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Theft vs Robbery in Louisiana: The Key Differences Explained

Theft and robbery both involve stealing something that doesn’t belong to you. But did you know that Louisana law distinguishes between the two acts?

The Louisiana Criminal Code deals with the differences between theft vs. robbery beginning in Section 14:01. While there are plenty of nuances in the law, one of the key differences between theft vs. robbery depends on whether the victim is present when the crime occurs.

Are you or someone you love accused of one of these crimes? Here’s what you need to know about the law to craft a defense.

What is Theft?

Louisiana state statute defines theft as taking something that doesn’t belong to you with the intention of keeping it. The state labels it “misappropriation without violence.”

You can commit theft without ever seeing the property’s true owner. Theft is defined by stealing something without making contact with the person who owns it.

Theft can be as simple as picking up a cell phone that someone left on a table and pocketing it with no effort made to give it back. Another very common example is shoplifting from a store.

The theft statute also deals with big items, like livestock, firearms, or cars. It also covers identity theft. 

Commonly, theft occurs through fraud. For example, if a person misrepresents themselves as the IRS and demands payment for back taxes, then that’s theft. However, there may also be fraud charges involved depending on the evidence.

What are the Penalties for Theft?

The penalties for theft depend on the value of the property stolen.

If you’re charged with theft of goods (i.e., shoplifting), and you are accused of stealing items valued at under $500, and you have one or fewer prior vaccinations, you can see a fine of up to $500 and potentially jail time up of to six months. The penalties grow as the value grows. If you are charged with theft of goods over $1,500, then you can face a fine of up to $3,000 and jail time of up to 10 years.

If you’re caught stealing something noted in the statutes, like timber, livestock, animals, crawfish, or anhydrous ammonia, and the theft is valued at over $25,000, then you could face a maximum fine of $10,000 and ten years of hard labor.

What is Robbery?

Robbery is a more serious crime compared to theft because robbery occurs when you take someone directly from someone else: it’s a crime against another person. In the words of the state, it’s “misappropriation with violence to the person.”

Lousiana law describes several types of robberies:

  • Armed robbery
  • First-degree robbery
  • Armed robbery with the use of a firearm
  • Second-degree robbery
  • Simple robbery

Armed robbery occurs when someone uses force or intimidation with a dangerous weapon to take anything of value that’s in the victim’s possession. A weapon might be a knife, an ax, or anything other than a firearm that can be used to injure or kill the victim.

First-degree robbery is similar to armed robbery, but in this case, the assailant doesn’t have a deadly weapon even when they lead the victim to believe otherwise. This can mean using a fake gun or knife or merely saying they have a gun even if they don’t.

Armed robbery with the use of a firearm relates specifically to armed robberies committed with a gun.

Simple robbery occurs when you take something of value from another person by use of force or intimidation but without a weapon. 

Carjacking and purse-snatching are also robberies, but they fall under separate statutes.

What Are the Penalties for Robbery in Louisiana?

Robbery is a varied crime, and it comes with a wide range of charges and penalties.

As you can imagine, the penalties escalate as the severity of the crime grows. But one of the big differences between theft vs. robbery is that robbery charges aren’t necessarily based on the value of what’s stolen.

Instead, they’re more often based on the type or level of intimidation involved. Using a firearm – loaded or not – automatically adds five years to any robbery sentence.

The penalties are as follows:

  • Armed robbery: 10-99 years hard labor (no parole, probation, or suspended sentences)
  • First-degree robbery: 3-40 years hard labor (no parole, probation, or suspended sentences)
  • Armed robbery with use of a firearm: an additional five years for use of firearm (on top of armed robbery sentence)
  • Simple robbery: fine of up to $3,000, or imprisonment of up to 7 years with or without hard labor, or both
  • Carjacking: 2-20 years hard labor
  • Purse-snatching: 2-20 years imprisonment with or without hard labor

As with theft, prior convictions play a role in sentencing. However, the mandatory minimums for robbery in Louisiana are much higher than they are for most types of theft.

Defending Theft vs. Robbery in Louisiana

The differences between theft vs. robbery mean that the defenses are very different. When dealing with theft, there may or may not be any witnesses. But in a robbery, the witness is the victim, and a robbery is usually considered to be a violent crime.

Preparing the right defense requires a criminal defense attorney in Baton Rouge to examine the case very carefully and tailor it to the circumstances. Both crimes might include finding witnesses who might not have come forward, talking to the arresting officer, and hiring forensic experts.

Are You Facing Theft or Robbery Charges?

The difference between theft vs. robbery is substantial. Theft can be as simple as shoplifting a lipstick and escalate to a substantial crime, but robbery is a violent crime by definition.

No matter the charges, you need a defense tailored to the charges, circumstances, and your personal history.

Have you been arrested for theft, robbery, or an associated crime? Carl Barkemeyer is still accepting clients – no office visit needed. Get in touch today for a phone consultation with a criminal defense attorney in Baton Rouge.

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St. Tammany Parish Jail: Guidelines You Need to Follow

Is your friend or family member detained pending trial in St. Tammany? All things considered, there is just one place where persons awaiting trial or sentencing are held in St. Tammany; The St. Tammany Parish jail. 

St. Tammany Parish’s Jail is a parish detention center situated at #1200 Champagne Street PO Box 908, Covington, LA, 70433. The prison typically houses convicted misdemeanor and felony offenders. But there are a handful of inmates in the facility who are there pending their trail or transfer to a more regimented correctional facility. This parish jail has a capacity of 330 inmates and its hallways are constantly monitored with surveillance cameras. Because it is a county jail, its operations are somewhat different from the state and federal prisons. As a result, you may have a hard time locating an inmate in its yard. But if you use the right channels and ask the right questions, you’ll locate your inmate in no time. 

While we recommend that you connect with the right criminal defense attorney when you or someone you love is blamed for a crime in St. Tammany, you may also want to formalize yourself with how the Parish’s detention center works. Here are some of the frequently asked questions that we experience every day at the Barkemeyer Law Firm. By formalizing yourself with the information provided below, you can make your inmate’s stay at St. Tammany Parish Detention Center comfortable. 

How to locate an inmate?

One of the most

heartbreaking things about long-term lock-up are the segregation of inmates from

the general populace, particularly their friends and family. Sometimes, you may have to conduct a series of searches to locate your inmate in the detention

center where s/he is being held. Though straight forward, the inmate location

process can become a bit of a daunting task if you don’t know the right places

to look. That’s why it is important to have an aggressive criminal defense

attorney working on your loved one’s case from the very beginning. 

Before you can visit or talk with someone who is locked up at St. Tammany Parish Prison, you must, first of all, ascertain that such an inmate is housed in the facility. With the right information and the right locator, you can clear your doubts about your inmate’s whereabouts in a matter of minutes. 

Whereas there are many ways to locate an inmate in the St. Tammany Prison facility, the simplest is through this locator. As there are many similarly-named inmates in the state records, you’ll need to know certain things about your inmate to effectively navigate through the inmate finder. Here are some of the information you’ll need to find an inmate in St. Tammany Parish Prison, and in most parish prisons across the state.

The Inmate’s name (First and last name)
Birthdate 
Inmate ID number

St. Tammany Parish Prison goes extra miles to ensure all information about persons in custody is accurate. So, you won’t have a hard time locating your inmate with the right information. The facility has an extensive database of all inmates housed in its yard, so searching through the records can be overwhelming at first. However, if you are patient, you’ll find your inmate in a matter of minutes. 

On the other hand, if your search through the facility’s online database does not yield profit and you are convinced that the inmate that you are searching for is housed at St. Tammany. You can try the traditional method of calling the prison’s reception desk. Of course, you’ll need to provide the details mentioned above to the jail official, for an effective search through the prison’s records. You can reach the St. Tammany Jail through its direct contact number, 985-276-1001. You should know, however, that you’ll incur toll charges when you call the prison facility through a cellular network. 

Another thing to have at the back of your mind when searching for an inmate in St. Tammany Jail, is the prison’s obligation to withhold information about minors held in its custody. The prison may also withhold relevant information about persons put in protective custody in the facility. If your inmate falls in any of the aforementioned categories, you may need to hire an attorney to help you locate your inmate. Nevertheless, the facility may deny all access to inmates under protective custody if such an inmate’s safety is being threatened.

Can I visit an Inmate?

All inmates are permitted to host visitors in the St. Tammany Parish Prison. Nevertheless, inmates who have refused to comport themselves nicely or considered a threat to prison officials and other inmates may be denied visitation. What’s more, all visitations are monitored and timed. 

Before you can be allowed to visit an inmate in the facility, you’ll be searched for contrabands and dangerous metals. You are not permitted to touch an inmate or be touched by one during visitations, except with the supervision of prison officials. Besides, you must visit the facility at the hours stipulated for visitation. The visitation hours for St. Tammany Parish Prison goes as thus;

Monday 7:30 AM to 9:00 PM
Tuesday 7:30 AM to 9:00 PM
Wednesday 7:30 AM to 9:00 PM 
Thursday 7:30 AM to 9:00 PM 
Friday 7:30 AM to 9:00 PM 
Saturday 7:30 Am to 2:30 PM
Sunday7:30 Am to 2:30 PM

Whereas most people think of inmate visitation as an entitlement, that is not always the case. Visitations are a privilege; not a right. The prison can allow or forbid you from seeing an inmate at any point. For instance, if you are caught violating the facility’s rules, visitation would be suspended or denied. 

Here are a few rules to have at the back of your mind when visiting an inmate at St. Tammany Parish Prison:

Inmates are allowed only twenty minutes’ visit per day
Inmates can entertain only two adults and two children visitors at the same time
Inmate’s attorneys can visit the facility at any time. 
Visitors who are 17 years or older, must visit the facility with a valid ID card. 
Visitors must adhere to the facility’s dress code during visitations. No sleeveless, see-through, Ripped, torn, or spandex clothing is allowed. If you are visiting in a dress or shorts, make sure your attire is at least 3 inches above your knees. 
No mobile phones in the visitation area

Failure to adhere to the aforementioned instructions would mean the denial of your visitation rights. 

How to call and receive calls from an inmate?

St. Tammany Jail permits cellular communication between inmates and loved ones outside. But that does not mean that you can pick up your phone at the time of your choosing and reach out to an inmate. It doesn’t work like that. Persons in custody can use the prison phone to make a collect call to their loved ones outside, but they are not permitted to own phones in the facility. Nevertheless, you can reach an inmate through the facility’s phone to discuss an emergency. Of course, you’ll have to convince the prison’s personnel that your emergency is genuine before you’ll be redirected to your inmate. 

An inmate can make calls to the outside world through the detention center’s preferred phone company. Typically, St. Tammany Parish jail uses Securus Technologies for its telephone services. As such, calls made from the facility to family and friends outside will pass through Securus. 

In the past, the facility allows persons in custody to purchase phone cards from the Commissary. But that time has long passed. Although some inmates still visit the commissary to buy time increments, others rely on their family and friends outside to fund their trust account. 

The facility’s phone company provides three different call plans for people who want to communicate with inmates through a cellular network. 

Advance Connect: This phone plan is quite similar to your prepaid phone plans. By subscribing to this plan, you can control the cost of phone time with your inmate. It is particularly helpful for people who are looking to save money on phone time.


Direct Bill: This plan works just like conventional phone services. You can talk for as long as you like without worrying about your budget. Then at the end of the month, you’ll get a bill for the time used.

Whereas this plan is not the most economical choice for communicating with inmates over cellular networks, it provides a lot of leeway when discussing important matters with attorneys, bails bondsmen, and family members. 


Inmate Debit: This is the only plan among the three phone plans offered by Securus that does not require an account set up in your name. With this plan, the toll expenses will be deducted directly from the inmate’s account. You can still fund the account if you like, but it will be tied to the inmate’s name. 

How do I mail an inmate?

You can send mails to persons in custody of St. Tammany Parish jail from almost anywhere in the city. If there’s one thing inmates can receive from their family and friends without violating the prison’s laws, it’s letters. Nevertheless, detainees can receive magazines, newspapers, and educational materials straight from the office of the publisher. If they come from a personal address, the books will be returned to the sender. Besides, hardback books are considered illegal in St. Tammany parish prison. As a result, only paperback books are permitted to be sent as mail to an inmate by a publisher.  

The facility also has strict guidelines on the type and content of letters that should be mailed to inmates in custody. So, keep that in mind when sending a mail to persons detained at St. Tammany Parish Prison. 

St. Tammany Parish Prison will return mail containing the following to the sender. 

Stamps
Song Lyrics
Stains
Words/items that advocate racial supremacy
Money orders
Words/items that promote violence
Pictures larger than 5×7
Internet Print-outs
Postcards
Nudity Photos
money
 greeting cards
Newspapers (including clippings of important sections)
Magazines
Books
Cash
Shading or coloring materials
Puzzle Books
Tattoo Pictures

Personal letters to persons in custody of St. Tammany Parish jail must include the following;

· Inmate’s housing facility

· Inmate’s cell block number

· Inmate’s full name

· Inmate’s SPN

· Sender’s full name

· Sender’s full address

How to send money to an inmate?

Inmates need money to enjoy certain privileges in the prison’s commissary. A Commissary is analogous to your regular grocery store. It is open to inmates at specific times during the week. The store provides non-threatening care items, such as soaps, lotions, and toothpaste. It also provides educational materials like books, magazines, newspapers, and a bunch of other helpful materials. To access these privileges, an inmate must have a funded trust account. This commissary account can be funded by friends and family outside, or with paychecks earned by an inmate from minor prison jobs. 

For people looking to send money to their loved ones in St. Tammany Parish Prison, the process is pretty straight forward. The Facility has worked hard in this area to provide three different channels for sending money to inmates held in its yard. You can use any of the three funding channels provided by the facility to instantly put money into your inmate’s trust account. But keep in mind that each transaction you make through these funding channels will expose you to processing tax or fees. 

Kiosk Method

St. Tammany parish prison’s lobby is lined with kiosks resembling ATM stands. But you shouldn’t mistake these machines for your conventional ATMs; they don’t give out money. Instead, they accept cash deposits to help fund inmates’ accounts. You can visit any of these kiosks to fund your inmate’s commissary account. The Machine allows you to fund inmates’ account with your debit/credit card, that is visa or MasterCard. For cash deposits, the machine only accepts $5 bills or higher and you can deposit up to $300 at a go. The kiosk services are available 24/7, but transactions of $300 and above will accompany a $4 service charge.

Phone Method

If you can’t muster the strength to visit the prison’s lobby and deposit funds into your inmate’s commissary account, you can try the phone method. The funding process is just as straight forward as the kiosk alternative. All you have to do is to make a toll-free call to 985-276-1001 and make a deposit using your debit or credit card. Only Visa and MasterCard credit or debit cards are allowed for a telephone deposit. So, keep that in mind when calling the afore-mentioned number. 

Online Method

Many correctional institutes in Louisiana are using the internet and electronic media for their operations nowadays. This advancement in technology makes it possible for friends and family of inmates to fund their commissary account, even from the comfort of their homes. To use this funding method to credit an inmate’s commissary account, you’ll have to visit Access Corrections online. Note that you’ll have to set up an online account to use this channel for your transactions. Also, each transaction you make using the online platform will accompany service fees, as depicted below. 

Transactions below $19.99 will accompany a $2.95 service fee
Transactions ranging from $20.00 to $99.99 will accompany a $5.95 service fee
Transactions ranging from $100.00 to $199.99 will accompany a $7.95 service fee
Transaction ranging from $200.00 to $300.00 will accompany a $9.95 service fee

How to bail out inmates at St. Tammany Parish Jail?

Until a verdict is passed on an inmate in custody of St. Tammany Parish Jail, the inmate is subject to bail. This implies that you can post bail for an inmate, at any time before and during the trial. so he or she can stand trial as a free man or woman. Needless to say, that you’ll need an aggressive lawyer to help you secure the most favorable outcome when considering bail for persons in custody at St. Tammany Parish jail. 

The bail money can come from personal funds or bail bondsmen. However, using Bail bonds to post bail in prison facilities across Louisiana may expose you to exorbitant service charges of up to $50. You can also expect the procedure for securing bail for inmates to differ slightly depending on the court presiding over the inmate’s case.  

You can post bail with cash, cashier’s check or bail bonds. But you are not allowed to post bail with personal checks. The cashier’s check must be addressed to the court presiding over the inmate’s case, with the inmate’s details affixed to the address. 

Does St. Tammany Parish jail have doctors?

St. Tammany Parish Jail is a county prison, and as such, it is not as heavily fortified as state or federal prisons. Nevertheless, the jail features a more regimented daily routine compared to minimum security prisons. The jail provides identical outfits for inmates to tell them apart from visitors and personnel. Also, it provides humane confinement conditions for inmates. The facility ensures that each inmate has a blanket and bed to themselves, and a public shower to wash. The prison’s lobby, hallways, and common areas are supervised by guards through surveillance cameras, 24 hours a day. Also, the prison has dedicated cell rooms for inmates who fail to comport themselves wisely amongst other inmates. These tiny isolation cells are monitored by jail officials several times a day. 

The prison also provides special wards for sick inmates to recoup until they are fit enough to join the prison’s populace. So, to answer your question of whether St. Tammany Parish Jail has doctors? Yes, it does. 

St. Tammany Parish prison, like other county prisons in Louisiana, is legally obligated to provide comfortable confinement conditions for inmates to meet inmates, mental and health care needs. For the entirety of an inmate’s stay at the detention center, the prison will provide his/her medical and prescription needs. 

Inmates that are considered a threat to the prison’s populace will be isolated. This also applies to inmates who are constantly harassed by other inmates in the prison. For safety reasons, gang members may also be segregated at St. Tammany Parish Prison. 

If you have a loved one in St. Tammany Parish prison who is being targeted, harassed, or threatened, call the facility’s direct contact number to file a report. 

Can I send books or magazines to inmates?

St. Tammany Parish Jail does not accept personal mails containing newspapers, books, or magazines. However, if the item is mailed to the prison directly from the publisher’s office, it would be delivered to the inmate. All you have to do is to provide your inmate’s details (full name, ID number, etc.), and the publisher will send a magazine to your inmate for the subsequent months. Depending on the publisher and the method used to set up the magazine subscription, your inmate may get his/her first magazine within 2 to 12 weeks. But regardless of how a book is mailed to an inmate in St. Tammany Parish prison, it would be scrutinized upon delivery. So, make sure the book or magazine that you are sending does not violate any of the prison’s rules. 

Who to call for when detained at St. Tammany Parish prison?

If you or anyone you know is detained at St. Tammany Parish Prison pending trial or sentencing, call Barkemeyer Law Firm. Our team of experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorneys that can help you make sense of your case. Our criminal attorney has acquired a wealth of experience in St. Tammany bail procedure, and as such, he can help you secure a favorable outcome in your case. We’ll be there during your hearings, whispering the words of wisdom into your ears and guiding you on the best step to take to litigate a favorable outcome for your case. 

Barkemeyer Law Firm understands how difficult it is for families to be separated from their inmates, that’s why we make it our priority to litigate favorable outcomes for our clients during trial. Call us today, to enjoy the full support of the team of well-versed lawyers at Barkemeyer Law Firm.

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Guide: Louisiana Criminal Law Terms

Accessory after the fact – a person who aids or hides another person whom he believes to have committed a felony offense when the accessory intends that the offender escape prosecution.

Accomplice – a person who knowingly consents and engages in criminal conduct with another.

Acquittal – dismissal of the charge by the judge or a not guilty verdict by the jury.

Adult Age – 17 years old in Louisiana.

Alibi – an affirmative defense that the defendant was at another place during the commission of the crime.

Arraignment – criminal proceeding in which the defendant is informed of the charges against him and is asked to enter a plea.

Attempt – when a person, who has specific intent to commit a crime, does or omits an act for the purpose of accomplishing the crime. Does not matter whether or not he would have actually been able to commit the crime.

Bond – in amount of money determined by the court which must be posted to ensure that the defendant will appear in court.

Bail bondsman – an agency that may be hired to post a bond with the court in exchange for a fee by the surety.

Bond forfeiture – on the court keeps the bond that was posted because the defendant failed to appear in court.

Bench warrant – warrant issued by a judge when the defendant fails to appear at court.

Beyond a reasonable doubt – the standard of proof required by the state to prove the defendant’s guilt.

Bill of information – the formal charge filed by the District Attorney.

Bill of Particulars – statement of details filed by the state in response to defendant’s motion regarding the charge.

Booking – the process at the jail after arrest whereby identifying information is obtained by the arrestee.

Capital offense – the charge whereby the defendant could be sentenced to death.

Conspiracy – agreement or combination of 2 more offenders with a goal of committing a crime when one or more of the offenders does an act in furtherance.

Conviction – when the defendant is found guilty of committing a crime after he enters a guilty plea or is found guilty by a jury or judge.

Constitutional rights – the right to an attorney, right to a trial, right to cross-examine witnesses, right to subpoena witnesses, privilege against self-incrimination.

Crime – conduct that is defined as criminal in the Louisiana laws.

Dangerous weapon – includes any gas, liquid or other substance or instrumentality, which, in the manner used by the offender, could produce death or great bodily harm.

Expungement – process of removing an arrest or conviction from public record.

Extradition – when one state surrenders an accused that is in custody to another other state.

Felony – any crime for which offender may be sentenced to death or imprisonment at hard labor.

Foreseeable – that which would be ordinarily anticipated by human being of average reasonable intelligence and perception.

General criminal intent – is present whenever there is specific intent as well as when the offender, in the ordinary course of human experience, reasonably knew that the criminal consequences would follow due to his act or failure to act.

Guilty plea – when a defendant admits guilt in open court, usually under oath.

Incarceration – imprisonment in the parish jail or state prison.

Indictment – the formal charge issued by a grand jury after proceeding has been held to determine whether or not the grand jury believes there is enough evidence to justify a trial.

Initial appearance – when the defendant goes before a judge shortly after her arrest for probable cause determination.

Insanity – what circumstances indicate that because of a mental disorder, the offender was incapable of telling that mean right and wrong with reference to the illegal conduct.

Justification – when the offender’s conduct is otherwise illegal, the law provides for certain exceptions that it deems are justified.

Misdemeanor – a crime other than a felony.

Nolo Contendere – a plea of no contest, which has the same effect as a plea of guilty, but is not considered as an admission of guilt outside of the criminal court.

Parole – the release of an inmate after serving time for conviction.

Principal – all persons involved in the commission of a crime.

Probation – when the court supervises or monitors a defendant for a specified period of time as opposed to placing the defendant in jail.

Revocation – when the court revokes the proration of an offender due to the offender failing to complete conditions of probation or commits another crime. Also applicable to parole.

Sentence – the punishment ordered by the court following the defendant’s conviction, which may be agreed upon between the parties or determined solely by the judge.

Specific intent – the state of mind that exists when the circumstances indicate that the offender actively desired the prescribed criminal consequences to follow his act or failure to act.

Warrant – an order authorized by the judge allowing law enforcement officers to conduct a search or make an arrest pursuant to the probable cause stated in the affidavit, which is presented to the judge prior to his signing of the warrant.