direction, but in her lane of travel.

How effective are drug courts?

If you find yourself facing a Louisiana drug charge, the penalties can prove considerable. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your crime and whether you have an existing criminal record, and what it entails if you do, you may be able to avoid jail by enrolling in drug court.

Though not available to everyone and not offered in all areas, drug courts have proven beneficial not only when it comes to helping combat addiction, but in helping your surrounding community, as well. Typically, drug court participants must make regular appearances in front of a judge and submit to drug testing and counseling as part of the program, and the National Association of Drug Court Professionals reports that they are effective in the following ways:

Medical malpractice suit alleges surgeries were unnecessary

When a doctor informs a patient that he or she has cancer, most Louisiana residents would feel it was important to act -- and act fast. Typically, a patient will want to follow that doctor's advice no matter what it involved, particularly if it meant a chance of surviving a life-threatening illness. Patients everywhere rely on their doctors' guidance for their health and well-being, and if a physician indicates that surgery is the best -- or only -- option for survival, the typical person would have little choice but to trust the advice of a medical professional. Imagine, then, following through on such an invasive, life-altering operation only to discover after it was too late that the doctors had been wrong? This nightmare scenario is exactly what a medical malpractice lawsuit in another state is alleging took place.

According to the lawsuit, a 36-year-old mother underwent genetic testing in 2015 on the recommendation of her nurse practitioner. She was allegedly told by the health care provider that her test results showed a MLH1 gene mutation in addition Lynch syndrome, a condition that increases the risk for developing many types of cancer. The nurse practitioner -- who, it was later discovered, apparently misinterpreted the results -- referred the woman to specialists at the Curry Health Network.

80s icon Corey Feldman says drug charges will be dropped

Louisiana fans of 1980s movies starring Corey Feldman may be closely following a developing story involving the former actor turned singer. Feldman and several members of his band were recently traveling through this state on tour, but their plans were interrupted by police. They are now facing drug charges for marijuana possession.

Feldman immediately let his fans know that he, personally, was not found in possession of any drugs, but is facing criminal misdemeanor charges because he owns the bus the other band members (who were charged with having marijuana in their possession) were on at the time. The 80s star also said his band members had every right to carry marijuana because they have been approved for medicinal use of the drug. The only problem is that apparently they did not have the proper prescription vials with them when police conducted their search.

Protect your rights against faulty drunk driving charges

What if you were pulled over by Louisiana police and wound up being accused of a misdemeanor crime? That's likely not the way you thought your day would end. In fact, perhaps, just hours before, you had been enjoying conversation, good food and a few drinks with your friends at your favorite local restaurant. Now, you're completely uncertain how the night will end, as well as what your future may hold because you know that facing drunk driving charges is no small matter.

Is there anything you can to overcome such challenges in court? The answer may depend on the particulars of your individual case. What reason did the officer cite for pulling you over? What types of tests, if any, were conducted at the scene?

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