Yes. Under Louisiana law, defacing property with graffiti is a crime, and persons convicted can face jail time from 6 months to 10 years, depending on how much it costs to remove the graffiti. Fines can also be imposed of up to $10,000. See Louisiana Rev. Stat, § 14:56.4.
The crime is called "criminal damage to property by defacing with graffiti." The crime applies to any property, whether privately or publicly owned and to any immovable surface (like a wall) or to a movable surface (like a railway car).
Do I Really Need a Lawyer if I am Charged with a Graffiti Crime?
Yes. You do not want ANY criminal convictions on your record. Criminal damage to property can be charged as a felony (more than one year in prison). As such, any conviction can be an enhancing conviction for any later conviction. Convictions also can be used to deny you employment, trade certifications, licensures, and rental housing. If you are underage, you also do not want your parents to be liable for restitution costs.
To learn more, you are welcome to call our Louisiana criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Philip B. Adams.
How Can the Charges Be Defended?
To obtain a conviction, the Louisiana prosecuting attorneys must prove -- beyond a reasonable doubt -- the following:
From this definition found in the statute, there may be several defenses depending on the facts of your case. For example, the statute defines "graffiti" as the following:
"... any sign, inscription, design, drawing, diagram, etching, sketch, symbol, lettering, name, or marking placed upon immovable or movable property in such a manner and in such a location as to deface the property and be visible to the general public."
So, one possible defense is that your signs, paintings, etc., were located in a place that was NOT visible to the "general public."
As another example, the statute defines "deface" or "defacing" as "... the damaging of immovable or movable property by means of painting, marking, scratching, drawing, or etching with graffiti." So, if, for example, you used stickers or some other method not listed in the statute, then potentially, you cannot be convicted of "defacing" property (at least within the meaning of this criminal statute).
Other potential legal defenses may include -- again, depending on the facts:
Other Potential Punishments
Note that the statute allows the Louisiana criminal court to impose additional punishments beyond those listed above:
Contact A Louisiana Criminal Defense Attorney Today
For more information, contact the Law Offices of Philip B. Adams today. We are top-rated, relentless, and aggressive Louisiana criminal defense lawyers. Complete our "Contact Us" page here. We have offices in Shreveport and handle criminal defense cases throughout all of Louisiana.
Louisiana 18-wheeler accidents tend to be more complicated than standard Louisiana auto accident cases. Thus, settling the insurance claim may take anywhere from nine months to a couple of years.
Why? It is because Louisiana big rig truck accidents tend to involve more severe, life-threatening, and dangerous injuries. So, medical care and recovery can take many months. A settlement cannot be reached until ALL the medical bills are collected and tabulated. Further, as healing progresses, it may become clear that there will be FUTURE medical expenses because of long-term medical conditions caused by the accident. It takes time to estimate precisely how long future medical care will be needed and the associated costs.
Also, there may be many parties who can be held legally liable under Louisiana law, including the driver, the driver's employer, the owner of the truck, the repair company that serviced and maintained the tractor-trailer truck, and even the manufacturer of the truck (if a design or manufacture defect had some causal connection to the accident. It takes time to investigate the cause of the Louisiana 18-wheeler accident, to determine what happened, and to understand who or what caused the crash.
Victims who are injured do not want to obtain less money than they can. Thus, it is not advisable to "rush" a settlement since, under Louisiana negligence law, victims are entitled to FULL compensation for their injuries and any damage to property (like their vehicle and the vehicle's contents).
Moreover, understand that once a settlement has been reached, there is no "going back for more." If victims "rush" to settle, there will be no additional settlement money if there are more medical procedures and expenses.
This is one reason that victims should consult with experienced and top-rated Louisiana personal injury lawyers who can help determine the cause and help locate ALL of the at-fault parties. In undertaking these tasks, your Louisiana 18-wheeler truck accident lawyers can increase your chances of obtaining a full recovery of compensation. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
As noted, the severity of the injuries and determining the full list of at-fault parties are two factors that determine how long it takes to settle a Louisiana 18-wheeler accident claim. Another reason why Louisiana big truck accident cases take more time is that truck companies tend to be aggressive when defending accident claims. With typical auto accident claims, the owner of the vehicle that caused the accident generally lets the insurance company handle the settlement negotiations. However, trucking companies take a much more active role and have the authority to insist on a "hard bargain." Plus, trucking companies are not afraid to defend a personal injury lawsuit.
Contact A Louisiana Personal Injury Attorney Today
For more information, contact the Law Offices of Philip B. Adams. If you have been injured in a Louisiana accident, our Louisiana truck accident lawyer can help you recover the full compensation you are entitled to according to Louisiana law.
To contact us, complete our "Contact Us" page here. You may significantly benefit by having an attorney with legal competence and experience assist you with your Louisiana personal injury case. We have offices in Shreveport and handle personal injury cases throughout all of Louisiana. Thank you for reading and visiting our website.
If a person has been convicted of a crime here in Louisiana, the person has a right to appeal the conviction. This must be done within thirty (30) days immediately after the sentencing by the Louisiana criminal trial court. Appeals from a Louisiana criminal trial court go "up" to the Louisiana appellate courts. There are five such appellate courts covering various geographical districts.
Note that an appeal is not an opportunity to offer new or alternative evidence. An appellate court only reviews what happened at the trial level and basically only "reads" what happened based on the record created by the trial court. A convicted person can "win" their appeal by proving that legal mistakes were made at the trial level. Generally, "winning an appeal" gives the criminal defendant the right to a new trial.
Typically, an appeal is only allowed after a full criminal court trial. That is, mostly, if the accused accepts a plea bargain and then pleads guilty as part of the deal, the plea bargain will generally include a waiver of the right to appeal. But there are some exceptions. Louisiana post-conviction appeals are legally complex and complicated. If you have been convicted and want to explore a possible appeal, contact a committed and experienced Shreveport criminal appellate attorney at the Law Offices of Philip B. Adams.
To get a better understanding of how the appeal process works, let's look at an example from a recent case called State v. Scott, 360 So. 3d 92 (La: Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit 2023). In that case, the accused -- Osiris L. Scott -- was accused, accepted a plea bargain, and was sentenced for armed robbery and felon-in-possession of a gun. The specifics involved a carjacking with a gun, which, after the car was taken, also involved the use of credit cards contained in the victim's purse, which was in the car at the time of the carjacking.
Scott's lawyer offered two primary criminal defenses at the trial level: improper identification from the victim and improper obtaining of incriminating statements from the defendant during the police interrogation.
Let's examine the first criminal defense and how it led to the appeal. With respect to identifications, in Louisiana, to be convicted of a crime, the accused must be identified as the person who committed the alleged crime. This must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Victims often provide identification. But most victim identifications of an alleged perpetrator involve some sort of options. A typical "police line-up" is an example, where usually five or more suspects of similar size and shape are presented to the victim. If the victim identifies the defendant, then that lineup may be deemed a proper identification that can be used at trial. Without options and alternatives, a victim or witness identification can be deemed "suggestive," and that can lead to the exclusion of the out-of-court identification from being used at trial.
In the Scott case, however, the victim was shown only still photographs that depicted the alleged defendant. The two still photos were taken from video surveillance footage from a store where the accused used one of the victim's credit cards to make a purchase. The still photos were shown to the victim on the same day as the carjacking. When shown the photos, the victim positively identified the individual as Scott. Further, when she was asked what she specifically recognized, she responded and wrote on one of the photographs, "The sweatshirt is what the guy was wearing. His eyes are what I remember in these pictures." The victim signed and dated the photographs and further wrote that she was "100 % confident."
At the criminal trial, Scott's attorney asked the criminal trial court just to exclude any evidence related to this identification by the victim. Scott's lawyer argued that the procedure caused an improper, unlawful, and suggestive identification. After reviewing the written request from Scott's lawyer and the written responses from the prosecuting attorneys, the trial court denied the request.
The judge's denial of the request was one of the reasons that Scott's lawyer filed an appeal. Ultimately, the appellate court agreed with the trial judge. Even if there was a suggestive element to the victim's identification of Scott, the totality of the circumstances showed no misidentification. Various facts led to that conclusion, including the fact that the photos were shown to the victim on the same day as the carjacking, she identified specific things (like the color and markings on Scott's clothes), she stated her confidence to be 100%, etc.
From just this one example, we can see the importance of having experienced Louisiana attorneys help with your criminal defense. Essentially, every decision and action taken by the criminal court judge can be the basis for an appeal. In Scott's case, it was the court's denial of the request to exclude the victim's identification that became an issue on appeal. In other cases, it might be the criminal defense attorney's verbal objection to evidence, to questions asked at trial, to the use of documents, etc.
Contact A Caddo Parish Louisiana Criminal Appeals Attorney Today
For more information, contact the Law Offices of Philip B. Adams today. We are relentless, meticulous, and aggressive Louisiana criminal appeal lawyers. Complete our "Contact Us" page here. You may significantly benefit by having an attorney with legal competence and experience assist you with your Louisiana criminal case. We have offices in Shreveport and handle criminal defense cases and appeals throughout all of Louisiana.
Top Reasons Why You May Want to Consider Hiring an 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer in Shreveport, Louisiana, After an Accident
If you are a victim who has been injured in an 18-wheeler truck accident here in Shreveport, Louisiana, Caddo Parish, or any other part of Louisiana, you have a legal right to make an insurance claim and file a personal injury lawsuit. You must act quickly because you only have one year to file your lawsuit from the accident date. Your best chance of recovering the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries and other damages is to retain the legal services of a committed Caddo Parish accident lawyer.
Below, the Louisiana personal injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Philip B. Adams discusses some of the top reasons why you may want to consider hiring a Louisiana 18-wheeler accident lawyer after an accident.
Louisiana 18-wheeler truck accident cases are legally complex. Moreover, the types of injuries sustained by victims tend to be very severe. Hiring an experienced law firm with a record of success can help ensure you receive the maximum compensation. As one example, if the injuries are severe enough, you may be entitled to compensation for FUTURE medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and other types of damages. You may not know about your right to compensation for future medical bills, but experienced Louisiana personal injury lawyers do know it. Claiming these FUTURE damages is one way that your compensation can be maximized.
Protection from "Tricks" that Insurance Companies Play
When accident victims suffer injuries, representatives of the insurance carrier for the at-fault party often call the victims to arrange a settlement. But insurance companies want to pay as little as possible. Experienced Louisiana 18-wheeler lawyers are "wise" to the "tricks" that the insurance companies play. We will fight for you and defend you against the efforts of the insurance companies to pay you less than your claim is worth. Without vigorous legal advocacy, you may leave "money on the table," and that is not what you want to do.
Solid Information About Complicated Legal Cases
Another reason that Louisiana 18-wheeler truck accident cases are legally complex is because there may be many parties who are legally responsible for the injuries caused by the accident. The truck driver may be at fault, but there may be other at-fault parties. These potential parties include the driver's employer, the truck's owner, the company that loaded the truck, the company that made the truck, the repair shop that maintained the truck's mechanical condition, and more. Experienced Louisiana 18-wheeler lawyers can ensure that claims are made against ALL at-fault parties. And, if personal injury litigation must be filed, ALL at-fault parties can be brought into the lawsuit.
Giving Yourself Time to Heal and Peace of Mind
Being injured in a Louisiana 18-wheeler truck accident is traumatic, both physically and emotionally. But the difficulties do not end after the accident. Healing takes time and is also physically and emotionally draining. Plus, there may be financial and family problems caused by the injury and the recovery. By hiring a Louisiana truck accident lawyer, you give yourself and your family time to heal and obtain some peace of mind, knowing that a professional is taking care of the legal issues and working with dedication to obtain the full and maximum compensation that you have a legal right to.
Contact A Louisiana Personal Injury Attorney Today
For more information, contact the Law Offices of Philip B. Adams. If you have been injured in a Louisiana accident, our Louisiana personal injury lawyer can help you recover the full compensation to which you are entitled under Louisiana law.
To contact us, complete our "Contact Us" page here. You may benefit significantly from having an attorney with legal competence and experience assisting you with your Louisiana personal injury case. We have offices in Shreveport and handle personal injury cases throughout all of Louisiana. Thank you for reading this blog post and visiting our website.
Suppose you have been arrested or accused of statutory rape in Shreveport or any other part of Louisiana. In that case, the first thing to remember is that you may significantly benefit from speaking to an experienced Louisiana criminal defense attorney before conversing with law enforcement officials. This is because Louisiana laws with regard to statutory rape are complicated. If you speak with the police, there is a danger that you will accidentally admit to elements of the crime.
"Statutory rape", or what Louisiana law refers to as "carnal knowledge of a juvenile", is a crime that occurs when a person has consensual sexual intercourse (vaginal, oral, or anal) with a person under the age of 17 and certain age ranges for the victim and perpetrator are met.
If the alleged victim is under the age of 13, the crime is charged as first-degree rape, and only two elements need to be proven: sexual conduct involving penetration (however slight) and that the alleged victim was under the age of 13. The criminal defendant's lack of knowledge of the age of the alleged victim (or the belief that the victim was older) is not a defense. Being legally married to the alleged victim is also not a defense. Conviction of first-degree rape carries a maximum possible prison sentence of life. Louisiana Rev. Stat., § 14:42.
The laws are more complicated if the alleged victim is 13 years old but younger than 17 years old. In these cases, statutory rape is called having "carnal knowledge of a juvenile." Depending on the age of the alleged perpetrator, having carnal knowledge of a juvenile can be a felony or misdemeanor crime.
Basically, if the alleged perpetrator is more than four years older than the victim, the sexual intercourse is felony rape.
More specifically, felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile -- Louisiana Rev. Stat., § 14:80 -- has these elements which must be proven by the prosecuting attorneys:
Conviction of felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile carries a potential 10-year prison sentence (plus fines).
Misdemeanor carnal knowledge of a juvenile -- Louisiana Rev. Stat., § 14:80.1 --contains similar elements as the felony-grade offense, except that the alleged perpetrator was/is over the age of 17 and was/is older than the victim by more than two years, but less than four years. A first-time conviction of misdemeanor carnal knowledge of a juvenile carries a potential 6-month jail term (plus fines).
Contact A Louisiana Criminal Defense Attorney Today
For more information, contact the Law Offices of Philip B. Adams today. We are relentless, meticulous, and aggressive Louisiana criminal defense lawyers. Complete our "Contact Us" page here. You may significantly benefit by having an attorney with legal competence and experience assist you with your Louisiana criminal case. We have offices in Shreveport and handle criminal defense cases throughout all of Louisiana.
If you have been injured in an 18-wheeler truck accident here in Shreveport or in other parts of Louisiana, you have a right to file an insurance claim and seek a settlement. If a loved one has been killed in such an accident, you have the same right on your own behalf and on behalf of your deceased loved one -- the right to seek compensation for wrongful death and to seek recovery on the basis of a survival action.
Hiring a trusted and experienced Louisiana personal injury lawyer will help maximize your chances of obtaining a FULL and COMPLETE recovery. The Law Offices of Philip B. Adams offers free, no-obligation consultations.
Insurance companies and trucking companies fight hard to pay as little as they can to victims. Competent Louisiana 18-wheeler truck accident attorneys have the resources and legal skills to fight back and win.
Suppose an insurance settlement cannot be reached. In that case, the next step may be seeking justice for the victims through the filing of personal injury litigation in Louisiana State and Federal courts. Victims can recover compensation even if the 18-wheeler truck is from out-of-state.
One of the most important tasks of a Louisiana 18-wheeler truck accident law firm is to investigate the various possible causes of the accident. This is a crucial task because the possible causes of the accident will uncover the possible defendants in the case. In Louisiana litigation and insurance settlement, the "defendants" are the potential "at fault" parties who are legally liable to pay money damages as compensation to the victims and their families. Moreover, each defendant will likely have an insurance policy that can be triggered to ensure sufficient coverage to pay the full and complete compensation to the victims.
For example, many common causes of Louisiana 18-wheeler truck accidents involve the driver. This is why truck drivers are almost always defendants in cases like this. Driver-related causes include factual matters like distracted driving, violation of traffic and driving laws, reckless endangerment (by excessive speeding, as an example), driver fatigue, driving under the influence of various substances, etc. Further, since most Louisiana 18-wheeler truck drivers are employed by their trucking company, those trucking companies can become defendants through various legal doctrines.
As another example, many Louisiana 18-wheeler truck accidents are caused -- in full or in part -- by mechanical defects or failure with respect to the truck. This might involve defects in the engine, in electronic control mechanisms, the tires, brakes, couplings, etc. Where mechanical failure is a possible cause of the injuries to victims (or death), then the truck manufacturer or designer is a potential defendant in the case.
As yet another example, negligent repair and maintenance can be the cause of Louisiana 18-wheeler truck accidents. Under these types of facts, the various repair companies involved in the truck's maintenance history are possible defendants in the case.
As a final example, cargo loading errors are common causes of Louisiana 18-wheeler truck accidents. Examples include excessive weight, improper weight distribution, tie-down failures, and more. But, many times, the cargo loading is done by a third party. That is, the "trailer" part of the 18-wheeler tractor-trailer is loaded by someone other than the driver or the driver's trucking company. Where improper cargo loading is a factor in the injuries or fatality caused by the accident, those third-party cargo loaders are possible defendants in the case.
Contact A Louisiana Personal Injury Attorney Today
For more information, contact the Law Offices of Philip B. Adams. If you have been injured in a Louisiana accident, our Louisiana personal injury lawyers can help you recover the full compensation you are entitled to according to Louisiana law. To contact us, complete our "Contact Us" page here. You may benefit significantly from having an attorney with legal competence and experience assisting you with your Louisiana personal injury case. We have offices in Shreveport and handle personal injury cases throughout all of Louisiana. Thank you for reading this blog post and visiting our website.
"Felony murder" in Louisiana can be charged if a person is killed during the commission of some other violent, serious, and/or drug-related felony crime. Louisiana does not have a specific statute defining "felony murder." Rather, felony murder can be charged by prosecutors as either First Degree Murder or Second Degree Murder, depending on whether specific intent can be proven and what other crime is involved.
Our Louisiana criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Philip B. Adams explains more on felony murder below.
Generally speaking, First Degree "Felony" Murder requires proof of intent to cause death or great bodily harm during the commission of another felony. By contrast, it might be said the killing involved in Second Degree "Felony" Murder is accidental; that is, there is no proof of intent to kill or cause great bodily harm.
Pursuant to Louisiana Rev. Stat., § 30, First Degree "Felony Murder" will be charged if the accused had the specific intent to kill and take a life or to inflict great bodily harm and perpetrated -- or attempted to perpetrate -- one or more of the following crimes:
Pursuant to Louisiana Rev. Stat., § 30.1, Second Degree "Felony Murder" will be charged if the accused kills another person -- but did not have the specific intent to kill or to inflict great bodily harm -- while committing or attempting to commit one or more of the following crimes:
Defenses to Felony Murder
A number of legal defenses can be used for felony murder charges in the same manner as they can be used for any criminal charge. These include various innocence defenses like alibi, misidentification, failure of proof by the government prosecutors, and more. If supported by the facts, defenses may also be based on law enforcement's violation of constitutional protections and processing/procedure rules. Special attention and investigation must be given to the predicate crime. If that can be defended against, that can move the case down from felony murder to manslaughter or involuntary homicide, which carry much less punishment for convictions. Defeating the evidence related to the predicate offense may also then allow defenses related to excusable homicide like self-defense, defense of others, and/or other circumstances of justifiable use of force.
Contact A Louisiana Criminal Defense Attorney Today
For more information, contact the Law Offices of Philip B. Adams today. We are top relentless, meticulous, and aggressive Louisiana criminal defense lawyers. Complete our "Contact Us" page here. You may benefit significantly from having an attorney with legal competence and experience assisting you with your criminal case. We have offices in Shreveport and handle criminal defense cases throughout all of Louisiana.
Generally, there is no fee owed when you hire a Louisiana 18-wheeler accident lawyer to handle a personal injury case if there is no insurance settlement or civil litigation judgment. Here at the Law Offices of Philip B. Adams, we work to maximize the recovery for our clients who have been injured in Shreveport, Louisiana, tractor-trailer accidents.
We handle our personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. That means you pay no attorney fee unless we recover on your behalf. If we recover on your behalf, our attorney fees are paid from the settlement or judgment amount. Contact us if you have been injured in a big rig accident here in Shreveport. You may benefit from hiring hardworking and committed Louisiana accident lawyers to help maximize your recovery.
What is a contingency fee in Caddo Parish, Louisiana?
Louisiana attorneys charge for legal services in several different ways. Often, services are charged on an hourly basis. For each hour of work, the client is invoiced at the agreed-upon fee level. That fee is often several hundred dollars an hour.
Another method of billing is flat fee billing. This is often negotiated for bulk and repetitive legal services like sending copyright violation notices and things of that nature.
The third type of typical lawyer billing is called contingency fee billing. As noted, the client and the attorney agree that no attorney fees are due if the case is not resolved with a recovery. If there is success in the lawsuit (or success in settlement negotiations), the attorney fees are taken from the amount obtained through the lawsuit and/or the settlement. This process is why the attorney fees are called "contingent." The fees are contingent upon success in the case.
This fee process is common for personal injury lawsuits like big rig and 18-wheeler accidents here in Louisiana.
How much are the contingency fees in Shreveport, LA 18-wheeler cases?
Attorney fees in contingency fee cases are generally based on a percentage of the award or settlement. A common percentage is one-third (approximately 33.33%) if the matter is settled before a lawsuit must be filed, and 40% if there is no insurance settlement and a lawsuit must be filed. Sometimes, there is a further increase in the percentage if victory only comes after the case is appealed to a higher court.
As an example, assume a big-rig injury case here in Louisiana is settled for $600,000. Under a standard contingency fee agreement, the attorneys' fees would be $200,000, leaving $400,000 for the client, medical bills, and expenses of litigation for reimbursement.
What about costs and litigation expenses?
A contingency fee may state that any costs or litigation expenses advanced and paid by the attorneys will be reimbursed and that the attorney fee is based on the entirety of the recovery. In our prior example of a Louisiana 18-wheeler accident case that settles for $600,000, if the attorneys spent $12,000 hiring an accident reconstruction expert to explain how the accident occurred, that $12,000 would be reimbursed to the attorneys. Also, the 33.33% attorneys' fee would be calculated on the entire recovery amount ($600,000). That would result in an attorney's fee of $200,000, and expenses of $12,000 to be reimbursed to the attorneys.
Contact A Louisiana Personal Injury Attorney Today
For more information, contact the Law Offices of Philip B. Adams. If you have been injured in a Louisiana accident, our Louisiana personal injury lawyers can help you recover the full compensation you are entitled to according to Louisiana law. To contact us, complete our "Contact Us" page here. We have experience and legal knowledge that can help you. We have offices in Shreveport and handle personal injury cases throughout all of Louisiana. Thank you for reading this blog post and visiting our website.
In Shreveport, LA, assault and battery are crimes. Although they are often thought of as the same crime, they are different. Assault occurs when the perpetrator acts in such a way as to put the victim in a fear -- apprehension -- of violent, harmful, unwanted, and/or offensive contact. For example, an assault may occur when the perpetrator threatens to punch someone in the face, or takes a swing but misses. By contrast, battery may occur when there is violent, harmful, unwanted, and/or offensive contact with the victim's person. For example, a battery may occur when the perpetrator actually punches someone in the face.
Battery is, of course, the more severe crime since it involves actual violence, harm, and/or offensive touching. For this reason, the criminal punishments for battery are more severe. Note that almost always, if there has been a battery, then there is the potential for an assault to be charged because there is almost always the threat, fear, and apprehension that comes before the battery.
In Louisiana, there are several levels of these crimes. In comparison to assault levels, there are more levels for a battery, which include
Likewise, under Louisiana criminal law, more severe assault and battery crimes exist that depend on the nature of the behavior and the nature of the victim. As an example, if the assault and/or battery was sexual in nature, then the crime will be charged as sexual assault and/or sexual battery. A long list of possible victims exist that will make an assault and/or battery more severe. These include assaults/batteries on
If you are arrested and charged with any of the various crimes involving assault and/or battery, you can benefit from hiring a committed and experienced Shreveport criminal defense attorney. Simple forms of assault and battery in Louisiana are generally deemed misdemeanor crimes, but you should seek to avoid any criminal convictions on your record. Even misdemeanor charges can result in jail time and hefty fines. More complex assault and battery charges can be felonies that carry even more serious consequences than their misdemeanor counterparts.
In terms of defending against assault and battery charges, the facts of the case will determine what the criminal defenses are. The main defense is to challenge whether the government prosecutors can prove all the necessary elements. For example, for a simple assault, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the following:
From this, several potential criminal defenses are evident. Was there intent, for example? Did the victim have a reasonable fear or apprehension? Was the alleged perpetrator actually defending him or herself from the aggression of the alleged victim? Did the alleged victim give consent (actual or implied) as in agreed-upon combat?
Contact A Louisiana Criminal Defense Attorney Today
For more information, contact the Law Offices of Philip B. Adams today. We are relentless and aggressive Louisiana criminal defense lawyers. Complete our "Contact Us" page here. We have the experience and legal knowledge that we can put to work to help your criminal case. We have offices in Shreveport and handle criminal defense cases throughout all of Louisiana.
Generally, the answer is "no." Punitive damages are not often allowed in Louisiana car accident cases. However, there are some exceptions.
If you (or a family member) have been injured here in Shreveport or Caddo Parish, contact us at the Law Offices of Philip B. Adams. Contact us here. We also provide legal services to personal injury victims in Bossier Parish, Red River Parish, and De Soto Parish, along with the rest of Louisiana. Here is what you should know about asking for punitive damages in a Shreveport, Louisiana, auto accident.
What are punitive damages?
Victims who are injured or killed in Louisiana auto accidents are entitled to seek compensation from the at-fault party (or parties) for any injuries to themselves as well as damage to personal property (like their vehicle). Compensation for these injuries and property damage are called "compensatory damages." That is, the money awarded is for compensation. Examples include recovery of costs for medical bills, lost wages, costs to repair damaged property, out-of-pocket expenses (like the cost to rent a replacement vehicle), pain and suffering, emotional distress, costs for therapy, disfigurement, apprehension and fear, and more.
By contrast, punitive damages are not about compensating victims but are about punishing the wrongdoer. Punishment, however, is typically reserved for circumstances of purposeful or intentional conduct. Because in an accident case the conduct or behavior that causes the Louisiana auto accident is generally not intentional, most of the time the victims are not allowed to seek punitive damages.
Exceptions where punitive damages ARE allowed in Shreveport, Louisiana Auto Accident Cases
By statute, Louisiana has made several exceptions to the general rule and DOES allow punitive damages in Shreveport, Louisiana, car accident cases. The first is contained in the Civil Code, art. 2315.4, which allows an award of punitive damages if the at-fault party was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The provision reads:
"In addition to general and special damages, exemplary [punitive] damages may be awarded upon proof that the injuries on which the action is based were caused by a wanton or reckless disregard for the rights and safety of others by a defendant whose intoxication while operating a motor vehicle was a cause in fact of the resulting injuries."
In Louisiana Civil Code, art. 3546, there is another exception involving out-of-state parties if punitive damages can be awarded in the domiciliary states of those out-of-state parties. One circumstance involves situations in which the wrongful behavior OR the injury occurred in another state that allows punitive damages. Punitive damages can be sought if that wrongful conduct injures a person here in Louisiana OR a Louisiana resident. A second circumstance involves situations in which the at-fault party causes injury here in Louisiana but lives in a state that allows punitive damages. This might occur if an out-of-state driver causes an auto accident here in Louisiana.
Will punitive damages be awarded?
So far, we have only discussed whether a victim of a Louisiana car accident can ASK for punitive damages. As noted, generally, a victim cannot even seek punitive damages. But, even when it is permissible to seek punitive damages, the facts must still be proven. The wrongful conduct must generally be shown to be intentional or rise to a level of negligence that demonstrates indifference and/or reckless disregard for the health and safety of others.
Contact A Louisiana Personal Injury Attorney Today
For more information, contact the Law Offices of Philip B. Adams. If you have been injured in a Louisiana accident, our Louisiana personal injury lawyers can help you recover the full compensation you are entitled to according to Louisiana law. To contact us, complete our "Contact Us" page here. We have the experience and legal knowledge that you need. We have offices in Shreveport and handle personal injury cases throughout all of Louisiana. Thank you for reading this blog post and visiting our website.