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Domestic Violence

Should You Hire a Lawyer for a Domestic Violence Case in Louisiana?

Being found guilty of domestic violence in Louisiana comes with penalties and a criminal record that can change the course of your entire life.

In addition to fines and jail time, you may lose custody of your children, and struggle to find housing or employment for years to come.

Hiring an experienced New Orleans domestic violence attorney like our team at Crescent City Law is your best bet to protect yourself and your reputation in and out the courtroom.

How a lawyer can help if you’re accused of domestic violence in Louisiana

If you’ve been arrested on domestic violence charges in Louisiana, you’ll have to defend your case against the prosecutors, the police, and the victims who accuse you of the crime. Even if the alleged victim decides that they no longer want to press charges, the prosecutor can still move forward with the case.

Having a qualified criminal defense attorney in your corner gives you the best chance of protecting your rights and negotiating a beneficial resolution of your case.

They stand up for you in a variety of ways:

  • Building your defense case: You have the right to represent yourself in a domestic violence case. However, without a thorough understanding of Louisiana criminal law and court procedures, it will be difficult to build a solid defense.
    An attorney has the resources, connections, and knowledge to gather the foundational information that will bolster your defense.

    • For example, they can get police reports and witness statements from the state, file motions to preserve important evidence like video surveillance or bodycam footage, get recorded statements from witnesses, and more.
      There are a number of possible defenses that your lawyer will be able to build for you, including proving the allegations were false, showing that you acted in self-defense, revealing investigative errors, or other strategies.
  • Standing up for you in court: A criminal courtroom is an overwhelming place.
    With an advocate at your table, you will be guided through the process. Your attorney will instruct you on what is best to say or not say in court, as it is easy to accidentally incriminate yourself with the wrong comment.
    They will also be the one to interact with the judge, the state prosecutor, and question witnesses on your behalf.
  • Protecting your reputation: Domestic violence charges can follow you for the rest of your life, keeping you from seeing your children or family, stopping future employment opportunities, and making it harder to find housing.
    An experienced criminal defense attorney will work to resolve your case without a criminal record, if possible, so that consequences like these do not turn your life upside down. As a domestic violence conviction cannot be expunged from your record, it is key to work with a professional who will put up the best defense possible to get your charges dismissed or reduced.

Penalties for domestic violence in Louisiana

Domestic violence is a serious charge that can have lifelong repercussions. If you try to defend yourself in court, you risk facing the most severe penalties.

The extent of your penalties depends on a number of factors, including how many offenses you’ve already been charged for, the nature of the violence, your relationship to the victim, whether or not you used a gun, and other details.

First offense domestic violence penalties

If this is your first offense of domestic violence in Louisiana, you can face:

  • 30 days to six months of jail time
  • $300-$1,000 in fines
  • Court-approved community service activities
  • Court-monitored domestic abuse intervention programs

Second offense domestic violence penalties

If you are convicted a second time for domestic violence in Louisiana, you may face:

  • 60 days to one year of jail time
  • $750-$1,000 in fines
  • Court-monitored domestic abuse prevention programs
  • 30+ days of court-ordered community service

Third and fourth offense domestic violence penalties

Here are the penalties for your third or more offenses of domestic violence:

  • 1-30 years of jail time
  • $2,000-$5,000 in fines

Have you been accused of domestic violence in Louisiana?

If you or someone you know is facing domestic violence charges in Louisiana, hiring an experienced New Orleans attorney is the best way to preserve your freedom. Contact Crescent City Law today to schedule a consultation.

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