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A Quick Guide To Crime Classifications in Louisiana

Each state has its own way of classifying crimes, and Louisiana is no different. Whether you are simply curious about how the laws work in the state or you’re concerned you may be in some hot water yourself, understanding how the laws work is always a good idea.

Crime Classifications in Louisiana

You may want to call a criminal defense attorney Chalmette LA no matter what type of offense you’ve committed. This is because, unlike most states, Louisiana does not classify its criminal defenses by degree. Every crime is either a felony or a misdemeanor, but none of them is a “second-degree misdemeanor,” “first-degree felony,” or so on. What this means is that the state also does not have standard penalties for groups of offenses. Each offense is listed, along with penalties, under Title 4 of Louisiana’s Revised Statutes.

Degrees of Homicide

The exception to the “there is no degrees” rule in Louisiana is homicide. There are five different types of homicide cases in the state. They are first-degree murder, second-degree murder, manslaughter, negligent homicide, and vehicular homicide. The most serious is first-degree murder, which is when the killer intended to kill someone while also committing another felony. Typically, the penalty is either capital punishment or life in prison. The least serious negligent homicide, which carries jail time of up to five years and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

Capital Punishment in Louisiana

Louisiana is one of 27 states that use the death penalty. Capital punishment is the sentencing for treason or first-degree murder felony offenses. The jury must be unanimous for someone to be sentenced to capital punishment. A hung jury results in life in prison without retrial. Despite the severity of the sentence, the state actually does not use capital punishment very often. In fact, only three people have received the punishment since 2000.

If you think that you or someone you love is in need of a criminal defense attorney, the best time to start looking for one is now. Choose someone who is licensed, compassionate, and has a proven history of winning cases.