Attorney faced with his own need for criminal defense

An unusual case has led to headlines across Louisiana, and involves an attorney who is getting a view of a very different side of criminal law. The young man was visiting New Orleans when he got into an altercation with a judge's husband. As a result, he was arrested and charged with assault, which led him to secure his own criminal defense attorney. Those charges were elevated after the judge herself took an interest in the case, which has led to claims of injustice.

The attorney claims that he was walking through the French Quarter when he was attacked and mugged. Immediately after that incident, he walked into the courtyard of a home that belongs to an area judge. The judge's husband came out and confronted the man, which led to a scuffle that included the young attorney punching the older man several times. The police were called, and he was arrested for simple assault.

When the judge became angry about what she perceived to be unfair charges in the matter, the Orleans Parish District Attorney reviewed the file. As a result, the charges were upgraded to felony home invasion. That charge carries a potential sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

The young attorney's criminal defense attorney does not argue that his client was wrong in entering the courtyard and striking the homeowner. However, he claims that the altercation was the result of a disoriented and confused man who had just been the victim of a crime and was seeking help, and not a vicious attack. He also points out that the judge in the Louisiana case should not have been able to prompt upgraded charges in the matter.  

Source: nola.com, "Intruder at judge's French Quarter residence now facing felony home invasion charge", Ken Daley, Oct. 14, 2015

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