One of the most common charges in criminal court these days (at least in Orleans Parish) is the charge LA RS 14:951. What is this statute? Today I want to shed some light on this statue and help you understand it’s implications. Louisiana Revised Statute 14:95.1 (LA RS 14:95.1), addresses the possession of firearms by convicted felons. Bottom line, if you are a convicted felon and have been arrested or charged with firearm possession, than this charge is most likely tagged on.
What Is LA RS 14:95.1? LA RS 14:95.1, in essence, makes it illegal for individuals with certain felony convictions to possess firearms. Based on the legislative intent, the statute was designed to protect public safety by restricting firearm access to individuals who have demonstrated a “propensity for criminal behavior.”
Who Does It Apply To? This statute applies specifically to individuals who have been convicted of felonies, excluding certain non-violent felonies. The law differentiates between violent and non-violent offenses, with more stringent restrictions placed on those with violent felony convictions.
- Violent Felony Convictions: For individuals convicted of a violent felony, LA RS 14:95.1 prohibits firearm possession for a period of ten years from the completion of their sentence, probation, or parole.
- Non-Violent Felony Convictions: If an individual is convicted of a non-violent felony, they are prohibited from possessing firearms for a period of five years following the completion of their sentence, probation, or parole.
Penalties for Violation: Violating LA RS 14:95.1 is a serious offense in Louisiana and can result in significant penalties, including imprisonment. If convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm, an individual may face fines, probation, or imprisonment, depending on the circumstances and their criminal history.
To be quite truthful, these are sometimes hard charges to fight. The prosecutors love these cases because they can argue to the Judge that my client has violent history (has evidenced by the past criminal record) and has committed additional crimes since then (carrying the weapon afterwards-after being told not too). Many criminal defense attorneys say they are “loser” cases…and have a low success rate. At my law firm, we don’t think that…instead we make these legal challenges and defenses to protect your freedom and rights. I understand that there are instances where individuals may face charges under LA RS 14:95.1, despite their best efforts to comply with the law. However, it’s vital that your attorney explore ALL possible defenses and legal challenges such as:
Legal Challenges and Defenses: It’s essential to explore possible defenses and legal challenges, such as:
- Erroneous Conviction: If you believe that your original felony conviction was erroneous or invalid, this could provide a basis for challenging the LA RS 14:95.1 charge.
- Expired Prohibition: Ensure that you have accurately calculated the duration of the firearm possession prohibition. It’s possible that the prohibition period has expired, allowing you to legally possess firearms.
- Plea Bargaining: In some cases, plea bargaining may be an option to reduce charges or penalties, especially for those who have taken steps to rehabilitate themselves.
What can you do? If you find yourself facing charges under LA RS 14:95.1, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. We can assess the specifics of your case, explore potential defenses, and help you navigate the legal process. Give us a call at 504-434-7000 for a free consultation. Tell me the facts of your case and I’ll give you some insight into how we can fight and potentially win your case. Don’t be another statistic.