What to Do If You’re Arrested in New Orleans
New Orleans is renowned for being a city with one of the largest party scenes. Unfortunately, though, this often leads to legal troubles for those who let things get out of hand.
If you’ve been arrested, though, it’s not the end of the world— you just need to know what steps to take next.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about how to handle getting arrested in New Orleans.
Common Reasons for Getting Arrested
New Orleans is renowned for its festivities and nightlife. But, it’s also notorious for being a place that’s notably easy to run into legal trouble.
While being on the wrong side of the law is never a pleasant situation, the consequences can easily become exacerbated for those who are from out of town.
The best way to prevent legal trouble is to understand what type of situations you should avoid. Let’s explore a few of the most notable reasons why people get arrested in the city.
As you may expect, this is one of the most common reasons why people end up in handcuffs in New Orleans. This becomes especially true during the cities annual Mardi Gras celebration.
The main issue with public intoxication is that it’s not tied to a single action, which means there are hundreds of ways to get charged with this crime. It is technically Disturbing the Peace under Louisiana law.
For example, a drunk college student who attempts to climb up a fire escape ladder on an apartment building could be charged with public intoxication if they disturb tenants.
Similarly, a rowdy bargoer who suddenly has the urge to throw a traffic cone may find himself charged with this crime if the thrown object breaks the window of a nearby store.
Although not quite as common, assaults are bound to happen within crowded areas where people are drinking.
A typical scenario involves an argument that turns into a fistfight, which often leads to the person who first made physical contact with the other party getting arrested.
But, even shoving your way through a crowd could end up with you being charged with assault if someone falls and hurts themselves. Interestingly, an assault charge could also involve making a threat of bodily harm without actually taking physical action against another person.
It’s also important to understand the distinction between assault, aggravated assault, and battery in Louisiana:
- Assault- The conscious attempt to commit a battery against another party or threaten to do so
- Aggravated assault- An assault committed against another party with a weapon that law enforcement categorizes as dangerous, such as a baseball bat
- Battery- Intentionally using violence or force against another party.
As such, it’s fairly easy to commit an assault without even realizing it during the heat of the moment.
With enough alcohol consumption, this type of behavior begins to arise fairly easily. As with public intoxication, a public indecency charge isn’t tied to hey single action.
But, it’s not difficult to understand what qualifies as public indecency. This can include behavior like:
- Committing a sex act in a public place or around other people
- Urinating in public
- Being nude or exposing oneself in a public area
Generally, public indecency involves two types of charges— indecent exposure and lewd conduct.
It’s important to note, though, that public indecency is often defined by engaging in this type of behavior with the intent to cause arousal or shock in others. So, someone who acts in this manner in a concealed space may not be charged with either of the above two crimes if caught.
Driving Under the Influence
After a night of partying, many people feel confident enough to drive home without any issue. Unfortunately, alcohol is notoriously effective impairing judgment, and many drivers who think they are navigating the roads efficiently end up swerving across lanes.
Other times, people are simply too impatient to wait for a taxi or Uber or don’t have the money to do so.
So, it’s not uncommon to hear of someone getting charged with a DUI during their trip to New Orleans.
What to Do If You’ve Been Arrested
Under certain circumstances, getting arrested can be terrifying. This is especially true for those who have never been involved in a conflict with law-enforcement before.
The thought of posting bail, going to court, etc. is something that evokes a negative response from most people.
Fortunately, there are steps that you can take in order to ensure that do you have the best chance possible things going in your favor.
Let’s dive in.
Comply With Law-Enforcement
No matter how badly you may wish to argue with the officers who arrested you, it’s best to do exactly as they say. Not only could you be stuck with additional charges, but getting aggressive with law-enforcement could leave you with physical injury if they deem you to be a threat to others or yourself.
When in doubt, follow directions exactly as they are told to you and remain as calm as possible.
Although the vast majority of us are aware of our inherent right to remain silent while in custody, it’s absolutely imperative that you do so.
Politely tell the officers that you’re only willing to provide basic information (such as your full name and address) and that you won’t answer any other questions without a lawyer present.
While on your way to jail, avoid saying anything at all. Even a statement like “I didn’t mean to” or I’m sorry could result in legal complications in the future.
Contact a Legal Professional
As soon as you get the opportunity to do so, contact a reputable legal professional who operates in New Orleans. They’ll be able to handle your case as efficiently as possible due to their familiarity with legal conflicts that often occur in the city.
When looking for an attorney, search for someone who has significant legal experience, successful history of positive outcomes for their clients, and someone who you feel comfortable communicating with.
Afterward, you’ll be able to move forward with your legal proceedings and begin working on your defense.
Dealing With Getting Arrested Can Seem Difficult
But it doesn’t have to be.
With the above information about what to do after getting arrested in New Orleans in mind, you’ll be well on your way toward ensuring that you create the best chance possible of legally defending yourself.
Want to learn more about how we can help? Feel free to get in touch with us today to see what we can do.