Criminal Law

LAKE CHARLES CRIMINAL LAWYERS

Speed is Everything

Are you facing a criminal charge in Lake Charles, Louisiana? Even a misdemeanor conviction can have life-changing ramifications. When you are facing prosecution from the State or Federal Government and its expansive resources, seek experienced legal counsel as soon as possible. A criminal law attorney in Lake Charles at The Johnson Firm can help you explore legal defenses to your charge and seek to have your charge reduced or dismissed.

What Is Criminal Law?

A crime is any omission or action that is considered an offense that can be prosecuted by state law. Criminal law is an area of law that relates to these crimes and punishes people who are convicted. It’s separate from civil law which handles disputes between individuals and awards compensation. 

There are two broad types of criminal law in Louisiana: misdemeanors and felonies. 

Misdemeanors are considered lower-level offenses and include traffic offenses and petty theft with penalties that are generally no more than one year in jail. Felonies are considered much more serious and include homicide, arson, robbery, and violent crimes.

In Louisiana, the most common crimes are property crimes such as theft, burglary, and motor vehicle theft. There are also more than 15,000 reported aggravated assaults per year and about 500 homicides committed each year. 

We Privately Investigate Your Case

At The Johnson Firm, our private investigation helps distinguish our approach to criminal defense in Louisiana. Having your case privately investigated can level the playing field and help overcome issues like police reports that only benefit the prosecution or contain boilerplate information. Police reports are often incorrect or lack information that benefits the defense. 

We also work to ensure all evidence is turned over by the state. It’s not uncommon for police to lose or fail to preserve critical evidence only for the prosecution to fight in court to avoid explaining its loss. With all evidence available at the beginning, we can craft a more effective defense. For difficult cases that seem sure to go to trial, we will take the extra step to subpoena the personal records of the police officers to uncover issues of credibility. 

Our investigations are lead by a private investigator that works for our law firm on every case. He is a former Chief of Detectives and Former Head of Narcotics of the Calcasieu Parrish. We employ only the best to investigate your situation and make sure no corners were cut when processing your case. Any law firm that chooses not to privately investigate each and every case is missing a vital part of the process; proving that mistakes can be made. We find those mistakes and use them to our advantage as we process our findings and move your case forward.

Types of Criminal Law Cases We Handle

At The Johnson Firm, we represent clients facing all types of criminal charges in Louisiana, including federal charges.

DWI/DUI

Louisiana takes DUI/DWI very seriously. Penalties include not only jail time and hefty fines but also license suspension. Penalties become harsher with each subsequent DUI/DWI. To protect your rights and fight the charge, turn to a DUI lawyer in Lake Charles who handles DUI/DWI cases regularly. Remember, you have only 30 days to apply for a hearing to possibly prevent license suspension which is separate from the criminal charge!

Domestic Abuse Violence 

Domestic violence, also known as domestic abuse or family violence, involves a wide range of physical, verbal, or sexual offenses in any domestic setting such as in a marriage or a domestic partnership. The persons involved include family members, household members, or dating partners. Additionally, even a misdemeanor conviction for domestic abuse battery will cause a loss of gun rights. It’s the only misdemeanor that carries such a penalty.

Also, each domestic abuse battery charge enhances, meaning that the penalties get worse and can ultimately rise to a felony. A second domestic violence conviction is considered a felony in the state of Louisiana. 

Drug Offenses

A drug conviction can affect many areas of your life including your employment. Every year, thousands of people in Louisiana are convicted of drug offenses. While arrests for simple marijuana possession have plunged since Baton Rouge and New Orleans passed municipal ordinances decriminalizing simple possession, penalties can still be stiff for even simple possession of other controlled substances. 

Our Lake Charles criminal defense attorney represents clients facing all types of drug offenses including possession, DUI drug charges, drug trafficking, and possession with intent to distribute.

Homicide

Homicide is perhaps the most serious charge you can face in Louisiana. If you are facing a homicide charge, your life and future are on the line as a conviction can lead to long incarceration or even the death penalty. A homicide charge may be reduced to a lesser charge, ruled justifiable, or be returned with a “not guilty” verdict, but it’s crucial to begin building your defense as soon as possible.

Assault/Battery

Under Louisiana law, assault is an attempt to cause physical harm to someone or a threat of action that makes the other person fear impending violence. Battery is the intentional infliction of physical harm on someone else. These crimes may be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the circumstances and require a strong legal defense. There are more than 18,000 arrests in Louisiana every year for aggravated assault alone. 

Vehicular Injury

Vehicular injury (or vehicular homicide) is a type of aggravated assault charge that involves the intentional infliction of force or violence against someone using a vehicle that may result in death. Penalties for vehicular injury can be stiff and include not only jail or prison time but also hefty penalties and a revoked driver’s license. 

White-Collar Crimes

White-collar crimes refer to non-violent crimes that usually involve economic crimes, corruption, or environmental crimes. These crimes are also called corporate crimes because many crimes in this category, such as embezzlement, are easier and more common among employees of large corporations. 

Many white-collar crimes come with a public stigma and may even involve federal investigators. We defend clients against a range of white collar crimes in Louisiana including money laundering, tax fraud, extortion, bribery, public corruption, and embezzlement.

Internet Crimes

Internet or cybercrimes refer to a broad range of crimes that involve a network or computer including identity theft, credit card theft, child pornography and online sex crimes, computer hacking, and phishing. These cases often involve complex technological details that require a forensic computer specialist’s expertise and laws tend to be behind the technology. 

You may even inadvertently commit an internet crime or do nothing wrong at all and end up facing a frightening criminal investigation that may involve the federal government. If you have been charged with cybercrime, seek legal counsel from an experienced criminal law attorney in Lake Charles as soon as possible. 

Sex Crimes

Are you facing a charge for a sex crime? These crimes carry a level of stigma and presumption of guilt like almost no other area of law and require a skilled defense. Even without a conviction, being charged with a sex crime can affect many areas of your life including personal relationships and employment. 

In many cases, these charges come with public pressure for prosecution and conviction rates are high. By seeking the best criminal law attorney in Lake Charles, LA, you can begin building your defense and gathering evidence to support yourself. Our criminal defense attorneys represent clients facing Louisiana state and federal charges including rape, statutory rape, solicitation, sexual assault, and internet sex crimes. 

Professional Disciplinary Actions

Are you facing disciplinary action before a Louisiana professional licensing board? With your reputation and career at stake, it’s important to choose an experienced criminal law attorney in Louisiana familiar with the standards and procedures of the board to build a strong defense. 

Professional disciplinary issues can be serious and require an approach that differs from one that would be used in a criminal or civil courtroom. This helps fight the potentially devastating effects of a disciplinary action which may include loss of license, a suspended license, or a monetary penalty. 

Juvenile Defense & Juvenile Delinquency

Louisiana ranks second in the United States for juvenile arrests with 126 arrests for theft charges alone in 2018. Under Louisiana law, juveniles under 18 who are charged with a crime have their case heard in a special juvenile court which recognizes that children and adolescents may not be completely responsible for their actions. 

Criminal charges in juvenile court in Louisiana have high stakes as they can affect a child’s entire future. An experienced juvenile defense attorney will strive to obtain the best possible results that minimize penalties and help the adolescent move forward. 

Federal Charges

Are you facing federal criminal charges? It’s crucial to work with a Louisiana criminal defense attorney experienced in defending federal charges. Federal charges come with very different rules in terms of how witness testimony and evidence may be used, the discovery process, and even what prosecutors may and may not do. 

Penalties for federal convictions can also be much harsher than convictions at the state level. We defend clients against all types of federal cases including violent offenses, firearms offenses, internet crimes, and drug offenses.

Expungement

Depending on your conviction and the circumstances, you may qualify to have your criminal record expunged in Louisiana. Expungement refers to removing a record from public access although it does not permanently destroy your record. For example, state agencies, criminal justice agencies, and law enforcement can still access your record but it can’t be viewed by employers or potential landlords. 

Benefits of Hiring a Criminal Law Attorney in Lake Charles, LA

Perhaps you are facing a seemingly minor misdemeanor charge or you know you did not do anything wrong. While it may be tempting to try to handle your own defense or accept a plea bargain, this approach can backfire and cause you to lose your rights and even your freedom. 

A criminal defense attorney will serve as your advocate and help you navigate the criminal law system in Louisiana by creating a strong legal strategy, doing damage control to prevent you from inadvertently harming your own case, and seeking to have your charges dismissed or reduced to reduce the penalties you face. 

With the best criminal law attorney in Lake Charles representing you, you will be in a better position to preserve your freedom and legal rights. 

What to Look for in a Criminal Law Attorney

When you are facing criminal charges, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of where you should turn. Once you decide to get legal counsel, the next step is choosing a criminal defense attorney who will give you the best chances of beating the charges. 

As you compare criminal law attorneys in Lake Charles, we recommend asking questions and considering the following: 

  • How much of the lawyer’s practice is devoted entirely to criminal defense? 
  • How many years has the attorney been practicing? 
  • Does the attorney have experience with the local courts? 
  • How much experience does the lawyer have defending clients facing the same charges as you?
  • Is the attorney someone you feel comfortable defending you after an in-person consultation?

Contact an Experienced Criminal Law Attorney Today

We believe that our commitment to uncovering all of the facts and pursuing every detail of every case helps us stand apart from other criminal defense law firms. We’re committed to seeking real justice and helping our clients to live a brighter future. 

When you are facing criminal charges, time is of the essence. Don’t delay in building your defense; contact The Johnson Firm today to schedule a consultation with an experienced criminal law attorney in Lake Charles. We strive to be the best criminal law attorneys in Lake Charles, LA to help you protect your legal rights and fight for your freedom.

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We believe every person deserves a fair, honest, and just defense and defend clients charged with the pettiest of offenses to the most serious of crimes.

Our attorneys will thoroughly examine every detail of your case and fight to resolve any discrepancies revealed. We have a passion for the truth and will challenge anyone who attempts to obscure it.

  • Adam is the nicest, hardest working guy. He explains everything - is a great listener - and understands his client’s needs.

    EDWARD, Food Services
  • Other attorneys are interested in the best deal for them. Not Adam. He charges in head-first and is not afraid to fight.

    VEDO, Construction
  • Having Adam on your side is like having Tom Brady on your football team!

    VEDO, Construction
  • Adam is committed to educating his clients, where the process stands, and the steps he’s taking throughout the process.

    VEDO, Construction
  • Adam is a very down-to-earth guy. He’s a hard worker and a great listener. He was able to get my DWI charge dropped down to a Reckless Operation charge. I was very impressed.

    ALEX, Plant Employee
  • My life was on the line, but I felt a tremendous level of confidence in Adam and his staff. And it paid off!

    VEDO, Construction
  • Adam won’t ever promise you something he can’t deliver. He’s a straight shooter.

    VEDO, Construction
  • Adam’s work ethic really sets him apart.

    VEDO, Construction
  • Adam is currently working on my case, and I’m very satisfied with his work ethic, open communication, and commitment to my case. I would highly recommend him to anyone I know.

    JAMIE, Oil & Gas
  • Adam and his staff are awesome! He was able to get all of my charges dropped.

    DEREK, Truck Driver