Many New Orleans visitors quickly find themselves immersed in the “laissez les bon temps roulez” (i.e.- “let the good time roll”) spirit of the city. However, intoxication is no excuse in the eyes of law enforcement when it comes to violating municipal and state criminal laws. As a result, many vacations and business trips have been ruined by an unfortunate run in with law enforcement; and, in turn, a criminal case pending in Municipal Court.
Fortunately, with timely intervention, negotiation, and preparation by an experienced criminal defense lawyer, your visit to New Orleans can be saved. Timing, however, is critical. In fact, many cases in Municipal Court are resolved within the days immediately following the arrest or issuance of a summons. Even when a municipal or misdemeanor case cannot be quickly resolved, an attorney can handle the matter in your absence after you have gone home upon the execution of proper documentation. Stephen Hébert knows the intricacies of the legal system and has years of experience as a former prosecutor and criminal defense lawyer. While utilizing this experience, Stephen Hébert will work tirelessly to get you back to where you were before your matter began.
It is noteworthy that Municipal Court, and other lower courts such as Jefferson Parish First Parish Court and Jefferson Parish Second Parish Court, are courts of limited jurisdiction that handle solely misdemeanor criminal matters. Under Louisiana law, a misdemeanor is a crime where the maximum penalty is one year or less in jail. In light of the lesser penalty, the legal procedures for misdemeanors are usually far simpler than those for felonies. For example, you only have the right to a trial by judge if you chose to fight a misdemeanor accusation.
It is also important to note that, in order to have a misdemeanor conviction expunged upon the successful completion of your probation, your attorney must at the time of sentencing specifically request that your sentence be deferred pursuant to Article 894 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. This provision of the law allows a judge to later set aside your conviction and dismiss your case after the successful completion of probation. Otherwise, you will have to wait up to five years from the completion of your sentence to expunge the matter from your record. Only under those circumstances can you move the court to expunge an arrest and subsequent prosecution from your record. Consequently, it is imperative to have effective representation at all stages of a misdemeanor proceeding.
If you, or someone you know, are facing municipal or state misdemeanor charges, contact us today to schedule a free consultation to begin to process of retaining Stephen D. Hébert, LLC - Attorney at Law!
Municipal or Misdemeanor Defense Resources
- New Orleans Municipal Code – Criminal Code
- Jefferson Parish Code of Ordinances – Offenses & Miscellaneous Provisions
- Gretna Code of Ordinances – Criminal Offenses
- Article 894 of the Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure - Suspension and Deferral of Sentence; Probation in Misdemeanor Cases
- New Orleans Municipal Court
- Jefferson Parish First Parish Court - Metairie
- Jefferson Parish Second Parish Court - Gretna
Contact Stephen D. Hébert
700 Camp Street, Suite 216
New Orleans, LA 70130
Office: 504-528-9500 Ext. 790
Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm
Saturday, 9am – 12pm