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An explanation of confusing criminal defense terms

If you are facing criminal charges in Louisiana, you may find some of the terminology confusing. Legal and political terms may not be as clear as you would like and can lead to misunderstandings. We at Jacqueline A. Scott and Associates are here not only to fight for your rights, but also to make sure you understand the charges that are being made.


The Louisiana State Legislature describes the definitions of several common terms you may hear in court. First is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor. A felony is the term used for crimes that lead to severe punishments, such as hard labor during imprisonment or death. The term misdemeanor covers all other crimes that are not considered a felony.


A crime of violence is any use of physical force that creates a substantial risk for another person. This can be with or without a dangerous weapon. Some examples include kidnapping, arson, rape, manslaughter, murder and assault. Terrorism also falls under this category, as does actions such as intentionally exposure to the AIDS virus, stalking and carjacking.


If the court is discussing your actions and uses the word “foreseeable,” this is meant to describe anything that would be normally anticipated by anyone of reasonable perception and average intelligence. “Dangerous weapons” can also describe anything that is used to harm or kill someone, including liquids, gases or other instruments and substances. For more information about confusing terms and the processes that will take place during a criminal defense trial, visit our web page.

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