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Man with criminal record faces assault charges

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For New Orleans residents with criminal records, it can often feel as if the deck is stacked against them. Getting a job or a place to live can be a challenge for people in this position. It can also seem that the criminal justice system won't give these folks a break either, as prosecutors often want to bring up a criminal record as much as they can.

Police in Slidell said that they were called out to a home there a few weeks ago. According to the police, they received a 911 call from a woman requesting immediate help. Police said that when they arrived at the home, they were met by the woman who said that a man had assaulted her and fired a gun. The woman said that the man was under the influence of narcotics, according to police. Police said that a negotiator arrived at the scene and talked to the man. The man gave himself up shortly thereafter, according to the police account.

In a social media post after the incident ended, the police said that the man was a convicted felon. He allegedly has been arrested more than a dozen times on suspicion of various offenses. The man faced gun and assault charges at last report.

It is not just the police that like to bring up a suspect's criminal history. During a criminal trial, the prosecution will often try to persuade the judge to let them present information to the jury about the defendant's criminal past. There are specific rules about when this kind of information can be given to the jury, however. A defendant often will want to argue that such evidence is not helpful to the jury and will result in undue prejudice. A good criminal defense strategy might include challenging the prosecution's attempts to bring in a defendant's criminal history.

Source: WDSU News, "Barricaded gunman surrenders after beating woman, firing gun in Slidell," Clint Durrett, Oct. 10, 2016

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Craig E. Gibbs, Attorney at Law
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