Keep Calm – Let Hillman Handle It!
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.