Being arrested for rape in Louisiana is a serious charge that can have severe consequences if you are convicted. The criminal justice system in Louisiana is complicated, and navigating it on your own can be overwhelming. That is why it is essential to hire a Louisiana criminal defense attorney to help you through the process.
Arrest and Bail
When you get arrested for rape in Louisiana, law enforcement officers will take you into custody. They will read you your Miranda rights and take you to the police station for processing. After processing, you may be released on bail or held in jail until your trial. How costly bail will be is mainly dependent on the severity of the crime, your criminal record, and other factors. In some cases, the judge may deny bail if the judge believes you are a flight risk or a danger to society.
Preliminary Hearing and Grand Jury
After the arrest, the prosecutor may present the case to a grand jury to figure out if sufficient evidence exists to proceed to trial. At the grand jury hearing, the prosecutor must present evidence sufficient to show that probable cause exists that a crime was committed and that you were involved in committing it. If the grand jury determines sufficient evidence exists, the grand jury will indict you and formally accuse you of a crime. An indictment is merely a formal accusation.
Prosecutor's Burden of Proof
The prosecutor has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt at trial that you committed the rape. This means that the prosecutor must present evidence that is so convincing that there is no other logical explanation except that you committed the crime. In Louisiana, rape happens when there is sexual penetration by force, threat of force, or coercion. To secure a conviction, the prosecutor must prove that the elements that define rape happened.
Trial and Sentencing
At the trial, the prosecutor will present evidence to prove his or her case beyond a reasonable doubt. The defense will have the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses and present its own evidence. If you are found guilty, you will be sentenced by the judge. The penalties for rape in Louisiana can include prison time, fines, and potentially more.
Why You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are arrested for rape in Louisiana, it is incredibly important that you hire a criminal defense attorney to assist you. A criminal defense attorney can help you navigate the criminal justice system, explain the charges against you, and help you understand your legal rights. A defense attorney can also help you develop a defense strategy and represent you in court. Having a criminal defense attorney on your side can help you in trying to avoid the worst possible outcome in an unpredictable legal system.
The Louisiana criminal defense lawyer at the Law Offices of Philip B. Adams has experience in defending clients against charges of sexual assault. Our attorneys are skilled in navigating the criminal justice system and helping our clients understand their legal rights. We understand how devastating a rape charge can be, and we will work tirelessly to protect your rights and reputation. If you or a loved one has been charged with rape, contact the Law Offices of Philip B. Adams for a free consultation.