Many New Orleans residents find themselves interacting with police officers for one reason or another. When those interactions are based on suspicion of criminal wrong-doing, an individual may find him or herself facing allegations of criminal wrongdoing. This can snowball, and what was once allegedly a minor crime can turn into something much more serious. Yet, no matter how damaging the situation may seem, individuals are innocent until proven guilty, and their legal rights are paramount. Any breach of those legal rights could lead to evidence suppression and either reduced charges, dropped charges, or acquittals. However, protecting those legal rights is entirely up to a criminal defendant.

One Jefferson Parish man may need to do that now after being taken into custody on theft, drug, and gun charges. According to police, they traced a stolen phone to his home after it was reportedly stolen at Voodoo Fest. Upon entering the man’s home, police allegedly found the stolen phone, but also drugs, 27 guns, and $21,000 in cash. What looked like a simple theft case quickly became more severe, ending up with the man facing multiple criminal charges, including drug possession with intent to distribute. If convicted, this individual could face years behind bars, large fines, and damage to his reputation that may be difficult to overcome.

Louisiana residents in similar situations need to consider crafting a strong legal defense that looks to see if police officers went too far in obtaining consent to search a home and/or if the search itself was too broad. If this can be proven, it may be possible to suppress damaging evidence.

There are, of course, other legal defense options available to the accused. These defenses may challenge the elements of each alleged crime and may wind up in prosecutors dismissing or reducing some or all of the allegations. However, to avoid serious penalties, this accused individuals and those similarly situated will need to work hard. A legal advocate may be beneficial in these efforts.

Source: The Times-Picayune, “Voodoo Fest theft leads to seizure of drugs, guns, and $21,000: JPSO,” Michelle Hunter, Nov. 7, 2016