New Orleans Misdemeanor Lawyer
Misdemeanor offenses may not be as serious as felony charges, but a misdemeanor conviction can still have a significant impact on your life. A misdemeanor conviction will stay on your criminal record and may affect your credit, your employment prospects, your ability to find housing, and your immigration status, among other things. Misdemeanor convictions also carry the potential for extended jail time. If you are facing misdemeanor charges in Louisiana, get help from an experienced and dedicated lawyer.
The Law Offices of Robert S. Toale does not split time between criminal cases and personal injury matters to make a quick buck. We are a criminal law firm. We have 30 years of experience handling criminal matters of all shapes and sizes, and we are fully dedicated to defending the rights and the lives of our clients. We have decades of experience defending a wide variety of clients against criminal charges. Our experience includes:
- Alcohol-related charges
- Defending NOLA tourists
- Defending college students
- First offense marijuana possession
- Successfully seeking drug diversion
- Minor weapons charges
- Probation violations
- Simple theft
- Reckless driving
- Simple assault
- Domestic violence
We will fight on your behalf to make sure that you are not bullied by overzealous prosecutors, police, or judges. We will investigate your case and make sure that the prosecutor does not have an easy job throwing the book at you. We will ensure that your rights are not violated and that weak charges lacking evidence are dropped We’ll work with you to negotiate a beneficial plea deal with the government where appropriate, and we’ll represent you through trial to defend your innocence where necessary.
Misdemeanor Defense in Louisiana
Misdemeanors are essentially any crimes that are not classified as felonies under Louisiana law. Misdemeanors are punishable by fines, community service, restitution, and up to a year in jail. The specific penalties depend on the exact crime charged and the circumstances surrounding the offense, including how the crime was committed, the nature of the victim, and the relevant magnitude of the offense (for example, the quantity of drugs or amount of money or monetary value involved).
Misdemeanors in Louisiana follow different procedures than felonies and require specific expertise to defend. Misdemeanors are more likely to be eligible for diversionary programs to keep convictions off of a permanent criminal record. Municipal crimes such as public intoxication, disturbing the peace, criminal trespass, and failure to pay for food or beverage are classified as misdemeanors and are handled in municipal court. Misdemeanor court procedures are often more relaxed and truncated, including the fact that defendants have no right to a jury trial.
What to do After a Misdemeanor Arrest
If you have been arrested for a misdemeanor in the State of Louisiana, there are a few definite Do’s and Don’ts. You should do the following:
- Retain an experienced Louisiana criminal defense attorney to help you with your case.
- Be courteous with police and comply with any reasonable commands.
- Take note of anyone around during your arrest or the alleged commission of any crime. They may be potential witnesses.
- Exercise your right to remain silent. You can answer questions regarding basic information such as your name and address, but you should not answer any other questions, especially pertaining to the facts of the alleged crime. Wait until you have an attorney present.
You should NOT do any of the following:
- Make any statements to the police. You cannot win your case on the street. Be courteous and cooperative with law enforcement, but do not admit to anything or try to argue your case. If you try to argue, you may find yourself with more serious charges such as resisting arrest. Almost anything you would say will end up being used against you rather than to your benefit in court.
- Attempt to represent yourself. Even misdemeanor convictions can carry significant consequences, and the criminal law process can be complex and confusing. It is worth having an expert on your side helping you through the process and ensuring that your rights are protected. An attorney is much more likely to get your charges and sentence reduced or even dismissed.
- Speak with anyone about the facts of the case. Rely on your attorney’s discretion about whom you should share details of the case with.
Contact Our New Orleans Misdemeanor Defense Lawyer Today
If you have been arrested or charged with a misdemeanor offense in New Orleans, Gretna or Jefferson Parish, contact the Law Offices of Robert S. Toale for a consultation. Don’t let a minor offense derail your life. Call 504-370-9233 for immediate help.