Aggressive Criminal Defense Representation New Orleans
Louisiana Definition of Criminal Conspiracy
Criminal Conspiracy — La RS 14:26
Criminal conspiracy is the agreement or combination of two or more persons for the specific purpose of committing any crime; provided that an agreement or combination to commit a crime shall not amount to a criminal conspiracy unless, in addition to such agreement or combination, one or more of such parties does an act in furtherance of the object of the agreement or combination.
If the intended basic crime has been consummated, the conspirators may be tried for either the conspiracy or the completed offense, and a conviction for one shall not bar prosecution for the other.
Whoever is a party to a criminal conspiracy to commit any crime shall be fined or imprisoned, or both, in the same manner as for the offense contemplated by the conspirators; provided, however, whoever is a party to a criminal conspiracy to commit a crime punishable by death or life imprisonment shall be imprisoned at hard labor for not more than 30 years.
Whoever is a party to a criminal conspiracy to commit any other crime shall be fined or imprisoned, or both, in the same manner as for the offense contemplated by the conspirators; but such fine or imprisonment shall not exceed 1/2 of the largest fine, or 1/2 the longest term of imprisonment prescribed for such offense, or both.
If you or a loved one is facing a criminal offense in the New Orleans area, contact Criminal Defense Attorney Elizabeth B. Carpenter for a consultation. We are here to defend you!
New Orleans Probation Attorney
A technical probation violation is any violation except the following:
** Being arrested, charged, or convicted of any,
- Violation of any provision of Title 40 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes.
- Intentional misdemeanor directly affecting the person.
- At the discretion of the court, any attempt to commit any intentional misdemeanor directly affecting the person.
- At the discretion of the court, any attempt to commit any other misdemeanor.
- Being in possession of a firearm or other prohibited weapon.
- Failing to appear at any court hearing.
- Absconding from the jurisdiction of the court.
- Failing to satisfactorily complete a drug court program if ordered to do so as a special condition of probation.
If you are found in violation, the probation can be revoked and you could then be sentenced to the original jail sentence that was earlier probated. If you have picked up a new charge, or violated your probation terms in some other way, please contact a New Orleans Probation Violations Attorney. We can begin working to clear the warrant, and act as your advocate between probation and the judge to try to save your probation.
By: Elizabeth B Carpenter
Serving Clients in Orleans Parish, St. Tammany Parish, St. John Parish, St. James Parish, St. Bernard Parish, St. Charles Parish, Assumption Parish, Tangipahoa Parish, Terrebonne Parish, Plaquemines Parish and Jefferson Parish.
The following cases are being argued before the U.S. Supreme Court this week:
BAILEY V. UNITED STATES
Can police officers may detain an individual incident to the execution of a search warrant when the individual has left the immediate vicinity of the premises before the warrant is executed.
CHAIDEZ V. UNITED STATES
In Padilla v. Kentucky, 130 S. Ct. 1473 (2010), this Court held that criminal defendants receive ineffective assistance of counsel under the Sixth Amendment when their attorneys fail to advise them that pleading guilty to an offense will subject them to deportation. The question presented is whether Padilla applies to persons whose convictions became final before its announcement.
FLORIDA V. JARDINES
Is a dog sniff at the front door of a suspected grow house by a trained narcotics detection dog is a Fourth Amendment search requiring probable cause?
FLORIDA V. HARRIS
Is an alert by a well-trained narcotics detection dog certified to detect illegal contraband insufficient to establish probable cause for the search of a vehicle?
Serving Clients in Orleans Parish, St. Tammany Parish, St. John Parish, St. James Parish, St. Bernard Parish, St. Charles Parish, Assumption Parish, Tangipahoa Parish, Terrebonne Parish, Plaquemines Parish and Jefferson Parish.
Plea Bargaining in Criminal Cases
Although plea bargaining is often criticized, more than 90 percent of criminal convictions come from negotiated pleas. Thus, less than ten percent of criminal cases go to trial. Plea negotiations have become a central part of every criminal case. So, what are the incentives behind plea bargaining? Below is a look from the points of view of different players in the criminal justice system.
Judges and Plea Bargaining
For judges, the key incentive for accepting a plea bargain is to alleviate the need to schedule and hold pre-trial motion hearings and a trial on an already overcrowded docket. Judges usually offer lesser penalties and lower sentences to encourage plea bargains.
Prosecutors and Plea Bargaining
For prosecutors, a lighter caseload is equally attractive. But more importantly, plea bargaining assures a conviction, even if it is for a lesser charge or crime. No matter how strong the evidence may be, no case is a foregone conclusion. Prosecutors often wage long and expensive trials but lose.
Moreover, prosecutors may use plea bargaining to further their case against a co-defendant. They may accept a plea bargain arrangement from one defendant in return for damaging testimony against another. This way, they are assured of at least one conviction (albeit on a lesser charge) plus enhanced chances of winning a conviction against the second defendant.
Defendants and Plea Bargaining
For a defendant in a criminal case, plea bargaining provides the opportunity for a lighter sentence on a less severe charge, and to have fewer (or less serious) offenses listed on a criminal record. If they are represented by private counsel, defendants also save the monetary costs of a lengthy trial by accepting a plea bargain. Lastly, first time offenders are given the opportunity to have their records expunged in exchange for a plea.
Do not accept a plea bargain until you have consulted a skilled lawyer!
If you have been arrested or contacted by law enforcement, contact New Orleans Criminal Defense Attorney Elizabeth B. Carpenter. Ms. Carpenter has the skill and experience you need to effectuate a strong defense.
Elizabeth B. Carpenter Law Firm is a premier litigation law group focusing onNew Orleans Criminal Defense, DWI Defense, New Orleans Cyber Crimes Defense and Personal Injury Law. Each client is offered the individual attention and personal touch of a high end boutique law firm. We are extremely selective in the cases that we accept. Our firm is built on the foundation that every client deserves to be treated with dignity and compassion regardless of the legal issues they are battling.
We have obtained an overwhelming number of dismissals and acquittals in difficult cases involving well respected individuals, especially in cases where allegations are made against teachers, doctors, nurses and financial advisors. The outstanding results we achieve are largely due to the fact that we limit the number of cases we take which allows us to conduct thorough investigations, employ an aggressive pretrial motion practice and use innovative trial preparation tools. Our impressive achievements show why we are a top New Orleans law firm. We work hard to protect the interests of our clients, from the first meeting to the final verdict.
New Orleans DWI DUI Attorney
Louisiana’s new laws regarding DWIs increase consequences for DWI offenders; attorney Carpenter offers experienced, capable representation to help combat them.
New Orleans, LA (PRWEB) August 14, 2012
Criminal defense attorney Elizabeth B. Carpenter, Esq. announced this week the expansion of herNew Orleans DWI services, citing new laws slotted to go into effect on August 1st as prompting a need for more extensive, informed representation for DWI / DUI offenders.
“Louisiana just passed a good five or six laws regarding DWIs and license suspensions, and they’re going to make it harder for attorneys to defend DWIs,” Carpenter said. “This will make it even more important to hire a highly trained and qualified DWI attorney, since only an attorney who knows all of the regulations that law enforcement is required to follow will be equipped to handle these kinds of cases.”
One of the new laws that will soon take effect states that police officers will no longer be required to appear and give testimony in administrative hearings for driver’s license suspension after they make a DWI arrest. Before, if an officer didn’t attend the hearing, the driver’s license could not be suspended; now, Carpenter says, it will be far more difficult to prevent license suspension: “Without an officer present, it’s impossible to perform a cross-examination; without a cross-examination, you can’t argue the case effectively,” she explained. “It’s going to make it extraordinarily difficult to save DWI clients from having their licenses suspended.”
A second new law states that even if a person submits to a breathalyzer test and doesn’t test over the limit, their license can be suspended if law enforcement suspects they are under the influence of marijuana or other drugs and they refuse to submit to urinalysis. Until now, urinalysis refusal was not automatic grounds for license suspension. Furthermore, penalties for a second offense DWI have also been enhanced; if a second DWI arrest occurs within one year of the first arrest, the offender will automatically be sentenced to a mandatory 30-day jail sentence.
Carpenter has completed courses on NHTSA DWI Detection and Field Sobriety Testing and the breath-testing machine known as the Intoxilyzer 5000—the same courses that police officers take during their own training. Her education in this field allows her to challenge the common errors that police officers make during a DWI arrest; sometimes these errors form enough evidence to have the entire case dismissed.
Drug Possession Distribution Attorney Louisiana
The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects citizens against unreasonable searches. The amendment applies to government agents, like police officers. It does not apply to searches by private individuals. This protection extends to automobile searches, but it is not absolute. However, if a court finds that evidence was taken during an unlawful vehicle search, the court will not allow the prosecution to use that evidence.
Searches and Your Expectation of Privacy
A “search” can occur when a governmental agent intrudes in an area where you have a “reasonable expectation of privacy.” Deciding a “reasonable expectation of privacy” involves two questions. First, did you have an actual – meaning subjective or in your own mind – expectation of privacy? Second, would the subjective expectation of privacy be reasonable to an objective, uninvolved person?
Consent to Search
In certain situations, you may refuse to let a governmental agent search your vehicle. The agent is not required to inform you of your right to refuse. If you agree to the search, it must be voluntary – meaning you weren’t under pressure to comply. You also have the right to limit where the agent can search – the trunk but not the glove box, for example. You are free to change your mind at any time, even after the search has started.
Probable Cause to Search
A government agent with probable cause can search your car without you agreeing. Probable cause means a reason to believe the car more than likely contains evidence related to a crime. A routine traffic stop can develop into probable cause to search the vehicle. After pulling a car over for a traffic violation, a police officer might notice that the driver matches the description of someone suspected of stealing parts from automobiles. The officer also notices automobile parts in the back seat. These additional facts most likely create probable cause for the police officer to search the vehicle.
Search Incident to Lawful Arrest
When a police officer makes a lawful arrest, the officer may search not only the arrested person but also the area immediately around the arrested person – like the car the person was traveling in just before the arrest. However, this only applies if the person is arrested. If the driver is only given a traffic ticket, the police officer cannot search the vehicle. If a police officer has the choice to either issue a ticket or make an arrest, the officer must make the arrest in order to search the car.
The law surrounding searches of vehicles is complicated. Plus, the facts of each case are unique.
“The goal of every drug crime case is to not be convicted”
Elizabeth B Carpenter Law is one of the premiers law firms for Drug Crime defense. We have defended almost every type of Drug Crime imaginable in South Louisiana. When approaching a Drug Case, the first issues we examine are the client’s constitutional rights against unlawful search and seizure:
- Did the police have the right to pull our client over?,
- Did the police have the right to search our client’s home?,
- Did the police have the right to search out client’s car?
Our first goal is to try to exclude / suppress any and all evidence of a drug crime. If the evidence is suppressed, the state cannot use the evidence to convict our client. The goal in every drug crime case is to not be convicted.
If you have been arrested for Drug Possession, contact our office for a consultation. We want to protect your rights!
NEW ORLEANS CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY
ELIZABETH B. CARPENTER – Louisiana Parole Attorney
Credit for Prior Custody — Limitations — La C.Cr.P. Article 880
A. A defendant shall receive credit toward service of his sentence for time spent in actual custody prior to the imposition of sentence.
B. A defendant shall receive credit only for time in actual custody and only once during any calendar month when consecutive sentences are imposed.
C. No defendant shall receive credit for any time served prior to the commission of the crime.
D. A defendant shall not receive credit for time served under home incarceration.
E. A defendant shall not receive overlapping jail credit, except in the instance of concurrent sentences and then only for time spent in jail on the instant felony.
Elizabeth B. Carpenter, Esq. – Serving clients in Orleans, Jefferson, Terrebonne, Tangipahoa, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Tammany, St. John, Assumption and Plaquemines Parishes.
Criminal Defense Attorney New Orleans
Perpetration of certain crimes of violence against a victim sixty-five years of age or older — La RS 14:50.2
The court in its discretion may sentence, in addition to any other penalty provided by law, any person who is convicted of a crime of violence or of an attempt to commit any of the crime of violence with the exception of first degree murder, second degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated rape and aggravated kidnapping, to an additional three years’ imprisonment when the victim of such crime is 65 years of age or older at the time the crime is committed.
Contact Elizabeth B Carpenter, attorney New Orleans, to schedule a consultation today!
Louisiana Trial Attorney New Orleans
Elizabeth B. Carpenter, Esq. — New Orleans Criminal Defense
Grounds for Mistrial — La Code of Criminal Procedure Article 775
A mistrial may be ordered, and in a jury case the jury dismissed, when:
(1) The defendant consents thereto;
(2) The jury is unable to agree upon a verdict;
(3) There is a legal defect in the proceedings which would make any judgment entered upon a verdict reversible as a matter of law;
(4) The court finds that the defendant does not have the mental capacity to proceed;
(5) It is physically impossible to proceed with the trial in conformity with law; or
(6) False statements of a juror on voir dire prevent a fair trial.
Contact us today for a consultation – Elizabeth B. Carpenter, Esq.!
Louisiana Criminal Defense Attorney
Elizabeth B. Carpenter, Esq. – Serving clients in Orleans, Jefferson, Terrebonne, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Tammany, St. John, Assumption and Plaquemines Parishes.
NOPD Officer Who Shot Unarmed Pot Suspect in Gentilly is Identified
By Brendan McCarthy, The Times-Picayune
New Orleans police officials confirmed Thursday that the 20-year-old man who was fatally shot by a plain-clothed narcotics officer during a drug raid at a Gentilly house a day earlier was unarmed. New Orleans police officer Joshua Colclough, 28, fired a single shot Wednesday evening that killed Wendell Allen, 20. Police officials were guarded in their comments about the shooting Thursday, citing the ongoing investigation.
“We have not been able to yet completely understand what exactly occurred,” Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas said Thursday.
The shooting took place inside a red-brick, two-story home at 2651 Prentiss Ave. in Gentilly. Officers were executing a search warrant at the home following a days-old probe of marijuana dealing. Serpas said officers later found drug paraphernalia and 138 grams of marijuana — about four and a half ounces — inside the residence.
It was the second fatal shooting of a suspect by police within a week in the NOPD’s 3rd District, a relatively sleepy swath of residential neighborhoods that stretch from Lakeview through Gentilly. In last week’s incident, in Mid-City, two officers were badly injured in a gunfight before the alleged gunman, 20-year-old Justin Sipp, was killed by police gunfire.
The response of city leaders to the two incidents, not surprisingly, has been markedly different. After last week’s shooting, city and police leaders gathered at a news conference. They called the the officers heroic, making clear that they believed the cops were provoked by civilian gunfire and that the officers’ actions appeared justified.
Officers are permitted to use deadly force, such as firing a gun, when they have a reasonable belief that they or somebody else is in imminent danger of death or bodily harm.
But on Thursday, NOPD officials offered no real narrative to explain what, if anything, prompted Colclough to fire on Allen, a former standout high school basketball player. Police officials repeatedly offered condolences to Allen’s family, while vowing to conduct a thorough, transparent investigation.
Serpas acknowledged that Allen was unarmed, that he was shot in the chest by a police officer, that narcotics officers were searching for drugs.
“We still have very many questions to answer,” Serpas said. “We will ensure and commit to our community that we will do so in the utmost of transparency and in the collaboration with our partners in the federal government, our partners in state government, and our supportive relationship with the independent police monitor.”
The investigation that led officers to the Prentiss Avenue home began earlier this week. A confidential informant for a Jefferson Parish sheriff’s deputy tipped off police that a man named “Troy” was dealing marijuana from inside the home, according to NOPD’s application for a search warrant. Police identified the alleged pot dealer as Troy Deemer, 19.
The warrant states that Jefferson Parish Sgt. John Pacaccio and NOPD Officer Michael Voltolina watched the house for a 48-hour period and saw several “hand-to-hand” drug transactions in the driveway.
On Wednesday, the officers allegedly spotted Deemer leave the home carrying a white package. They followed him to Jefferson Parish and stopped the pick-up truck after he failed to signal a lane change, according to Serpas. The JPSO deputies allegedly noticed a marijuana scent inside the truck. They called for a K-9 unit, and shortly later recovered a one-pound package of marijuana inside the truck, the warrant states.
With Deemer in custody, the investigators sought to search the Prentiss Avenue house.
At 5:15 p.m., a New Orleans Criminal District Court Magistrate Robert Blackburn signed a warrant authorizing the search of the home, and authorizing the seizure of any drugs, particularly marijuana, or weapons that could be tied to a drug trade.
The search commenced shortly afterward, about 5:40 p.m. Wednesday, just before dusk.
Four JPSO deputies formed a perimeter in the back of the house, police said. Three NOPD officers lined the front of the building. Meanwhile, an NOPD sergeant and five other NOPD officers went to the front door, according to Serpas.
They were in plainclothes but wore “raid jackets” identifying themselves as police officers, Serpas said.
“Before they entered the residence, officers announced their presence and announced their intention to serve a search warrant,” Serpas said. “Receiving no answer, they had to break the door.”
The officers spread through the house.
“While some officers moved upstairs, a single gunshot was heard,” Serpas added.
A single bullet struck Allen in the chest. It penetrated his lungs, heart and aorta, said Coroner Frank Minyard.
The lanky 6-foot 3-inch former basketball star fell to floor the in the stairwell. He came to rest on a landing. He died “almost instantly,” Minyard said.
There is no evidence that the gunshot came at close range; there was no evidence of gunpowder on Allen’s skin, Minyard said.
Allen’s sister, 14-year-old Jazmine Jones, said her brother was shirtless, wearing only pajama pants. She said Allen was upstairs inside his room, and she was watching television with a younger brother, when police barged through the front door.
“As soon as they run upstairs, I heard a gunshot,” Jones said. She described a chaotic scene, with mass confusion, as police spread through the home, guns drawn, and children scuttling about.
“I don’t understand why this happened,” she said.
Police said that five children, ranging in age from 1 to 14, were in the house at the time. The children were taken to the Child Advocacy Center Wednesday night, police said.
Two men were detained inside the residence. Brandon Boles, 19, and Davin Allen, 20, were both arrested and booked with possession with the intent to distribute marijuana.
Serpas said officers recovered “digital scales, packing materials and 138 grams of marijuana,” inside the home. Though Allen was unarmed, someone inside the house alerted investigators to a gun “hidden inside the house,” Serpas said.
Officers later discovered a .380 caliber handgun. Serpas did not indicate whether the gun was legal or illegal, or whether it had been registered or stolen. Nor did he link it directly to Allen.
While Serpas released these details at a late-afternoon news conference at NOPD headquarters, Allen’s relatives stood outside, holding signs aloft demanding justice for their loved one.
They alleged that the shooting was unjustified and called police “killers.”
“They killed him for nothing,” said Allen’s aunt, Karen Allen, 32, of Sulphur.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu on Thursday pledged that the NOPD will conduct a “full, open and fair” investigation of the incident. In a midday briefing in his office, the mayor called the shooting was a “tragic event.”
“My heart goes out to the family of the young man who was killed,” he said, while declining to talk in detail about the facts of the case. Landrieu said he and Crime Commissioner James Carter met with Allen’s mother and grandmother for about 45 minutes Thursday morning in City Hall.
“She was upset, obviously,” Landrieu said about Allen’s mother. “She lost her baby boy. She wanted to make sure that justice was done.”
Landrieu repeatedly emphasized that two FBI agents are embedded in the NOPD’s Public Integrity Bureau, which investigates officer-involved shootings along with the agency’s homicide division. The city’s Independent Police Monitor will also monitor the NOPD’s investigation, he said.
Allen was a star basketball forward at the former Frederick Douglass High School, where he averaged 21 points per game in late January 2010. He made the Times-Picayune All-Metro team. He also played football at the school.
According to online court records, Allen was arrested in January 2011 on a felony charge of possessing marijuana with intent to distribute. He failed to appear for his first court appearance and was arrested three weeks later.
In March 2011, he entered an “Alford plea” — a plea deal in which the defendant is adjudicated guilty but does not actually admit guilt. Allen was given a five-year suspended sentence and credit for time served, the record shows, and released.
Other court records indicate that he had also been arrested on several minor municipal charges.
Colclough, 28, began his career at the NOPD in September 2007. Before serving on the force he worked at the New Orleans Private Patrol in the Garden District, according to his application to the city. His personnel file is relatively thin; he received a five-day suspension for his role in a minor traffic accident. He was reassigned to desk duty in the wake of the shooting.
Raymond Burkart III, a spokesman for the local Fraternal Order of Police lodge, urged citizens Thursday not to rush to judgment.
“We don’t know what happened. And we can’t guess, we need to find out the actual facts,” he said. “It’s only a day after the shooting. This thing is being investigated by no less than three groups within the police department, the police monitor, as well as federal agents.”
Burkart, while declining to speak about Colclough, said that serving a search warrant is a high-stress, terrifying situations for an officer. “You don’t know who’s on the other side of the door, if people are hiding, if people are armed or unarmed.”