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Criminal Defense FAQ

Shreveport & Bossier City Louisiana Criminal Defense Attorney Answers Frequently Asked Questions About Criminal Law

Do The Police Have The Right To Search My Home?

People mistakenly believe that they are obligated to give the police the right to search their home, car, or persons. But in fact, no one is obligated to give the police consent to search for anything. The US Constitution states clearly that “all persons shall be secure in their property and effects and shall be free from unreasonable searches and seizures by the police”. In Louisiana, the Constitution includes a right to privacy not in the federal constitution. It is absolutely within your rights as a citizen of the state of Louisiana to say to the police in question that they do not have permission to search your home without a warrant. If your polite refusal is ignored, this violation of your rights can be used in court to defend the case. Contact the criminal defense attorney Mark D. Fredrick, at (318) 868-7300 to help you deal with this violation of your rights.

What Are The Potential Penalties For Domestic Abuse Battery?

Domestic Abuse Battery is the intentional use of force or violence against a spouse, significant other, or family member who you have lived within a domestic situation at some point in the previous three years.

The possible sentence for Domestic Abuse Battery in the state of Louisiana can range from a fine and/or probation to actual jail time depending on the severity of the alleged attack. There are both felony and misdemeanor Domestic Abuse criminal statutes. If you have been charged with Domestic Abuse Battery in the northwestern parishes of Louisiana, call the Law Office of Mark D. Fredrick, at (318) 868-7300 to assist you to minimize the impact this can have on your life.

I Am Being Harassed – What Can I Do?

Peace Bonds
In Louisiana, a magistrate or justice of the peace can order a “peace bond” for someone who is suffering from harassment or threat of violence by a defendant. The person requesting a peace bond must file an affidavit with the magistrate or justice of the peace, who then will issue a summons ordering the defendant to appear. A hearing is held, and if the magistrate determines there is just cause to fear that the defendant is about to commit an offense against the victim, the judge may order the defendant to give a peace bond, which the defendant pays. The bond typically remains in effect for six months. If the defendant does not breach the peace at that time, the money is returned. If he or she does break the peace bond, the money is forfeited and the defendant can be jailed for violating the court orders. If you are suffering from harassment, you require legal assistance.

Protective Orders
Protective orders are issued through the district/parish court and have harsh consequences for those that break the protections granted. There are two general types of protective orders, those issued in conjunction with divorce proceedings to maintain community property rights or allow a spouse the use of a residence or a vehicle (generically ‘civil orders’) and those that protect individuals from threats or acts of physical harm (generally ‘protection against violence orders’). For discussion hear, we will
concentrate on the ‘protection against violence orders’.

The process begins with the application for protective orders that will include a temporary restraining order (TRO). Depending on the factual allegations regarding abuse or harm committed by the defendant, the judge may grant the TRO immediately and without an opportunity for the defendant to be heard. The TRO protects the endangered person until the hearing. Protective Orders under various Louisiana statutes, including the Post Separation Family Violence Act, place priority on protective order requests. If an initial TRO is granted, the hearing is typically scheduled within fifteen days. If the judge did not grant the TRO then the hearing will be set “…on the earliest day that the business of the court will permit..” as expressed in Louisiana Revised Statute 46:2135.

At the hearing, if it is proved by a preponderance of the evidence that the facts alleged are indeed true and present a danger to the applying person then a Protective Order (PO) is issued. Protective orders may be issued for as long as eighteen months.

A protective order may be enforced by law enforcement personnel. A person who violates a TRO or a PO has committed a crime under Louisiana Revised Statute 14:79. The nature of the violation and the number of times that the orders have been violated can lead to felony prosecution.

Call the Shreveport, Louisiana, Law office of Mark D. Fredrick, at (318) 868-7300 to get the help you need.