Guns are popular in Louisiana, for everything from self-defense to hunting to going out to a shooting range. Unfortunately, guns can also become involved in crimes. A defendant in these cases faces the real possibility of everything from jail time to the loss of constitutional rights. Our Baton Rouge weapons crime lawyers will fight for their freedom and reputation, exploring every possible avenue of defense.
Beall & Thies has experienced attorneys, familiar with the different types of weapons crimes and how to investigate and construct a vigorous defense strategy. Call today at (225) 577-6223 or contact us online to set up a consultation.
Common Types of Gun Crimes in Louisiana
The state of Louisiana gives permits for concealed carry, but even with the permit, there are limits on where a gun can be brought. For example, one may not bring their gun to a parade. A person cannot be armed at a public event, including a legal protest. If a gun is brought into a church or private resident, the gun owner must have gained the owner’s prior consent.
A violation of these rules can result in the charge of “carrying in an unauthorized place”, and conviction can result in up to six months and jail and a fine of $500.
It’s also possible that an otherwise legal gun could be handled in an improper way. This would be “negligent carry” and it means that a gun is handled in such a way that a reasonable person would expect it to go off and harm someone else.
While weapons crimes are typically associated with guns, it bears noting that negligence can apply to any other sort of weapon. State law defines criminal negligence in this regard as the handling of anything—be it an object, liquid, or other substance—in a way that a reasonable person would anticipate death or bodily harm to someone else.
A gun that is actually fired inappropriately can be considered reckless discharge. This is a felony in Louisiana. An example might be shooting off a gun at a party in a residential area or shooting while intoxicated. Conviction on reckless discharge means at least 5 years in jail and perhaps as many as 15 years.
Carrying a gun while possessing illegal drugs is a crime, even if nothing illegal was done with the gun. The same goes for having a gun while committing another illegal act (e.g., a theft). What this means is that a District Attorney can bring multiple charges—the possession of illegal drugs or whatever illegal act was being performed have minimum sentences all their own. The D.A. might tack the weapons charge on top of it. In this context, the defendant will be faced with an additional 5-10 years of jail time beyond what’s already on the table with the original charges.
A conviction on the charge of aggravated assault with a firearm means as many as 10 years in jail and a fine as high as $10,000. Keep in mind that assault does not require that the gun have been fired. Assault simply means that the other party involved perceived a threat that the gun would be used, and that this perception was reasonable based on the circumstances. A Baton Rouge weapons crimes attorney that understands the law and how to apply it in specific cases might be the difference between a misunderstanding turning into a felony conviction or securing an acquittal.
Defenses Against Weapons Charges
Every case is different, and the defense strategy used will reflect the unique circumstances each defendant found themselves in. But a common defense strategy is that of self-defense.
Louisiana law clearly states that people have the right to defend themselves. The defense must be reasonable based on the threat, but there is a provision for “justifiable homicide”, wherein even a fatal shooting can be justified on the grounds of self-defense.
An example might be a person defending their home or property against an armed intruder. Another potential circumstance could involve using a weapon to ward off a potential sexual assault. A person who carries with a concealed permit might have needed to use their gun to stop a physical attack on themselves or their family members.
It’s our job as Baton Rouge weapons crimes lawyers to thoroughly investigate all the details of your case and then leverage those details and our deep experience with the law to try and get a good outcome, whether that be acquittal or a plea agreement.
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Russell W. Beall
"Russell W. Beall is a founding partner in the Baton Rouge law firm of Beall & Thies LLC. His main emphasis of practice is on Civil Litigation including Torts, Products Liability, and Premises Liability. Russell is a frequent guest speaker at Louisiana State University Law School where he participates in the Appellate Advocacy Program and the Professionalism Orientation. He earned his B.A. degree at Louisiana State University (1998) and his J.D Louisiana State University Law School (2001). Russell is an active member of the Louisiana Association for Justice and is frequently invited to be a guest speaker at continuing legal education seminars."Read Full Bio
William W. Thies
"William W. Thies was born in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1974 moving with his family to Slidell, Louisiana at seven years of age. Mr. Thies graduated from Slidell High School in 1992. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in history and political science from Louisiana State University in 1996 and his Juris Doctorate from the Southern University Law Center in 2001. He was admitted to the Louisiana State Bar Association in May 2002. He is a member of the Baton Rouge, Louisiana, American Bar Associations, and the Louisiana Association of Justice. He is admitted to practice in all state courts, the United States District Court for the Middle and Eastern Districts of Louisiana, as well as the United States Supreme Court."Read Full Bio
"Jacob H. Thomas is originally from the Piney Hills of North Louisiana, known for producing great litigators such as Huey P. Long as well as several other notable statesmen on the both the federal and state levels.Read Full Bio
Jake is a graduate of Jonesboro-Hodge High School and Northwestern State University where he was a member of the Theta Mu chapter of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity, the NSU Presidential Leadership Program, and the Inter-Fraternity Council serving as Vice President."
"Aaron Humphreys joined Beall & Thies, LLC as an associate attorney in the fall of 2016. He was admitted to the Louisiana State Bar Association in May of 2016. Aaron is also a member of the Baton Rouge Bar Association and the Louisiana Association of Justice."Read Full Bio
"George G. Caballero practices general civil law and focuses on plaintiff’s personal injury, wills, and successions. George joined Beall & Thies as of counsel in 2017 after starting Caballero Law Firm in 1993. Mr. Caballero has over thirty years of experience as an attorney and has served clients in various matters ranging from business and tort litigation, business, family law, and successions.Read Full Bio
Mr. Caballero is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana. He is a graduate of Louisiana State University and Mississippi College School of Law. Upon graduation, he immediately went into the private practice of law, practicing in both Louisiana and Mississippi."
Jewel “Trae” E. Welch, III
"Trae is a lifelong resident of the Baker-Zachary area. Trae is the son of The Honorable Judge Duke Welch, currently presiding on the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeals, and former East Baton Rouge Councilwoman, Roxson Welch. Trae is married to the former Lynn Caldwell of Tallulah, Louisiana. Together Trae and Lynn are raising their two children Quade and Vivian."Read Full Bio