In the recent legislative session, Governor Bobby Jindal signed into law several bills that increase the punishment for various violent crimes. Lawmakers have added significant jail time to the following offenses:
Act 478: Increases the penalty for possession of or dealing in firearms with obliterated serial numbers from $1000 fine plus up to 6 months in jail to one to five years for a first offense and for a second offense two to ten years. Note that this is also a federal crime, and can be prosecuted simultaneously by federal and state authorities.
Act 40: Increases penalties for certain crimes of battery (aggravated battery, second degree battery & aggravated second degree battery) when committed on U.S. servicemen and disabled veterans. One year of sentence shall be served with benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence when crime is committed upon military service personnel or disabled veterans.
Act 571: Provides for a minimum mandatory jail sentence for certain DWI offenses. After a conviction for a second offense occurring within one year of the first offense, the offender shall be imprisoned for thirty days without the benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence and complete a court approved substance abuse program and driver improvement program.
Act 370: Increases penalties for the crime of home invasion. Original penalty was a fine not to exceed $5000 fine and not more than 20 years hard labor which was increased to 25 years hard labor. If the perpetrator is armed with a dangerous weapon the penalties increase to not more than $7000 fine and 30 years hard labor.
Act 437: Increases the minimum mandatory sentence second offense domestic abuse battery. With this bill the maximum sentence did not increase, but the amount of time served without benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence has increased from 92 hours to 14 days. In addition, the offender must now serve in a court approved domestic abuse prevention program.
Act 320: Increases penalties for the crime of aggravated assault with a firearm. Changes the definition of the crime (the firearm need not be discharged for prosecution), and increases the fine from $5000 to $10,000 and maximum jail time from five years to ten years.
If you’ve been charged with a violent crime you need an attorney who understand the law and can help you navigate the court system. Criminal defense lawyer, Joseph K. Scott, III can help.