Throughout the country, including Louisiana, criminal offenses are broken down into two main categories based on their severity: misdemeanors and felonies. Felony charges are more serious and have potentially life-altering consequences if the accused is convicted, including time in prison. Among the most common felonies are murders, rapes, assaults, robberies and thefts. Anyone accused of one of these offenses should seek immediate legal help.
In Jena, approximately 30 miles northeast of Alexandria, a 39-year-old man who was charged with timber theft last September has been charged again with felony theft charges for incidents in 2013 after authorities urged other victims to come forward.
According to the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, the man reached agreements to cut down timber in July and October 2013. In one case, the landowners allege that the man cut more than they had agreed to while they were away, apparently pocketing the difference. In the second case, the accused allegedly paid the landowners far less than was initially agreed to. Altogether the man allegedly bilked his victims of around $14,600. According to the Department of Agriculture, the accused did not provide a loader's log, settlement sheets or scale tickets to the landowners, all of which might have substantiated any legitimate claim he might make for the stolen timber.
Anyone facing felony charges such as theft should review his or her legal options and try to get the charges dropped or reduced before the case goes to trial. If the case proceeds, a solid defense may allow the accused to more easily refute the allegations against them. A defense team can use any discrepancies in evidence or law enforcement investigations to strengthen their arguments. For these reasons, a defendant should speak with knowledgeable attorneys as soon as possible to start building a solid defense.
Source: Thetownwalk.com, "Jena man facing more theft charges," Melissa Gregory, Dec. 24, 2014