ACLU steps in regarding Louisiana criminal defense situation

A problem is brewing in Louisiana that involves people who have posted bail and are released from jail. It seems that a particular parish where the court is allowing those being released from jail to be charged extra supervision fees before they can go free. The fees are supposedly being paid to a private company that offers pretrial supervision services.

People awaiting trial are being made to pay close to $600 for things like ankle monitors and special post-jail rehabilitation classes and programs. The problem is that many people never get the ankle monitors, and some say they were never even informed about rehabilitation services. The American Civil Liberties Union has identified the situation as a major problem.

In fact, it is filing a class action lawsuit, asserting that the Fourth and 14th Amendment rights of those arrested are being violated. As many readers may know, the Fourth Amendment protects citizens from unlawful searches and seizures, and the 14th Amendment protects equal rights. If the fees are not paid, those charged with paying them are reportedly threatened with more jail time.

This situation underscores that criminal defense isn't only needed when someone is charged with a crime. Sometimes, problems arise upon release from jail or while awaiting trial that are difficult to resolve without appropriate intervention. An experienced criminal lawyer would know what options are available for Lake Charles residents or others throughout Louisiana, such as filing a class action lawsuit as the ACLU has done in this case. It's typically easier to protect one's rights when acting alongside skilled representation.

Source: motherjones.com, "A Judge in Louisiana Is Letting a Private Company Charge People to Get Out of Jail, Says the ACLU", Nathalie Baptiste, Aug. 8, 2017

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