Keep Calm – Let Hillman Handle It!

DRUG CHARGES

 

Most violations of the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substance Law are classified as felonies under Louisiana law, except for possession of marijuana, first and second offense, and possession of drug paraphernalia.  The law is continually changing and the list of drugs classified as controlled dangerous substances is growing. The reality is a conviction of a drug crime, a violation of the Louisiana Controlled Dangerous Substance law, has serious consequences. A conviction of most of these offenses will result in a felony conviction on your record. If a felony is on your record there are limitations on your rights. Additionally, a conviction of a drug crime can lead to the loss of eligibility for student loans or other educational financial aid.  With the help of a criminal defense attorney experienced in navigating the nuances of the criminal procedure, many first-time offenders can escape a drug conviction by utilizing programs, where available, to focus on rehabilitation and prevention.  Even when a conviction cannot be avoided, in many cases an attorney may be able to expunge a drug arrest and conviction upon the successful completion of a drug court program or probation if the sentence is appropriately deferred.  In order to take advantage of these provisions of the law, your case must be properly handled at the time of the plea and sentencing.

Another consequence of an arrest of a drug crime is your property may be subject to forfeiture.  Louisiana Revised Statute 40:2601 et seq., established a civil system which outlines the specific procedures that allows the State of Louisiana to seize and have forfeited property that is related to, is a proceed from, facilitates, or is itself a violation of the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law.  These civil forfeiture proceedings are very complex.  The deadlines for the State of Louisiana and the property owner are short and cannot be extended, and the consequences for not properly meeting these deadlines will result in the loss of seized property.  Accordingly, if you have been accused of a drug or narcotics related crime, it is imperative that you have competent representation at all stages of the proceeding.

If you or someone you love is facing a criminal charge do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Larrion L. Hillman to schedule your FREE consultation

CALL 24/7

318.549.9180

DWI

 

Our office regularly fields questions surrounding a violation of Louisiana’s Driving While Intoxicated laws. Although a DWI first and second offense are both misdemeanor offenses, the implications are quite serious. Even the arrest for a DWI, not the conviction, can result of the suspension of your driving privileges and an increase in insurance premiums. If convicted, depending on the level of intoxication and prior DWI record, you can face mandatory jail time. A conviction of a third DWI carries a sentence with a minimum of one year and a maximum of five years in jail and a conviction of a fourth DWI carries a minimum sentence of ten years in jail and a maximum of thirty years, as well as the seizure of the vehicle involved and a litany of other requirements.

  1. What does law enforcement look for in determining to stop someone?

While there is no way of outlining every possible justification an officer could use in determining to stop someone and conduct a field sobriety test, there are some common reasons outlined in many stops, including:

– Sobriety checkpoints, often set up on weekends
– Swerving, weaving, or drifting too close to or touching the white line
– Driving too slowly
– Following too closely
– Violating traffic signals
– Driving the wrong way on a one way street

 2. What are the initial signs of intoxication an officer looks for?

– An odor of an alcoholic beverage
– Slurred speech
– Flushed face
– Swaying
– Red, glassy, and/or bloodshot eyes

​3.Are Field Sobriety Test optional?

It is your right to refuse any standard field sobriety test. It is important to assert your rights in the most polite and respectful way. Law enforcement personnel are doing their jobs and, while you may find them offensive, rude or degrading, it is in your best interest to remain polite. Remember, you are almost always recorded when you are pulled over and your demeanor can go a long way telling your story.

  1. Am I required to submit to the Chemical test, commonly known as the breath test?

Every individual has the right to submit to or refuse the chemical test. The chemical test is administered at the police station and, much like when you are stopped and being questioned on the side of the road, all your actions will be recorded. Chances are you believe you shouldn’t be there. You probably think the officer has already determined you are going to be arrested. Should you refuse, your demeanor will go a long way toward your defense. The Judge will analyze, among other factors, your speech, how you stand, are you swaying, are you speaking coherently. Your actions in this moment are critical as they are factors in determining intoxication.

 5. What are the consequences of refusing the breath test?

The refusal to submit to the chemical can be used against you in court, just like the results if you submit. The Department of Motor Vehicles governs driving privileges in Louisiana and refusing to submit to the chemical test will result in your driver’s license being suspended. The DMV determines the length of suspension based on how many times you’ve been arrested for DWI and/or refused to submit to the chemical test in the past.  Although refusal is not a crime, pursuant to Louisiana Revised Statute 14:98.7 you could face jail time if you refuse the test over any two pervious and separate occasions of such violations.

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318.549.9180

FELONIES

 

Being charged with a felony offense carries a high level of stress and trauma for most individuals. The reality is a conviction can lead to the loss of freedom, the greatest right in the land of the free. This process is all too often fear driven. The fear stems from the trauma of being arrested and the memories of time in jail, the stress of making bond, and, for some, the reality that you might remain incarcerated while the proceedings are pending. Arming yourself with knowledge will empower you to know what to expect, what your rights are, and comfort you as you make this journey.

In Louisiana, a felony is a crime that has a potential sentence of more than one year in prison. You have  the right to a trial by judge or jury. When you elect to be tried by jury in a felony case, the number of jurors who will determine guilt or innocence is dictated by the potential sentence. If the crime is punishable with or without hard labor, then six jurors will hear the case, and all six jurors must unanimously agree on the verdict. When the crime is punishable at hard labor, twelve jurors will hear the case, and ten of twelve of the jurors must agree on the verdict. Felonies in Louisiana include the mo-2st serious crimes, such as crimes of violence and crimes which cause a large financial loss, as well as most drug charges, except, as of 2018, possession of marijuana, unless it is a third or subsequent charge, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Being convicted of a felony can have numerous devastating consequences on your life. It impacts your ability to obtain employment in many cases and the offender immediately loses of the right to vote as well his or her eligibility for elected office. The conviction can also impact your professional license and you will lose the right to possess firearms.

Having said that, there is always hope. With timely intervention, negotiation, and preparation there are possibly ways to minimize the impact. Only entrust your freedom to an experienced criminal defense lawyer. You may be able to avoid a felony conviction on your record. If a felony conviction cannot be avoided, you may nonetheless be able to negotiate a suspended sentence and be placed on probation, instead of serving a jail sentence. A knowledgeable lawyer may additionally be able to assist you in getting back on track and having a portion of your rights reinstated.

There are several Louisiana laws which allow you to negotiate a plea pursuant to Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure article 893. Should you be able to plea pursuant to that article, the imposition of the sentence is deferred and you are placed on probation. Upon the successful completion of probation, you may have the court set aside the conviction and dismiss the prosecution. This dismissal of the prosecution has the same legal effect as acquittal, and, in turn, the you can have the entire matter expunged from your record.

The Louisiana criminal justice system is complex. Larrion L. Hillman is an experienced criminal attorney. He understands the intricacies of the criminal system. His experience in the Caddo Parish District Attorney’s office combined with over a decade of criminal defense work in the private sector has given him the experience to serve you and your family to ensure your rights are protected. You can rely on his experience to guide you through this legal and emotional maze.

If you or someone you love is facing a criminal charge do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Larrion L. Hillman to schedule your FREE consultation.

CALL 24/7

318.549.9180

MISDEMEANORS

 

In the Arklatex, with the onslaught of our casinos and our tourism industry booming, many visitors find themselves immersed in the “laissez les bon temps roulez, let the good time roll, spirit of our city. With tourist flocking to our city and the parties running year round, from the Red River Revel to Mardi Gras, our citizens and visitors often find themselves caught up in the fun. We cannot forget that  intoxication is no excuse in the eyes of law enforcement if laws are broken. As a result, many local citizens, vacationers and business travelers have experienced a run in with our local police. My experience has shown many misdemeanor infractions are the result of intoxication.

Fortunately, with timely intervention, negotiation, and preparation by an experienced criminal defense lawyer, the impact of the offense can be minimized. Because of how quickly these matters are often resolved timing is critical. Even when the case cannot be quickly resolved, an attorney can often waive your presence on misdemeanor infractions and handle the matters in your absence, preventing you from missing work or having to travel back to our city.

Misdemeanor offenses in Louisiana are crimes where the maximum penalty is one year or less in jail. As a result of the penalty range, the procedures surrounding the prosecution of misdemeanors offenses is often faster than those of felonies. When facing a misdemeanor offense, in most cases, you have the right to a trial by judge only. Many people don’t realize that some of our city courts, like Shreveport City Court and Bossier City Court, are courts of limited jurisdiction that handle solely misdemeanor criminal matters and traffic matters. They do not litigate felony offenses. When a matter is pending in one of these venues the process is often expedited. These courts are efficiently designed to handle these infractions. Whether a case is assigned to city court or district court is determined by where the infraction took place, either within the city limits or in the Parish.

There are several Louisiana laws which allow you to negotiate a plea pursuant to Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure article 894. Should you be able to plea pursuant to that article, the imposition of the sentence is deferred and you are placed on probation. Upon the successful completion of probation, you may have the court set aside the conviction and dismiss the prosecution. This dismissal of the prosecution has the same legal effect as acquittal, and, in turn, the you can have the entire matter expunged from your record. This enables people charged with misdemeanors to have their rights reinstated.

Whether the misdemeanor stems from a little too much fun at one of our local festivals or a night in our local casinos or restaurants, a skilled attorney can assist you in navigating this process. The Law Office of Larrion L. Hillman is dedicated to ensuring your rights are protected, you understand every step of the process, and you have every possible right reinstated as expeditiously as possible.

If you or someone you love is facing a criminal charge do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Larrion L. Hillman to schedule your FREE consultation.

CALL 24/7

318.549.9180

SEX OFFENSES

 

Facing a sex offense generally causes complete upheaval in a person’s life. There are two major battles they face, the stigmatism of being charged with a sex crime as well as the criminal preceding required to defend yourself. The social stigmatisms of a sex crime often lead to family trauma and emotional discourse that will last a life time. Additionally, there are often issues at work and with friends, whether you are guilty or not. The mere accusation can turn your life upside down. There are several types of sex offenses in Louisiana, including:
Sexual assault:
rape, date rape, statutory rape

Sexual abuse: child molestation, child abuse, child prostitution, carnal knowledge, incest
Solicitation and prostitution
Internet sex crimes:
Internet pornography, child pornography, downloading or sharing pornography, selling or distributing pornography, soliciting sex from a child or on the Internet
Violations of sex offender regulations and sex offender registration

If you are convicted of a sex crime you run the risk of incarceration as well as sex offender registration when you are released, which can last a lifetime. This registration includes notifying neighbors, your information being maintained in a sex offender database, and the registration restricts where you can live.
Those who have never been in this situation often fail to consider that there are several reasons indivduals may find themselves facing an accusation of a sex crime. This claim often arises as a result of a bitter divorce or child custody battle using the accusation as leverage. The claims also arise from work disagreements or family jealousy and bitterness. It is critical that you aggressively investigate the motives behind the accusation and make sure they are properly presented to law enforcement. It is imperative to point out the baseless nature of these claims.

CALL 24/7

318.549.9180