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Lake Charles Legal Blog

Is marijuana legal in Louisiana yet?

As a southern state, you'd expect that Louisiana -- like it's neighbors -- would be one of the last holdouts when it comes to the legalization of marijuana. However, certain qualifying patients can utilize medical cannabis in our state since May 2016.

The passage of Louisiana's medical marijuana bill was an important step forward for the numerous patients that can benefit. The problem is that the list of qualifying conditions for legal use of medical marijuana in our state is still extremely limited.

Think carefully about how you respond in co-parenting

Being a co-parent isn't an easy thing to do, especially when you are having issues with the other parent. You do need to remember why you decided to co-parent in the first place so that you can try to work on the issues in a way that will help your child.

One thing that can make your co-parenting relationship harder than it has to be is if you start nitpicking everything the other parent says or does. Of course, it is very easy to do this when you are frustrated and things aren't going your way.

Know what comprises a justifiable homicide in Louisiana

Everyone who lives in southern Louisiana knows that we protect our property and our people. One good thing about living here is that the law provides a "stand your ground" law that enables you to do just that as long as you are in immediate and serious danger.

In order to have protection under the justifiable homicide laws, you have to be in immediate danger of dying or of great bodily harm. You can't leave the scene of a threat and then come back to shoot someone. That wouldn't classify as a justifiable homicide.

Build a defense instead of offering a hodgepodge excuse

Facing a criminal charge isn't something you can do at the drop of a hat. Instead, you need to take the time to plan your defense strategy. Failing to take that time could mean that you are risking your freedom on a hodgepodge of guesses about what will work.

We realize that you might not want to think about the charges you are facing. This is a normal reaction to a criminal charge, but it is one that you must overcome quickly. Coming up with a defense strategy is too important for you to put off for too long. Criminal charges are usually best handled while the events pertaining to the case are still fresh in your mind since there is a chance that memories can change over time.

Child custody situations don't always go by the book

The issues that some parents face because of child custody are troublesome. Some parents share custody of their children, but one parent just bows out of the situation. This leaves the parent who has the children with the full responsibility of raising them without another adult. This also leaves the children with questions about why a parent abandoned them.

Child custody orders aren't made without careful consideration. These orders are important road maps that let each parent know what he or she needs to do for the children. They include visitation and custody schedules, orders for child support and determinations on decision-making powers.

Disengaging from parenting conflicts might help you

Trying to make a parenting relationship with your ex work might not be an easy task. In fact, the inability to work together might be one of the things that led to your divorce. It is still possible to make the parenting relationship work for the children even if you and your ex have different parenting styles.

One thing that you have to do is to learn to separate your ways from your ex's ways. This means that you have to agree to disagree on certain areas. As long as your child isn't suffering, this shouldn't be a huge deal for you or your ex. You might find that disengaging from the conflict reduces your stress considerably.

Marijuana is decriminalized in many states, but NOT Louisiana

Many states have decided to decriminalize marijuana. Louisiana has not taken that step, so being caught with marijuana in this state is still against the law. You can face serious penalties for this drug crime.

An interesting note about marijuana in Louisiana is that the state doesn't provide different charges and penalties for selling or trafficking. Instead, all charges for this drug are based on possession.

Convicted felons face a myriad of issues due to conviction

We recently discussed the issues that are surrounding felons voting in Louisiana. If you recall, our previous blog post was about an appeal that was filed to do away with some of the voting penalties that felons face.

The challenges that convicted felons face in life go far beyond voting restrictions. Just being labeled as a felon is something that can impact almost every aspect of your life. Some felons are unable to find jobs or places to live just because of a criminal conviction. Voting rights and loan availability are also impacted in some cases.

Appeal filed in case surrounding felon voting rights

Being classified as a felon because of a criminal conviction can have many impacts on your life. One of the those is that you might not be able to vote. The Louisiana Constitution that was passed in 1974 states that anyone who is "under an order of imprisonment" for a felony charge can't vote.

The terms of the constitution are being called into question because of the interpretation of what constitutes an order of imprisonment. One group, Voice of the Ex-Offender, asserts that felons who are on parole or probation aren't under orders of imprisonment and should be able to vote. It was noted that many of these felons are holding jobs, paying taxes and being productive members of society who shouldn't have their past issues held against them in this manner.

Don't be left with financial devastation after an accident

There is a certain level of stress that comes with being in a car crash. In most cases, that stress will abate over time. When it hangs around, there is a chance that you are suffering from anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In both of these cases, you will need to seek mental health care for the issue.

These are only two of the issues that can come from a car accident. We haven't even begun to discuss the physical injuries that you might face. It is possible that you will suffer a brain injury, broken bones, a spinal cord injuries, burns or a host of other injuries in the crash. Each of these can have a negative impact on your life.

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Law Office of John E. Fitz-Gerald, L.L.C.
1 Lakeshore Dr, Suite 1230
Lake Charles, LA 70629

Phone: 337-494-1200
Fax: 337-494-1009
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