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Shreveport Misdemeanors Lawyer

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Misdemeanors

Misdemeanors are crimes that are less serious than felonies. Misdemeanor convictions may result in incarceration in a parish or local jail and, sometimes, a fine. In Louisiana, misdemeanor convictions have a maximum sentence of 6 months; however, there are a handful of exceptions that carry up to one year in parish jail. If you’re facing misdemeanor charges and need help, a Shreveport misdemeanors lawyer from The Berg Law Firm can help steer your case to the ideal outcome.

Common Misdemeanors in Shreveport, Louisiana

Some common misdemeanor crimes include:

  • DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) – Operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs is treated as a serious risk to public safety, and, as such, penalties can be stiff. Penalties for a second or third-offense DUI will be far less lenient than those for a first-time charge. The same can be said for cases that involve property damage, injuries, or wrongful death.

  • Domestic Abuse Battery – Committing acts of physical violence against a member of your family or household can be either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the specific circumstances of the crime. Prior history, whether or not a weapon was used, whether children were involved, and the level of physical and emotional trauma inflicted will all play a role in determining how domestic abuse crimes are classified and punished.

  • Simple Battery – Using force or violence against another person without their consent can result in minor injuries for the victim and misdemeanor charges for the perpetrator. Much like domestic violence, the way such cases are prosecuted often comes down to the circumstances of the crime. The courts need to define the line between simple battery and aggravated battery based on the unique circumstances of each unlawful physical altercation.

  • Theft – Lower-value property crimes like shoplifting and simple theft are often charged as misdemeanors, but that doesn’t mean they can’t carry serious consequences for those convicted. Even if the defendant avoids jail time, a record as a thief can seriously impact future job prospects and cause other disruptions over the course of a convict’s life.

  • Public Intoxication – Being belligerent or visibly intoxicated in most public places is unlawful, as it can represent a disruption to public order or even a threat to public safety in more extreme scenarios.

  • Possession of Marijuana – Despite widespread decriminalization and legalization movements in other parts of the United States, cannabis remains illegal in Shreveport, outside of a limited medical marijuana program. It remains outlawed under federal policies as well.

    Simple possession of cannabis is usually prosecuted as a low-level misdemeanor, but larger amounts of cannabis or evidence of illegal cannabis trafficking can lead to more serious consequences.

  • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – In Louisiana, the police do not necessarily need to locate drugs to make a drug bust. The mere possession of certain tools, equipment, or supplies used in the consumption or sale of drugs can also result in misdemeanor charges.

  • Criminal Trespass – Unauthorized entry onto someone else’s property is a violation of the property owner’s privacy and civil rights, and it could potentially lead to criminal charges, a civil case, or both, depending on what exactly occurred.

  • Simple Assault – Lower-level assault charges–such as those that don’t involve a weapon –can also be misdemeanors in Louisiana.

  • Disorderly Conduct – Engaging in disruptive, offensive, or confrontational behavior in public can result in legal consequences. Examples include fighting, shouting, or playing excessively loud music at night.

  • Traffic Violations – In Louisiana, many traffic-related violations are processed as Class C (low-level) misdemeanors.

While misdemeanors are less serious than felony charges, a conviction can still have a significant impact on your life. While jail time is a potential immediate consequence, some misdemeanor convictions have consequences beyond jail time.

For example, misdemeanors for DWI (driving while intoxicated) and domestic abuse battery are enhanceable. That means you can face stiffer penalties if you are ever arrested for that charge again.

Additionally, your gun rights may be affected if you are convicted of certain misdemeanors, including domestic abuse battery.

While a misdemeanor charge may not seem serious at the outset, the last effects of a misdemeanor conviction may have a significant impact on your future. Don’t roll the dice on your future. Hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

Can You Go to Jail for a Misdemeanor in Shreveport?

In Louisiana, individuals convicted of certain misdemeanors can indeed face the prospect of time behind bars. Some misdemeanors have sentencing guidelines or maximum sentences, with a period of incarceration typically consisting of days or months in a local jail rather than years in prison. Still, it’s important to consider the far-reaching implications of even a short-term period of incarceration, such as loss of employment and damaged relationships.

It is true that many misdemeanor convictions result in fines, probation, and other alternative sentences rather than jail time, but it is important to understand that misdemeanor cases are still serious, with potentially severe consequences. Hiring private legal counsel can offer you a path to mitigating those consequences. In certain cases–and with the right attorney on your side–you may even be able to fight to have misdemeanor charges dropped entirely.

What Is a Class C Misdemeanor in Louisiana?

In Louisiana (and some other states), misdemeanors are further sub-categorized into different levels, or classes, based on the severity of the offense and, in turn, the severity of sentencing. Class C misdemeanors are among the least serious criminal charges in the state, with Class A and Class B being more serious crimes. A Class C misdemeanor is typically a minor, non-violent infraction, often traffic-related. It carries a relatively minimal penalty, often in the form of a fine.

That being said, a Class C misdemeanor conviction is still a blemish on your criminal record–and sometimes a strain on your reputation, relationships, and future opportunities as well. The Berg Law Firm is able to offer client-focused, cost-effective solutions for Louisianians hoping to mitigate or avoid the consequences of a Class C misdemeanor charge.

If you’re having some difficulty keeping all these different classifications (misdemeanors, felonies, and various classes) straight, don’t worry. It can take years of legal training and in-court work before someone starts to feel confident navigating the many nuances of the Louisiana criminal justice system.

When you work with a misdemeanor defense attorney from The Berg Law Firm of Shreveport, you can alleviate this stress and uncertainty by allowing a talented, successful legal mind to take care of the details for you.

Call the Berg Law Firm today for your free consultation: 318-946-8962.

If you are in the Bossier City/Shreveport area, The Berg Law Firm is able to offer its services to you, in the event that you are in need of legal representation. As the premiere Shreveport misdemeanors legal practice, The Berg Law Firm is committed to providing legal advice that is compassionate, strategic, and effective, whether you’re facing a misdemeanor traffic violation, a first-time DWI offense, or serious Class A Misdemeanor assault charges.

At The Berg Law Firm, we understand that even minor misdemeanor convictions can result in serious consequences for everyday, hard-working Louisianians who have made a mistake, experienced a momentary lapse in judgment, or simply found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. That’s why we operate on a “no case too small” principle, offering our high-end criminal defense services to those accused of misdemeanors in the greater Shreveport area.

If you need help navigating a misdemeanor case or any other type of criminal charge in Shreveport or the surrounding areas, please don’t hesitate to contact us for dedicated criminal defense services.

Call the Berg Law Firm today for your free consultation

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