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Lafayette Criminal Defense Law Blog

Sobriety checkpoints and their legality in Louisiana, P.2

Last time, we began speaking about sobriety checkpoints and the factors that go into their legality or illegality. Although law enforcement efforts which making use of sobriety checkpoints are typically within the bounds of what is permitted, it should not be assumed that this is always the case. It is important for DWI defendants arrested during at a roadblock to be aware that the issue could come up in their case.

In evaluating a DWI roadblock case, if it seems that there are issues with the way the roadblock was conducted, an experienced defense attorney can work to correct the situation in the legal process. One way to do this is to move to suppress any evidence gathered in the roadblock.

Sobriety checkpoints and their legality in Louisiana, P.1

Law enforcement agencies use a variety of tools in the battle against drunk driving, and one of these tools is sobriety checkpoints. Although sobriety checkpoints are legal under federal law, not every state considers sobriety checkpoints to be legal under state law. Louisiana is among the states that consider checkpoints legal, so drivers here do see them being conducted from time to time.

Although checkpoints are legal, they must meet certain legal requirements here in Louisiana. Typically, courts will consider various factors that bear upon the question of whether the state’s interest in preventing drunk driving justifies the intrusion of investigating a large group of drivers for intoxication. Balancing out these interest is important, and courts have to give due weight to all relevant factors.

Dealing with fraud charges: consult experienced counsel, P.2

In our last post, we began speaking about mail and wire fraud charges, giving attention to some of the considerations that go into proving these charges in court. It is important for criminal defendants to remember that prosecutors have the burden of providing sufficient evidence to support each and every element of every crime they allege. When they can’t do this, they are unable to secure conviction.

That being said, the difficulty of proving federal mail and wire fraud charges is not usually that great, particularly if there is solid evidence for other fraud charges. Still, a thorough defense will look at each and every charge individually to ensure prosecutors are doing their job correctly. In addition to the elements we mentioned last time, another very important element in mail and wire fraud charges is intent.

Dealing with fraud charges: consult experienced counsel, P.1

Fraud charges come in a wide variety and cover a number of different activities, including bribery, mortgage and securities transactions, embezzlement, identity theft, money laundering, and tax evasion. When the government prosecutes for these crimes, it typically pursues as many charges as apply to the underlying activity. In many cases, this results in charges for mail and/or wire fraud.

Like all criminal charges, mail and wire fraud charges involve very specific elements that must be satisfied in order for prosecutors to obtain a conviction. Under federal law, the elements are essentially the same except for the means of communication. The first element is that the defendant must have made the communication “in foreseeable furtherance” of a fraud scheme. In order to satisfy this element, prosecutors are only required to show that the communication was part of the fraud scheme, not necessarily that it was essential.

Looking at Louisiana DWI laws, P.2

In our last post, we spoke a bit about Louisiana DWI laws and how they compare to DWI laws in other states. As we noted, Louisiana DWI laws are considered moderately strict. Because of the potential impact of DWI charges, those who face them here in Louisiana should always work with an experienced attorney. How exactly can a DWI attorney help, though?

DWI defense strategy, naturally, varies depending on the circumstances of the case. In this post, we’ll briefly focus on one potential avenue of DWI defense: level of intoxication. Here in Louisiana, the legal limit for blood alcohol is .08, as in many if not most other states. The term “legal limit” is often misunderstood, and it will be helpful to explain it.

Looking at Louisiana DWI laws, P.1

When it comes to criminal charges, not all states impose the same penalties on offenders. A recent survey of state law by the personal finance website WalletHub compared the relative strictness of DWI penalties across the United States. What the survey found was that Louisiana DWI law is comparatively strict.

In evaluating state DWI laws, WalletHub looked at various factors, including criminal and administrative penalties, and what states do in terms of DWI prevention. In terms of overall scores, Louisiana came in at number 14, putting it more in the strict category than many states. The state’s Criminal Penalties rank was 13 and its Prevention Rank was 19. What exactly does this mean specifically, though?

Legislation to establish medical marijuana program in LA, P.2

In our last post we began speaking about a bill currently sitting on Governor Jindal’s desk that would officially establish medical marijuana as a regulated industry here in Louisiana. As we mentioned, one of the issues that will have to be dealt with once the program is officially established—assuming Jindal indeed signs the bill—is drugged driving.

Legalization of marijuana, whether for medical or recreational purposes, does not negate the need to ensure our highways are safe, and those who use the drug for legal purposes will still be held accountable for failing to drive sober. The trouble is, what is the best way to enforce the law?

Legislation to establish medical marijuana program in LA

Lafayette readers are probably all aware of the changes that could be coming in Louisiana with respect to marijuana. Governor Jindal currently has on his desk a bill that would establish a medical marijuana program in Louisiana. Although it is true medical marijuana has actually been legal for some time here, the current legislation would establish an actual framework for regulating the medical marijuana industry, including growing, prescribing and dispensing the drug.

If the legislation is signed—and Jindal has indicated that he fully intends to approve it— Louisiana would become the 24th state to officially approve the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Given the widespread changes taking place in the area of marijuana legislation across the United States, the move wouldn’t be surprising.

Legislation to establish medical marijuana program in LA

Lafayette readers are probably all aware of the changes that could be coming in Louisiana with respect to marijuana. Governor Jindal currently has on his desk a bill that would establish a medical marijuana program in Louisiana. Although it is true medical marijuana has actually been legal for some time here, the current legislation would establish an actual framework for regulating the medical marijuana industry, including growing, prescribing and dispensing the drug.

If the legislation is signed-and Jindal has indicated that he fully intends to approve it- Louisiana would become the 24th state to officially approve the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Given the widespread changes taking place in the area of marijuana legislation across the United States, the move wouldn't be surprising.

Federal law and health care fraud charges, P.2

We’ve been discussing the issue of fraud in our last several posts, particularly the issue of intent in health care fraud cases. We left off discussing the Anti-Kickback Statute, and noted that when prosecutors are not able to provide sufficient evidence to satisfy the intent requirement under the statute, they are not able to obtain a fraud conviction.

One important point to make about the Anti-Kickback Statute is that there are certain safe harbor rules that can protect payments and business practices that would ordinarily be covered by Anti-Kickback Statute. Whenever a safe harbor applies, it is important for a defendant to present sufficient evidence to support the safe harbor. These can include, among other scenarios: payments constituting a return on investment interests; payments under lease agreements; payments for personal services and management contracts; payments stemming from the sale of a practice; and payments for certain referral services. 

Meet Attorney Guillory

Attorney Joshua S. Guillory was born in Alexandria, Louisiana. Upon graduating high school from Alexandria Senior High, he enrolled in classes at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree. Josh was a member of Mu Kappa Tau, a national honor society for marketing majors, while attending... Read More

Joshua S. Guillory

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