Louisiana Hit and Run Driving Law

What is Hit and Run Driving In Louisiana?

Hit and run driving is an intentional crime where the driver of a vehicle, who is involved in or causes an accident, fails to stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident to give his identity and to render reasonable aid. The intent required for hit and run driving is general criminal intent. This means that the driver must have known that he was involved in or caused and accident and refused to render aid and to give his identity.

After a motorist is involved in or causes an accident, he fulfills his obligation under the hit and run statute by stopping at the scene and giving his name, address, and license number of his vehicle to the victim or by reporting the accident to the police or a 911 operator while identifying himself to the person with whom he talks.  It is not sufficient after an accident for a driver involved in the accident to simply stop at the scene and later call for emergency help or notify the police of the accident. The hit and run statute requires the driver to also give his “name, address, and the license number of his vehicle” to those at the scene of the accident or to “report the accident to the police.”

To be guilty of hit and run driving, the driver must be aware that an accident occurred. If the driver is not aware that he caused an accident, he is not guilty of hit and run driving. The Louisiana Hit and Run Driving Statute can be found in Louisiana Revised Statute 14:100 and is detailed below:

 La. R.S. 14:100 – Hit and Run Driving

  1. Hit and run driving is the intentional failure of the driver of a vehicle involved in or causing any accident, to stop such vehicle at the scene of the accident, to give his identity, and to render reasonable aid.
  1. For the purpose of this Section:

(1) “To give his identity”, means that the driver of any vehicle involved in any accident shall give his name, address, and the license number of his vehicle, or shall report the accident to the police.

(2) “Serious bodily injury” means bodily injury which involves unconsciousness, extreme physical pain, or protracted and obvious disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty, or a substantial risk of death.

(3) “Vehicle” includes a watercraft.

(4) “Accident” means an incident or event resulting in damage to property or injury to person.

C.(1)(a) Whoever commits the crime of hit-and-run driving where there is no death or serious bodily injury shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.

(b) Whoever commits the crime of hit-and-run driving where there is no death or serious bodily injury shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars, imprisoned for not less than ten days nor more than six months, or both when: (i) there is evidence that the vehicle operator consumed alcohol or used drugs or a controlled dangerous substance prior to the accident; (ii) the consumption of the alcohol, drugs, or a controlled dangerous substance contributed to the accident; and (iii) the driver failed to stop, give his identity, or render aid with the knowledge that his actions could affect an actual or potential present, past, or future criminal investigation or proceeding.

(2) Whoever commits the crime of hit-and-run driving, when death or serious bodily injury is a direct result of the accident and when the driver knew or should have known that death or serious bodily injury has occurred, shall be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned with or without hard labor for not more than ten years, or both.

(3) Whoever commits the crime of hit-and-run driving where all of the following conditions are met shall be imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not less than five years nor more than twenty years:

(a) Death or serious bodily injury is a direct result of the accident.

(b) The driver knew or must have known that the vehicle he was operating was involved in an accident or that his operation of the vehicle was the direct cause of an accident.

(c) The driver had been previously convicted of any of the following:

(i) A violation of R.S. 14:98, or a law or an ordinance of any state or political subdivision prohibiting operation of any vehicle or means of transportation or conveyance while intoxicated, impaired, or while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any controlled dangerous substance on two or more occasions within ten years of this offense.

(ii) A violation of R.S. 14:32.1-vehicular homicide.

(iii) A violation of R.S. 14:39.1-vehicular negligent injuring.

(iv) A violation of R.S. 14:39.2-first degree vehicular negligent injuring.

If you’ve been accused of a crime, contact Gaynell Williams today at (504) 302-2462 for a free, no obligation consultation. Evenings and weekend sessions are available by appointment. We will work around your schedule.

This information has been provided for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be construed to constitute legal advice. Please consult your attorney in connection with any specific situation under federal and/or Louisiana law and the applicable state or local laws that may impose additional obligations on you and/or your family member. © 2019 Gaynell Williams LLC Attorney at Law.

Posted April 24, 2019.

 

By |2019-04-24T12:53:26-05:00April 24th, 2019|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Louisiana Hit and Run Driving Law

Jussie Smollett – Was It Legal for Chicago Prosecutors to Drop All Charges Against Jussie Smollett?

Jussie Smollett – Was It Legal for Chicago Prosecutors to Drop All Charges Against Jussie Smollett?

On March 26, 2019, prosecutors in Chicago dropped all charges against the Empire actor Jesse Smollett. He was charged in January with staging a hate crime. In exchange for the charges being dropped, Smollett agreed to community service and to forfeit the $10,000 bond he paid for his release. Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson and Mayor Rahm Emanuel criticized the prosecutor’s decision to drop the charges against Mr. Smolett.

Many people are wondering how is it possible for the Chicago state’s attorney to drop all charges against Mr. Smollett. Like most states, the state’s attorney in Illinois is vested with exclusive discretion to determine whether to bring criminal charges against a suspect, and to decide what charges to bring. Van Guilder v. Glasgow, 588 F. Supp. 2d 876 (N.D. Ill. 2008. In other words, it is up to the state’s attorney to decide whether or not to charge Mr. Smollett. Whether the decision to drop the charges against Mr. Smollett is the right thing to do is up to debate.

In Louisiana, district attorneys have the same prosecutorial discretion. Prosecutors in Louisiana have the power and discretion to choose which crime, if any, the defendant should be charged with. State v. Flores, 669 So. 2d 646 (La. App. 2 Cir. 2/28/96). It is not a violation of any law for the prosecutor to decide not to charge someone. Thus, while it appears that the decision to not prosecute Mr. small that is controversial, it is legal.

If you’ve been accused of a crime, contact Gaynell Williams today at (504) 302-2462 for a free, no obligation consultation. Evenings and weekend sessions are available by appointment. We will work around your schedule.

This information has been provided for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be construed to constitute legal advice. Please consult your attorney in connection with any specific situation under federal and/or Louisiana law and the applicable state or local laws that may impose additional obligations on you and/or your family member. © 2019 Gaynell Williams LLC Attorney at Law.

Posted March 27, 2019.

By |2019-03-27T08:46:48-05:00March 27th, 2019|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Jussie Smollett – Was It Legal for Chicago Prosecutors to Drop All Charges Against Jussie Smollett?

Expungements in Louisiana – What Types of Crimes Cannot Be Expunged in Louisiana?

Expungements in Louisiana -What Types of Crimes Cannot Be Expunged in Louisiana?

by Attorney Gaynell Williams

Our previous blog on Expungement of DWI/DUI and Criminal Arrests and Convictions can be found at Louisiana expungements in general.  This blog discusses certain crimes that cannot be expunged. As you may know, to expunge a criminal record means to remove a record of arrest or conviction, photographs, fingerprints, disposition, or any other information of any kind from public access. However, an expunged record is not destroyed.

Generally, a conviction cannot expunged if it is for any crime or an attempted crime that is designated as a crime of violence by the prosecuting attorney or that  is defined as a sex offense as defined by R.S. 15:541, involving a child under the age of seventeen years or for a violation of the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law that is punishable by a term of imprisonment of more than five years or for a violation of R.S. 40:966(A), 967(A), 968(A), 969(A), or 970(A).

The following crimes of violence enumerated in R.S. 14:2(B) shall always be designated by the court in the minutes as a crime of violence and cannot ever be expunged: (1) Solicitation for murder; (2) First degree murder; (3) Second degree murder; (4) Manslaughter; (5) Aggravated or first degree rape; (6) Forcible or second degree rape; (7) Simple or third degree rape; (8) Sexual battery; (9) Second degree sexual battery; (10) Intentional exposure to AIDS virus; (11) Aggravated kidnapping; (12) Second degree kidnapping; (13) Aggravated arson; (14) Armed robbery; (15) Assault by drive-by shooting; (16) Carjacking; (17) Terrorism; (18) Aggravated second degree battery; (19) Aggravated assault with a firearm; (20) Armed robbery; use of firearm; additional penalty; (21) Second degree robbery;(22) Disarming of a peace officer; (23) Second degree cruelty to juveniles; (24) aggravated crime against nature; (25) Trafficking of children for sexual purposes; (26) Human trafficking; and (27) Home invasion.

Sex offenses that may not be expunged are: trafficking of children for sexual purposes, crime against nature, aggravated crime against nature, crime against nature by solicitation, felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile, indecent behavior with juveniles, pornography involving juveniles, molestation of a juvenile or a person with a physical or mental disability, computer-aided solicitation of a minor, prohibited sexual conduct between an educator and student, prostitution; persons under eighteen, purchase of commercial sexual activity, contributing to the delinquency of juveniles, sexual battery of persons with infirmities, obscenity by solicitation of a person under the age of seventeen, video voyeurism), rape, aggravated or first degree rape, forcible or second degree rape, simple or third degree rape, sexual battery, second degree sexual battery, oral sexual battery, intentional exposure to HIV, a second or subsequent conviction of voyeurism, or a second or subsequent conviction of sexual abuse of an animal) committed on or after June 18, 1992, or committed prior to June 18, 1992, if the person, as a result of the offense, is under the custody of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections on or after June 18, 1992.

If you’ve been accused of a crime, contact Gaynell Williams today at (504) 302-2462 for a free, no obligation consultation. Evenings and weekend sessions are available by appointment. We will work around your schedule.

This information has been provided for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be construed to constitute legal advice. Please consult your attorney in connection with any specific situation under federal and/or Louisiana law and the applicable state or local laws that may impose additional obligations on you and/or your family member. © 2019 Gaynell Williams LLC Attorney at Law.

By |2019-03-20T14:04:35-05:00March 20th, 2019|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Expungements in Louisiana – What Types of Crimes Cannot Be Expunged in Louisiana?

Empire’ Star Jussie Smollett Arrested for Filing a False Police Report after Attack Claim

Empire’ Star Jussie Smollett Arrested for Filing a False Police Report after Attack Claim

Actor and singer Jussie Smollett was arrested on Thursday, February 21, 2019 for filing a false police report after claiming he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack.

Smollett claimed to police on January 29, 2019 that he was physically attacked by two men at approximately 2 a.m. after picking up food at a Subway restaurant in downtown Chicago. He reported that the assailants yelled racist and homophobic slurs before pouring an unknown chemical substance on him and wrapping a rope around his neck. Smollett had allegedly received a threatening letter days before the alleged attack.

The Empire star was taken into custody just hours after he was charged with felony disorderly conduct, an offense that could bring one to three years in prison.

Certain constitutional protections apply to a person charged with a crime. There are also certain procedures that are roughly the same from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The following is a brief description of what happens when a person is charged with a crime.

After a person is arrested, he will be “booked” at the police department. This entails taking fingerprints and completing other procedural requirements. The person will then be held in police custody pending a court hearing. This hearing will usually take place within 48 hours. One would expect a person like Jussie Smollett to be released on bond after a bail amount is set by the judge. The purpose of the bond is to ensure that the person appears in court for future court appearances.

At the court hearing, the judge will read the charges against the person, who is called the defendant. The judge will try to make sure that the defendant understands the charges. The judge will then ask the defendant to enter a plea. A defendant can enter a plea of “not guilty”, of “no contest”, or of “guilty”.

If you’ve been accused of a crime, contact Gaynell Williams today at (504) 302-2462 for a free, no obligation consultation. Evenings and weekend sessions are available by appointment. We will work around your schedule.

This information has been provided for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be construed to constitute legal advice. Please consult your attorney in connection with any specific situation under federal and/or Louisiana law and the applicable state or local laws that may impose additional obligations on you and/or your family member. © 2019 Gaynell Williams LLC Attorney at Law.

By |2019-02-21T12:11:24-05:00February 21st, 2019|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Empire’ Star Jussie Smollett Arrested for Filing a False Police Report after Attack Claim

Will Louisiana Be the Next State to Lower Its DWI Limit to .05 Percent?

Will Louisiana Be the Next State to Lower Its DWI Limit to .05 Percent?

 

On December 30, 2018, the state of Utah lowered its DUI limit to .05 percent. Click here for the Utah statute. Will Louisiana be next? As you know, the DWI limit in Louisiana is currently .08 percent. The DWI limit in Louisiana has been .08 percent since 2003, when Louisiana lowered its DWI limit from 0.10 percent to .08 percent.

In 1983, Utah was the first state to lower its DUI limit from 0.10 percent to 0.08 percent. Now, some 25 years later, Utah was the first state in the nation to lower its DUI limit to .05 percent. Michigan was the last state to adopt 0.08 bac in 2005. Thus, it took almost 23 years for all states to adopt the .08 BAC limit. How long will it take all states to adopt the .05 BAC limit?

The push to lower the DWI limit from 0.10 to .08 began in 1998 when then President Bill Clinton took the initiative to establish nationwide standards to define legal intoxication for purposes of DWI/DUI. President Clinton called for a national limit of a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher to be established as a federal standard to define legal intoxication. Any person operating a vehicle with this BAC or higher would be operating the vehicle illegally, whether or not the person displayed physical signs of being intoxicated.

After this push by President Clinton, several laws were enacted by the U.S. Congress encouraging this decrease. One law declared that Congress would cut federal funding for states that did not adopt the 0.08% or higher limit. A later law declared that states must pass the 0.08% BAC law or begin losing federal highway construction funds. As a result, all states eventually adopted 0.08% BAC level as the standard to identify legal intoxication. Now, Utah has gone a step further and lowered its BAC level for DUI to 0.05%.

Louisiana’s per se DWI law is found in Louisiana Revised Statue 14:98(a)(1)(b) which states that a person is guilty of DWI when she operates a motor vehicle when her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent or more by weight based on grams of alcohol per one hundred cubic centimeters of blood.

 

This information has been provided for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be construed to constitute legal advice. Please consult your attorney in connection with any specific situation under federal and/or Louisiana law and the applicable state or local laws that may impose additional obligations on you and/or your family member. © 2019 Gaynell Williams LLC Attorney at Law. Published  January 18, 2019.

By |2019-01-18T17:35:59-05:00January 18th, 2019|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Will Louisiana Be the Next State to Lower Its DWI Limit to .05 Percent?
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