Lake Charles Law Blog

What role could a grand jury play in your criminal case?

After police arrested you for suspecting that you had involvement in a crime, you likely knew that you would have a difficult road ahead of you. However, whether formal charges come against you may depend on a number of factors, including the outcomes of a presentation to a grand jury.

If you think that a regular jury and a grand jury have the same duties, you do not have the right information. While the two juries do work on criminal cases, they differ in many ways. In fact, a grand jury may decide whether authorities should file formal charges against you for a specific crime.

Estate planning reviews for the new year

Many people like to spend time during the first month of the year reflecting on what is most important to them. Fresh out of the holiday season, some Lake Charles residents might realize that they need to spend more time with their family or focus on organization. This period of reflection is an excellent time to revisit estate planning.

A thorough review of a will and all of the estate holder's assets is a good place to start. Not only do people need to check that they still own all of the assets listed and that newly acquired property is also included, but they need to make sure that the details are right. Things like beneficiary designations are important to get right to avoid any confusion for family members later on.

Lake Charles police make drunk driving arrest

Criminal allegations of driving while impaired are already serious enough as is, but certain situations might elevate criminal charges. A Louisiana man is currently facing charges his third offense of drunk driving with child endangerment alongside several other charges. In these types of situations, crafting a solid criminal defense strategy can be essential to securing the best possible outcome.

Police say they were first made aware of a possible drunk driver around 7:30 p.m., when they began to receive calls from multiple witnesses. These callers reported seeing a man driving erratically on I-10. At one point the driver supposedly sideswiped the railing on a bridge, but avoided a serious collision at the time. He was later apprehended by Lake Charles police.

You should be thinking about elder law sooner rather than later

Thinking about aging, future medical needs and death is understandably uncomfortable for most people. No one really wants to imagine a day where they have less autonomy over their life, but avoiding the topic will not stop it from becoming a reality. Lake Charles residents who carefully plan for estate law issues may be better prepared to fully enjoy their later years. 

The term "elder law" might seem inapplicable to you, but it ultimately has a broad meaning that addresses everything from estate planning to retirement benefits and Social Security. Even age discrimination and some aspects of health care fall under the umbrella term of health care law. Setting yourself up for the best possible experience of your later years involves establishing important documents and instructions for these very issues. Here are some common areas of elder law you might want to consider: 

  • Wills, trusts and other estate planning documents 
  • Living wills 
  • Powers of attorney 
  • Long-term care planning 

Louisiana man facing drunk driving charges after hit-and-run

Police in Louisiana believe that a man might have been under the influence of alcohol when he hit and struck a man out riding a bicycle. The bicyclist was killed in the collision. Authorities have since arrested the driver thought to be responsible for the accident.

State authorities responded to the scene of the accident on Dec. 24, 2018 at around 6 p.m. They found that a 61-year-old man had been traveling by bicycle along LA 101 when he was hit by a passing pickup truck. The driver of the pickup did not stop and render aid, and instead continued driving and did not stop until he had reached his place of residence. Police caught up with the 48-year-old pickup driver soon after.

Estate planning steps to consider for the new year

The start of a new year brings the opportunity for Louisiana readers to make resolutions and start new, positive habits. Many people want to lose weight or get more organized, but one practical and smart resolution is to carefully review all estate planning documents and add additional protections. Many people don't have all of the documents and estate planning tools they truly need.

There are different types of trusts that a person can establish that will provide protection for assets. One of the most significant mistakes that people make regarding their estate plan is failing to take certain steps because they assume it is only necessary for the very wealthy. In reality, there are specific types of trusts that could benefit many types of professionals, such as doctors, lawyers and others.

Driver, passenger facing criminal charges after traffic stop

Two individuals were recently arrested on drug-related charges. Louisiana police say the arrests came shortly after an officer initiated a traffic stop for allegedly dangerous driving. They are both facing criminal charges for possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute, conspiring to distribute and obstructing justice. These are serious criminal matters which have the potential to severely impact the lives of Lake Charles defendants.

Police officers initially spotted the vehicle as it was headed east on I-20, noting that the driver appeared to be having trouble maintaining his lane. During the traffic stop, police claim that the 43-year-old driver would not make eye contact and appeared as if he were very nervous. When asked to exit the vehicle, he allegedly urinated on himself. There was also a 42-year-old female passenger in his car at the time of the stop.

It is probably time for an estate planning update

Most people in Lake Charles understand the importance of creating an estate plan. Perhaps less well understood is the importance of updating that plan. When people do not revisit the estate planning process to make necessary changes, their wills, trusts and other important documents might not be as effective as originally expected. Here a few reasons why it might be time to update an estate plan.

For those who recently moved to Louisiana, it is time to update. State laws govern how estates are handled, so a will that was created elsewhere might not be effective or even valid in the state of Louisiana. Powers of attorney, living wills and trusts might also need to be updated to ensure that a person's wishes are still fully respected.

Techniques officers may use during DWI interrogations

After being pulled over by a police officer, any Louisiana driver may understandably feel apprehensive. You may feel your heart begin to race as you think back to the drinks you had at dinner, but because that was hours ago, you also think that fact should not affect your situation. However, you may think differently when the officer begins asking you about drinking.

Some officers will commonly ask drivers if they have been drinking, which is a question you can easily answer with yes or no. Though it may seem like an innocent question, it may work in your favor not to answer at all. Remember, you have the right to remain silent, even if an officer has not directly informed you of that right.

Louisiana police officer suspended over drunk driving charges

Police in Louisiana recently arrested one of their own for supposedly getting behind the wheel of a vehicle while intoxicated. Before the man's arrest, he allegedly led police on a chase, which ended in an accident. Charged with drunk driving, he also apparently had a minor in his vehicle during the incident. These types of criminal allegations are quite serious and can lead to possible severe consequences for Lake Charles defendants who are also accused of driving under the influence.

At approximately 10 p.m. on a recent Sunday, someone apparently phoned police to complain about what may have been a drunk driver who had just been denied the ability to purchase alcohol at a CVS location. The clerk had apparently cited his impairment when refusing to process the sale. Officers approached the man while he was still in the CVS parking lot, but he fled in his vehicle.

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