Lake Charles Law Blog

Off-duty officer arrested for 3rd drunk driving offense

A Louisiana officer was recently arrested for the second time in four months. Authorities say that he was under the influence of alcohol when he caused an accident. He was charged with drunk driving, which is his third time facing such an offense. Although even first time DWI charges are serious, subsequent arrests can have serious implications for Lake Charles defendants. 

Police say the driver caused the accident when he tried to make a U-turn in an intersection. One of the officers who responded to the scene of the accident said the off-duty driver smelled of alcohol and exhibited typical signs of intoxication, including slurred speech and red eyes. The driver apparently admitted to drinking a single alcoholic beverage at a restaurant, but his blood-alcohol content registered as .245 percent through a Breathalyzer. 

Louisiana police arrest UPS delivery woman for drunk driving

Delivering all of Louisiana's online-shopping packages can be a stressful job that requires careful attention to the road and task at hand. Louisiana police claim that one delivery woman shirked those duties and instead delivered packages while under the influence of alcohol. She was arrested for drunk driving and drug possession. 

A witness allegedly saw the 27-year-old UPS driver engaging in erratic behavior behind the wheel of her delivery truck, including swerving and apparently driving left of the center line of traffic. Authorities eventually caught up with the woman and initiated a traffic stop, during which they became suspicious that she might have been intoxicated. They asked if she would engage in field sobriety testing, to which she supposedly agreed. However, police say she did not perform well and they arrested her. 

Establish a legacy, pass on values with estate planning

Most people already know that they should have a will that outlines how they would like their estate to be handled, including the distribution of their assets to heirs. However, this is just the tip of the estate planning iceberg. More than just passing on physical possessions, people in Lake Charles can pass on their values and create a lasting legacy

For those who plan to leave their prized memorabilia, rare valuables or priceless possessions, it would be nice to have some kind of guarantee that their heirs will truly appreciate their inheritance. Of course, individuals can choose to speak to their heirs in person prior to their death to explain this, but there are also other options. One can include a personalized note about the item, its significance and why the specific heir was chosen, which can go a long way in ensuring that the recipient fully understands the magnitude of what he or she received. 

Have you considered creating a digital will?

If you are like most Louisiana residents, you have accumulated quite a large digital footprint. You no longer receive paper statements regarding your deposit accounts or creditors. You may have accounts with social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Perhaps you use a PayPal account that's tied to your eBay account.

With all of these online accounts, you have created yourself a digital life. As you embark on your estate-planning journey, you may want to be sure that you make provisions for your digital assets as well. You can transfer ownership of these assets in your will or put them into your trust, but you can also create a digital will to deal with them specifically.

Drunk driving fines increase under new law

Paying the steep fines associated with certain criminal charges can be cost prohibitive for some Lake Charles residents. Recently enacted state laws could make doing so even harder. Fines for drunk driving convictions were recently raised, adding on a bigger burden for those already in the middle of a difficult situation. 

Driving in flooded areas, using off-road vehicles while on public roads and penalties for driving under the influence are just some of the areas addressed by the new traffic laws. Now, if a person is convicted on a DWI, he or she will have to fork over an extra $50 if a Breathalyzer was used during the arrest. This raises the previous fine of $75 up to $125. 

Drug charges require careful criminal defense planning

Being arrested for possessing drugs can be a frightening experience. Few Lake Charles defendants are prepared for just how overwhelming everything that comes after the arrest can be. From being formally charged to beginning criminal defense preparations, doing so alongside a dedicated counsel can help you better handle the charges filed against you. 

Drug possession is a serious offense that carries severe criminal consequences. Any type of drug -- including prescription medication -- may lead to these types of charges. Commonly cited drugs include: 

  • Marijuana 
  • Ecstasy  
  • Cocaine 
  • Methamphetamine 
  • And more 

Criminal defense: Man facing hundreds of criminal counts

A 60-year-old man is in police custody for allegedly possessing and distributing significant amounts of prescription drugs. His arrest came from an ongoing investigation into suspected drug activity in the area, which has so far yielded 53 warrants and 221 felony charges. Consequences for felony drug charges are severe, and minimizing the impact often requires a more intensive criminal defense approach for people in Lake Charles.

Police claim that the man used his home and workshop to store prescription drugs such as Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Alprazolam and Suboxone. Not only did they reportedly find these medications while searching his property, they also allegedly found various drug paraphernalia and significant amounts of cash. He also had a surveillance system installed on his property.

When should I start estate planning?

For young adults in Lake Charles, creating an estate plan can seem more than necessary. After all, what could a person with few assets and no dependents have to protect? As it turns out, quite a lot. Estate planning in early adulthood is essential for virtually everyone, even those who are young and healthy.

Although it is likely true that young adults do not spend much time thinking about their own deaths, that does not change the fact that passing on is an aspect of life that everyone must prepare for. Sure, most adults feel like they are in the prime of their lives, but an unexpected accident or illness could suddenly change all of that. A comprehensive estate plan addresses what will happen in a range of circumstances.

The many stages of an estate plan

As a young person, perhaps just out of college and taking your first steps toward a satisfying career, you probably have a lot of goals for your future. Maybe you hope to marry, raise a family, start your own business and retire comfortably. If you are a careful planner, leaving little to chance, you may already have a path in mind for how to achieve some of those goals.

One thing that may not be on your horizon is your estate plan. After all, making a will is for your grandparents, and you have a lot of life ahead of you. However, all of those goals you have set and will work hard to achieve deserve some protection, as well as the people you hope to bring into your life. Estate planning is something that can protect you now and grow and change as you do.

The role of a special needs trust in estate planning

While some parents in Lake Charles prepare to send their children off to college or out into the world for their first "grown-up" jobs, others are traveling a somewhat different path. Parents of special needs parents often provide care for their children for much longer than average, and with that comes certain obstacles, particularly those related to finances. When used as part of estate planning, special needs trusts can greatly benefit everyone involved.

There is no denying that health care is expensive. Covering the costs of regular therapies, medications and other related care for an individual with a disability or special needs can be even costlier. There are certain government assistance programs that can help, with two of the most common being Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income. However, these are needs-based programs, which can leave middle-income families with bills they cannot afford and no way to get help.

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