What Do You Need to Know About Violent Crimes in Louisiana?

Violent Crimes Defense Attorney

Violent crimes are felony offenses with severe penalties upon conviction. You may lose everything important to you, your reputation least of all. You may jeopardize your freedom and career if found guilty of a severe crime in Louisiana. In Louisiana, prosecutors pursue severe punishments for violent crimes; depending on the specifics of your alleged conduct, you might potentially be sentenced to life in prison if the court “throws the book” at you. A conviction will come with heavy fines and a mark on your record that might prevent you from getting a job. You also could hold a professional license for a job involving public interaction, like teaching, law enforcement, or medicine. In that case, you will likely have your license revoked and could lose your job.

Even if you had no intention of causing the victim’s significant injuries or death, you could still face harsh penalties for violent acts. Our violent crimes defense attorney, David E. Stanley, APLC, can help you. We believe one is innocent of a crime until proven guilty and that if charged with a violent crime, one has the right to aggressive and skilled counsel from an experienced violent crime defense attorney. At David E. Stanley, APLC, we aim to plan a vigorous defensive approach on your behalf. If charged or under investigation for a violent crime, do not delay. Contact a Louisiana violent crimes defense attorney today!

Contact David E. Stanley, APLC

What You Need to Know About Violent Crimes in Louisiana

What Constitutes Violent Crimes in Louisiana?

State statutes categorize violent crimes in each case. In general, using force against a victim is a part of violent crimes. Usually, using force involves threatening to use force or attempting to use force. When accused of committing a violent crime, it becomes more serious when they use force or a weapon against a particular group of individuals, such as emergency professionals, children, or the elderly.

What Is Considered a Violent Crime in Louisiana?

Louisiana considers the types of crimes below as violent crimes:

  • First-degree murder
  • Second-degree murder
  • First, second, or third-degree feticide
  • Aggravated assault and battery
  • Domestic violence
  • Homicide (including negligent or vehicular homicide)
  • Manslaughter
  • Rape
  • Aggravated arson
  • First-degree robbery, second-degree robbery, and armed robbery
  • Aggravated burglary
  • Hate crimes

What Could Be the Penalties in Louisiana If Someone Is Found Guilty of Violent Crimes?

In Louisiana, a conviction for violent crimes carries harsh punishments, including lengthy jail time and hefty fines. We detail the punishments for the aforementioned violent crimes below.

  • First-Degree Rape 

First-degree rape carries a life sentence without the prospect of release from prison. If a rapist targets a minor as a victim, the district attorney may seek the death penalty. Kennedy v. Louisiana, a 2008 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, established that the death sentence is not a suitable response to child rape, mainly when the child survives, and the rapist never intended to murder the victim.

  • Second-Degree Rape

Second-degree rape carries a sentence of five to forty years at hard labor in a state prison.

  • Third-Degree Rape

Third-degree rape carries a maximum sentence of twenty-five years in prison with hard labor.

  • Domestic Abuse Battery

Depending on whether this is the perpetrator’s first, second, third, or fourth crime, different punishments apply for domestic abuse battery. The first infraction carries a maximum fine of $1,000 and a six-month jail sentence. A $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail are the penalties for the second offense. A third violation carries a maximum penalty of $2,000 in fines and five years in prison. Lastly, a fourth offense carries a maximum fine of $5,000 and a term of 10 to 30 years in prison.

  • First-Degree Robbery

First-degree robbery carries a sentence of three to forty years in prison for hard labor without the possibility of release.

  • Second-Degree Robbery

Second-degree robbery also carries a three to forty-year prison sentence.

  • Armed Robbery

Armed robbery carries a prison sentence of 10 to 99 years at hard labor without the possibility of release.

  • Aggravated Burglary

Aggravated burglary carries a sentence of one to thirty years in prison with hard labor.

  • Aggravated Assault

Aggravated assault carries a $1,000 fine and a six-month jail sentence.

  • Aggravated Battery

Aggravated battery carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, with or without hard labor, and a fine of $5,000.

  • Homicide

Depending on the type of homicide the perpetrator committed, different sanctions apply. For instance, manslaughter convictions carry far lighter sentences than murder convictions. According to Louisiana law, manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison with hard labor. If the victim is younger than ten, the offender will serve the same time in prison without the possibility of release. Penalties are nonexistent for justified homicide because the majority of those found guilty of this crime do so in self-defense. Negligent homicide carries a maximum imprisonment of five years, with or without hard labor, and a fine of $5,000. Lastly, there is a maximum punishment of $15,000 and a sentence of 5 to 30 years in prison, either with or without hard labor, for vehicular homicide.

You can first defend against charges of violent crime with the assistance of an experienced Louisiana criminal defense attorney. Depending on your situation, it could result in an acquittal, reduced charges, a plea agreement, or dismissal. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can also assist you in handling the unintended implications of your conviction if you are found guilty.

What are the Defenses in Louisiana for a Violent Crimes Charge?

The circumstances of a defendant’s case will determine the defenses that are accessible to them. Defendants of violent crimes in Louisiana frequently argue that there was a legal justification for their behavior rather than denying their conduct. 

  • Self-defense

One of the most well-known defenses against a violent criminal allegation is self-defense. A defendant uses this defense when someone dies or becomes injured in the process of defending themselves or another person. In some instances, the circumstances may justify the defendant’s use of force. However, the amount of force applied ought to be appropriate and reasonable. 

  • Lack of Intent

For most crimes, the prosecution must prove that the accused intended to commit the offense. A defendant might be able to refute an allegation of violent crime without evidence of criminal intent. For instance, a defendant may contend they were incapable of forming the intent required for criminal responsibility if they were under the influence of alcohol or mentally ill at the time of the conduct. 

  • Consent

The victim may have given their permission to commit a violent crime in certain situations, the court may determine. For instance, when a person gets hurt while voluntarily taking part in a boxing match. Consent is a complicated defense that depends heavily on the particulars of each case. 

  • Lack of Evidence

There are situations where there is insufficient evidence to convict someone in a violent crime case. A Baton Rouge violent crime attorney may pursue less severe charges or file no charges if the prosecution does not have sufficient evidence to prosecute you for a violent offense.

  • Justification

Suppose there is strong proof that you used violence to defend persons or property during an emergency. In that case, a Baton Rouge violent crime attorney may be able to employ this argument on your behalf. This defense may cover violent theft crimes.

  • Solid Alibi

Our criminal defense attorneys can obtain proof if you were, in fact, not present when the violent crime took place.

  • It Was an Accident

Accidents do happen sometimes. A criminal defense lawyer may be able to use this defense to your advantage if you unintentionally cause harm to someone or kill them. For some homicide cases, this violent crime defense might be effective.

  • The Victim Is Not a Household Member

This defense is only available in situations involving domestic abuse. The State of Louisiana defines domestic abuse expressly as using force or violence against a home member. If the victim did not live with the family.

  • False Accusations

Sometimes, a culprit gets wrongfully accused of committing a violent crime, such as rape or domestic abuse. If this applies to you, a violent crime lawyer can get proof to demonstrate your sincere innocence.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What Is a Violent Crime?

A violent crime is an offense that involves the use of force against a victim, as well as when a victim is hurt, threatened, or suffers physical harm. Typically, the degree of bodily pain or injury inflicted upon the victim determines the level and severity of a violent crime.

How Many Violent Crimes Occur in the U.S. Every Year?

Unfortunately, violent crimes happen all the time in the U.S. According to FBI data, there were 1,203,808 violent crimes committed in 2019 alone. Aggravated assaults accounted for the bulk of these violent offenses (68%) committed. In the meantime, robbery offenses accounted for 22% of these crimes, rape for 8%, and murder for 1.4%.

How Many Violent Crimes Occur in Louisiana Every Year?

Louisiana consistently ranks among the most violent states in the union. For the thirty-second year in a row (since 1989), Louisiana has the highest per capita murder rate in the United States in 2020. In that year, there were 15.8 murders for every 100,000 inhabitants. Based on FBI data, the cities with the highest violent crime rates in 2018 were New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Shreveport. With their use in about 45% of killings, handguns are the most frequently utilized murder weapon in Louisiana. Aside from homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault rank among the most common violent crimes in the state.

Can You Expunge Violent Crimes From a Criminal Record in Louisiana?

No, you cannot expunge violent crimes from a criminal record in Louisiana. Certain felonies, but not violent offenses, can be expunged. David E. Stanley, APLC, a violent crime defense attorney in Baton Rouge, can examine the specifics of your case and assist you in determining whether you qualify for expungement.

Why Do You Need a Louisiana Violent Crimes Defense Attorney?

Being accused of a violent crime has the power to upend your life completely. These are the top three reasons to hire a violent crimes defense lawyer.

  • Plea Deals

Many accused of violent crimes could be tempted to accept the initial plea bargain, but that plea bargain might backfire if you represent yourself or your case with an unskilled attorney. You want a plea agreement that works in your favor. Plea bargains are only sometimes the most excellent option, as it is. Thus, you require a lawyer capable of negotiating and pursuing your best interests.

  • Sincere Counsel 

Crimes involving violence constitute grave allegations. Your life might be significantly affected by a conviction. Your career, connections with others, reputation, and potentially even your freedom are at stake. Instead of making snap decisions, you need someone who will be honest with you and guide you toward wise choices.

  • Full Picture

If you accept a plea bargain without legal counsel, the prosecution will not give you the full rundown of what might or might not occur. Furthermore, it would help if you learned to inquire about the nature and quantity of the evidence the prosecution has against you because they will not tell you. A lawyer gathers the data and presents you with the complete picture, outlining all the details. You would want to understand each decision and how it might affect your life.

Baton Rouge Violent Crimes Defense Lawyer

If accused of a violent crime, you know how stressful it can feel. In Louisiana, a person accused of any violent crime faces harsh punishments that include heavy fines, life in jail without the prospect of release, a permanent criminal record, and other disastrous outcomes. It is typical to feel overburdened.

Having a knowledgeable Louisiana violent crime defense lawyer on your side is crucial to assist you in navigating the legal system when facing violent crime charges. David E. Stanley, APLC, is dedicated to providing aggressive defense and all-encompassing legal advice to anyone accused of violent crimes. Our skilled violent crime defense lawyer will defend and protect your legal rights and ensure fair treatment. Contact us today to discuss your charges during a free, in-person consultation.

Arrested for a Violent Crime?
Call David E. Stanley, APLC, at 225-926-0200

David E. Stanley, APLC
1055 Laurel Street, Suite 2
Baton Rouge, LA 70802