What To Do After Being Arrested in Louisiana

What to do after being arrested in Louisiana? This is the most important question to ask for anyone who was just arrested or for the friend or family member of someone just arrested.  Not knowing what lies ahead can be very scary. We do our best to eliminate that fear. We know how to help you after being arrested in Louisiana.

So, feel free to contact one of our locations.  Every criminal arrest is different and may need to be addressed accordingly because the arrestees are all different, facts of the case are different, and booking charges are different.  However, this guide may help to answer some questions.

Learn what to do after being arrested in Louisiana.


Steps to Take After Being Arrested in Louisiana


Step 1: Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney

The first step is to contact a criminal defense attorney. For instance, I will inform you of the process ahead and give you knowledge, making the stress go down.  Hiring a criminal defense attorney immediately may help to make the right decisions that will benefit the client the most. Experienced criminal lawyers know if the arrest is a situation in which the defendant not be bailed out because he may not receive credit for time served. The lawyer may be able to recommend that bailing the defendant out is the best route. We are criminal defense attorneys in Louisiana that make these decisions every day for our clients and their families.  There are many considerations we examine.  Mostly, money is a big factor.  We can help the family figure out how to best allocate limited funds during the time after an arrest.


Step 2: Post Bond

Next, if the arrestee is still in jail, you may want to bond him out. There are many implications and issues to consider before bonding someone out. If you have been bonded out, go to step three.  Generally, the judge must set a bail amount within 72 hours of the arrest via closed-circuit television.  The bail amount will be determined based on the type of charge, if the arrestee is a resident of Louisiana, and the circumstances of the case.  Depending on the jurisdiction, there may be a scheduled bail amount that the jail can set. This expedites the setting of the bail.  However, if there is a probation or parole hold, it is not recommended to post bond since the defendant will not be released anyway.  See here for more information on the bonding process.


Step 3:  Prepare a Defense Strategy

We need to prepare for the case. How we proceed during the weeks following the arrest will depend on your case and situation.  We must start to think about if we will try to work out a deal with the prosecutor or go to trial.  Either way, the time period right after being arrested in Louisiana is important because we may need to take a proactive approach and take steps now that will help the case down the road.

If the arrestee is in jail

If the client remains in jail, our criminal attorneys may visit with him/her to have an initial consultation.  This is done so we can start to begin a defense strategy that will help our client the most.  In some cases, we may work with drug counselors to find a treatment facility to have the client attend instead of staying in jail.

If the arrestee has bonded

If the client has bonded, this gives us a little more freedom to prepare a defense strategy. This may include performing drug tests, rehabilitation, counseling, treatment, and/or preparing our case.  When we speak with our client and/or their family right after an arrest, they generally feel better because they understand what to expect.


Step 4:  Attend Court Hearings

In some cases, our criminal lawyers may be able to resolve the case without the need to go to court.  This can be an ideal situation.  It depends on the facts and circumstances of the case.  Some jurisdictions may provide an Arraignment date to the defendant after he bonds out of jail.  However, East Baton Rouge does not.  In East Baton Rouge, once the bill of information is filed, the Arraignment is scheduled with the court. We will then have a series of court dates.

  •             Arraignment

The arraignment is the court date when the charge is read to the defendant and he enters on initial plea. Usually, we plead not guilty on that date which gives us time to examine the prosecutor’s case and attempt any negotiations.

  •             Motions

Many times, a criminal court case will be scheduled for a Motions Hearing.  This can be the second or third court date.  It is the time for the prosecutor to provide any reports or discovery responses.

  •             Pre-trial Conference

The is the court date designed to have the parties, including the judge, get together and work towards a resolution.  The prosecutor may make plea offers and the judge may indicate a possible sentence on that charge.

  •             Status

            Status hearings may involve more negotiation or time for the defendant to get more reports or investigation.

  •             Trial

Not every case goes to trial. In fact, very few cases ever go to trial.  In criminal cases, the defendant always can try their case to a judge. However, in felony cases, he/she can choose to have their case heard by a jury.


Common Questions After Being Arrested in Louisiana


How long does the prosecutor have to file charges if I am charged with a misdemeanor?

If you are in jail, the District Attorney must file charges within 45 days of your arrest. If you have bonded from jail, the District Attorney must file charges within 90 days of your being arrested in Lousiana. If the District Attorney does not file charges against you in the time required by law, you may be entitled to be released from jail or your bail obligation. However, even if you are released from jail or bond obligation, you may still be subject to prosecution. If you have received a summons, there is no cause of action for failure of the prosecutor to file charges in time since there is not bail obligation for a summons.


How long does the prosecutor have to file charges if I am charged with a felony?

If you are in jail, the District Attorney must file charges within 60 days of your arrest, except that that the District Attorney has 120 days from your arrest to file charges for first or second degree murder, aggravated rape, or aggravated kidnapping. If you have bonded from jail, the District Attorney must file felony charges within 150 days of your being arrested in Louisiana. If the District Attorney does not file charges against you in the time required by law, you may be entitled to be released from jail or your bail obligation. However, even if you are released from jail or bond obligation you may still be subject to prosecution.


How does the victim drop the charges?

The victim can never drop charges. Only the prosecutor can drop charges against a defendant. The victim can contact the prosecutor and inform him of his/her intent that the victim wishes that the defendant is not prosecuted, but that is all. The victim may also file a drop charge request form with the District Attorney after an arrest. This does not guarantee the charge will be dropped. In fact, we have seen many times that the District Attorney has chosen to disregard the drop charge request by the victim.


What are the types of bonds?

The types of bail are:

  1. Bail with a commercial surety

You can obtain a commercial surety (bail bond) that is purchased through a bail bondsman. Typically, the price paid to the bondsman is 10-12 % of the bail amount. That percentage does not get returned, even if you comply with all orders of the Court. That is the fee to the bondsman for putting up the entire amount.

  1. Bail with a secured personal surety

Another option is a personal surety bond. In this case a Louisiana citizen pledges to pay the full bail price if the defendant does not appear for court.

  1. Bail with an unsecured personal surety

Another option is a personal surety bond. In this case a Louisiana citizen pledges to pay the full bail price if the defendant does not appear for court.

  1. Bail without surety

Another option is bond without surety. This is commonly referred to as personal recognizance or ROR bond, which is short for “released on own recognizance.”In this instance the defendant is allowed to post bond on his promise to return for his court date.

  1. Property Bond

You or someone on your behalf may also post a property bond which generally must be approved by the sheriff and the judge.  In this case, the sheriff will examine the property for the value and amount of encumbrances or mortgages on the property.


What is a probation hold?

If the defendant is in jail on new charges, the judge may set a bail amount. However, there may be a probation hold on the defendant, preventing his release even if he made bond on the new charges.  The way to get the probation hold lifted is to have a probation revocation hearing in which the judge would determine the outcome.  The probation hold may be as a result of the probation officer filing a Petition to Revoke and obtaining a probation warrant.  This could be the result of the defendant to comply with the conditions of probation.


What is a parole hold?

Parole holds are place on the defendant by the parole officer if the defendant is out on parole and he receives a new charge. Usually, the parole hold does not go away until the case is concluded through a dismissal.


What is on my criminal record after being arrested in Louisiana?

The only entry on your criminal record after being arrested in Louisiana will be the fact of the arrest. There will not be a conviction if and until the defendant is convicted. So, if you have an arrest and the case is still pending, you are not convicted of anything. If an employer runs a background check, there is a good chance that they will see the arrest. If asked, you have not been convicted if the case is still pending.


Can I leave the state after being arrested in Louisiana?

Oftentimes people are arrested in Louisiana while visiting. They ask me if they can leave the state of Louisiana to go back home. It depends if the judge has made a condition of your bond/release that you remain in the jurisdiction. If it is a condition of your bond that you remain in Louisiana, you must abide by the condition unless the judge orders that you can leave the jurisdiction.  Our Louisiana criminal defense attorneys can help with drafting and arguing this motion.


How do I get an arrest in Louisiana off my record?

The process for removing an arrest and/or conviction from your record is called a Motion to Expunge.  Not every charge can be expunged. It depends on the type of charge and the disposition.  The time frame for filing an expungement also differs based on if you are trying remove an arrest, conviction, or both.  The deal with the prosecutor and the sentence of the judge play a big part in the eligibility to expunge a record.  We always focus on the possibility of expungements after the case even right after being arrested.  Learn more on expungements here.


Criminal Defense Attorney in Louisiana

Carl Barkemeyer tells clients what to do after being arrested in Louisiana every day.  He is the first place to start if you or a friend have been arrested in Louisiana. He handles criminal cases in Baton Rouge, Livingston, and all over Louisiana.  Regardless if you have been arrested for a DWI, drug charge, or an any other charge, he is a criminal lawyer that can help.  Contact us if you need a criminal lawyer in Louisiana after an arrest.


Louisiana DWI & Criminal Lawyers

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Louisiana criminal lawyers and DWI attorneys at the Barkemeyer Law Firm providing legal defense services for clients in Baton Rouge, Ascension, Livingston, Tangipahoa, Port Allen, Alexandria, New Orleans, Lafayette, Metairie, Kenner, Gretna, Hahnville, Chalmette, Slidell, St. Tammany, St. Charles, St. John, St. Bernard, Mandeville, Covington, Shreveport, Bossier, Jefferson, Monroe, Lake Charles and all of Louisiana.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is not formal legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.

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