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What to Expect When Facing Felony Assault Charges in Louisiana

An assault in Louisiana occurs when someone tries to injure another person physically (a battery); an example of this would be missing a strike with a hand or item. Any deliberate act or threat of action that justifiably makes someone fear that violence may break out can also be considered an assault. The assault laws of Louisiana apply to activities that involve threats of violence or attempted battery. When the defendant targets particular victims or the potential of injury increases, assault charges can go from misdemeanors to felony assault charges. 

As soon as the arrest is made, you should speak with an assault attorney if charged with assault in Louisiana. It will be your best opportunity to achieve the optimal outcome. You will benefit in your circumstances if you have legal representation. While you wait for your trial, the lawyer can assist you with every legal matter. Hiring a lawyer may result in a dismissal of the charge, a reduced sentence, and ultimately work to your advantage in keeping an arrest or conviction off of your record. For this reason, contact dedicated lawyer David E. Stanley, APLC, who will work hard on your behalf.

David E. Stanley, APLC, focuses his practice on felony charges, including assault charges, and we will help you improve your chances of a successful outcome prior to, amd during, your trial. It will help the process move along quickly and make your life easier. Sure, you made a mistake, let him help you. 

What to Expect When Facing
Assault Charges in Louisiana

Here is what you can expect to take place if assault charges are filed against you.

man in handcuffs
  • The Arrest

The only things you are legally required to give the police when you are detained are your name and address. Without an attorney present, you have the right to silence and to refuse to answer any questions. Tell the cops you want an attorney if they want to question you. Wait until your lawyer arrives before answering any of their questions and do not volunteer any information to them.  Remain silent until your lawyer arrives to meet with you.

Some people believe that they won’t say anything that incriminates them or undermines their case, or that will be helpful or advantageous to the prosecution. Frequently, this does more harm than good. In Louisiana, you’ll probably have to pay bail to be released from jail after being arrested on assault charges. You will be detained throughout the court proceedings if you cannot post a bond.

  • Probable Cause Determination

Within 48 hours of your arrest, the probable cause determination is made; it may happen without your presence or that of your attorney. The district attorney and a judge will conduct the hearing to ascertain whether there is probable cause to support your arrest.

  • First Appearance: Bond Hearing

Your first appearance  before a judge will be to set your bond hearing and determine if you have legal counsel.  If you are charged with a felony, and cannot afford counsel, the court will appoint counsel for you. Your bond determination will now consider the specifics of the alleged attack, your past criminal history, and the possibility that you may appear in court for additional hearings.

  • District Attorney Reviews Case

The district attorney’s office will examine the case file after the arrest and bond hearing to determine whether to press formal charges. If you are detained, the district attorney must file a bill of information or indictment on a misdemeanor offense within 45 days of your arrest. They have 60 days following the arrest if it is a felony assault charge.

If you are freed on bond, the district attorney has ninety days to file a misdemeanor bill of information or indictment. For felony assault charges, they have 150 days to submit documentation. The district attorney must release you from custody if they do not file charges against you within the allotted period. They can only keep you in custody if the government explains the holdup.

Lawyer arraignment
  • Arraignment

An arraignment occurs following the filing of charges by the District Attorney. When you and your lawyer arrive in court, you will formally enter a plea, typically “not guilty.” 

  • Plea Bargain

The district attorney and your lawyer will probably negotiate a plea deal while the case is still pending. The aim is to find a solution that satisfies you, your attorney, the district attorney, and the judge. Plea agreements are reached when the parties consent to a lesser charge, reduced punishment, or when some of the charges are dismissed before trial or reduced to a lesser charge with less severe penalties. The plea agreement settles the criminal case without a trial.

  • Trial

The court will schedule a trial if your attorney and the district attorney cannot reach a mutually agreeable plea deal. A judge will preside over the trial when misdemeanor assault charges are brought. A judge or jury may preside over your trial if charged with a felony. A judge alone decides all questions of law and fact in a judge trial, including whether you are guilty or innocent of the offense.

When a jury is used in a trial, the judge decides all legal issues while the jury considers factual issues, such as guilt or innocence. The day the district attorney files the indictment or bill of information marks the start of the clock on your right to a prompt trial. If you are charged with a capital offense, your trial must happen in three years. For felony assault charges, the trial must be held within two years, and for a misdemeanor, within one year.

  • Sentencing

The parameters of your penalties, probation, or jail time are outlined during sentencing when you accept a plea deal or are found guilty by a judge or jury. Sometimes, a plea deal is pre-arranged with the judge and district attorney before the plea. Your criminal history and the present conviction will determine your sentence.

Assault is a misdemeanor; it is sometimes known as simple assault. According to La. R.S. 14:38, the punishment for this offense is a fine of up to $200, imprisonment  for not more than 90 days, or both. 

La. R.S. 14:37 provides that aggravated assault is an assault committed with a dangerous weapon The maximum penalty for this crime is $1,000 in fines and up to six months in prison. The only exception is that,, if the assault occurs against a retail employee during the commission of a robbery or attempted robbery, the minimum punishment is 120 days to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

La. R.S. 14:37.4 defines aggravated assault with a firearm as an assault committed with a firearm. A “firearm” is defined as an instrument used in the propulsion of shot, shell, or bullets by the action of gunpowder exploded within it.   The penalty for aggravated assault with a firearm is a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than 10 years, with or without hard labor, or both. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

How Can Legal Representation Help in Felony Assault Cases?

Legal representation can help in felony assault cases by playing a crucial part in building a robust defense, navigating legal processes, and protecting the accused’s rights. Experienced attorneys can explore defenses, negotiate plea deals, and advocate for the best possible outcomes.

Hire David E. Stanley, APLC, if You Are
Facing Felony Assault Charges in Louisiana

If you or a loved one are arrested on assault charges, you need to contact an attorney right away. Assault charges carry differing penalties, depending on the facts of the case, whether a dangerous weapon was used. Negotiating the court system can be challenging. A criminal defense attorney is familiar with the law, the criminal process, and will negotiate the best plea bargain possible or go to trial with you.

Many people wait to see what will happen, hoping the problem will disappear because they are innocent. Avoid making this catastrophic mistake. Regardless of whether you believe that you are guilty or innocent, David E. Stanley, APLC, will fight to achieve the best outcome possible on your behalf. Contact him now to schedule a consultation and get him working on your case.. 

Call David E. Stanley, APLC, at (225) 926-0200 Today

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


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