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Judge indicts famous Katrina survivor for felony stalking

Crime are considered misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the nature of the offense. Authorities weigh the severity of a crime before pressing charges against someone they believe committed it. In Louisiana, among the most common felony charges are murder, robbery, rape, and assault. Anyone accused of any of these serious offenses should note that conviction on these charges usually brings much harsher penalties than those of misdemeanor crimes. When the accused has previous convictions, a stiffer penalty is more likely.

This could be the case of a 56-year-old man whose family was featured in an award-winning book about their experiences during and after Hurricane Katrina. The man was recently charged with felony stalking of his former wife. In 2012, the Syrian immigrant was charged with beating his then-wife with a tire iron after chasing her down a street and attempting to strangle her. In 2013, the man was acquitted of various charges from the incident, including solicitation for murder and attempted first-degree murder. Last month, the man was charged with four misdemeanor counts of violating his restraining order. After the man posted $35,000 in bail for the misdemeanors and was released, the judge overseeing the latest indictments granted a prosecution request to have the man's bail increased to $250,000.

Felony charges should be handled with extra caution because conviction from such offenses can lead to serious consequences, including prison. Anyone accused of a felony may wish to seek guidance from an experienced criminal defense legal professional. With the help of competent legal counsel, the accused should be able to determine whether to proceed with a defense, or work to find a plea deal with prosecutors for a lesser sentence.

In Louisiana, defending one against felony charges is typically done by a legal professional who understands how best to protect the rights and best interests of the accused. A knowledgeable legal professional will ensure one's rights are protected throughout the legal process.

Source: Chron.com, "Famed Katrina survivor Zeitoun indicted on felony charges of stalking ex-wife," Carol Christian, June 20, 2014

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