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Criminal defense

Criminal Defense Lawyer in Lafayette and Acadiana

Hiring a criminal defense attorney in Lafayette can be an anxiety-inducing task, especially if you or a loved one has been charged with a crime.

However, it is important to remember that being accused of a crime does not necessarily mean you are guilty.

Each year it is estimated that thousands of individuals get arrested and charged for crimes they did not commit, with nearly 1/20 cases resulting in a wrongful conviction (Georgia Innocence Project).

 

Wrongly Accused of a Crime?

Do Not Let the Criminal Justice System Turn You Into Another Statistic

Lawyer discussing legal case with client - Ikerd Law FirmGet the help you need and the representation you deserve to clear your name of charges and/or obtain a ‘not guilty’ verdict.

Call or reach out today for a free initial consultation.

Chad Ikerd and the Ikerd Law Firm are standing by and ready to go to bat for you.

We stand up for clients who are facing charges for just about any crime under Louisiana or Federal law, as well as violations of the Municipal Code.

Chad Ikerd has over a decade of experience fighting injustice in the criminal courts of Louisiana. Our team is skilled in representing clients facing a wide range of misdemeanor and felony charges.

Misdemeanors

Misdemeanor charges are typically less serious offenses that are punishable by a maximum of six months in jail, although there are a few that may carry more time.

Examples of misdemeanors include simple battery, theft under $1,000, and operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) first and second offenses.

Even though Misdemeanors are considered less severe, they can have serious implications down the road. They may affect your ability to get a job, or the same criminal activity may be “enhanced” later to elevate the crime to a felony offense. Make sure you have an attorney who can explain these risks to you and fight the misdemeanor today, so it does not become a felony tomorrow.

Felonies

Felony charges, on the other hand, are more serious offenses that are punishable by imprisonment with or without hard labor. Examples of felonies include murder, rape, armed robbery, and most gun charges.

Felony charges can carry significant legal consequences and may have a long-lasting impact on an individual’s life. Felony convictions can impact your job prospects, military service, and eligibility for public services, and carry a negative social stigma.

 

Common Criminal Defense Cases in Lafayette Include:

Assault and battery
Auto theft
Bond hearings
Burglary
Cocaine crimes
Crimes in a drug-free zone
Domestic violence
Drug charges
Drug distribution
Drug possession
Misdemeanors
Murder or Homicide
Probation violations
Robbery
Theft
Drunk driving – OWI/DUI/DWI
Felonies
Fraud
Hate crimes
Hit and run
Illegal gun possession
Manslaughter
Marijuana crimes
Drug-related offenses
Sex crimes
Shoplifting
Stalking
White-collar crime

 

Criminal Defense Attorney Who Gets Results

If you are facing criminal charges in Lafayette and Acadiana, it is crucial to have skilled and experienced legal representation to protect your rights and help you get your life back on track.

We understand that it is the prosecutor’s job to bring charges against you, but it is our job to provide you with the strong legal defense you need to fight those charges and achieve the best possible outcome for your case.

Having handled over 1,000 cases in the last decade, we pride ourselves on working hard, fast, and being thorough. Engaging with our office, or any criminal defense firm, EARLY is crucial. Sometimes there are misunderstandings or things that can be done to mitigate criminal liability or prevent charges from being filed.

Whether you are dealing with a misdemeanor or a felony, our team is here to help you navigate the legal process and achieve the best possible resolution for your case.

Do not hesitate to contact us for the dedicated and compassionate legal representation you need.

 

Why You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney?

A good criminal defense lawyer should be able to provide you with strong representation and help you navigate the criminal justice system.

Here are some specific things you can expect from a good criminal defense lawyer:

Intimate Knowledge of Criminal Law in Louisiana

The Ikerd Law Firm has a thorough understanding of the local Lafayette laws and legal procedures relevant to your case.

Backed by over a decade of experience, we have built a strong network within the local community and have the necessary connections and know-how to help navigate your case and put you in the best position possible for a ‘not guilty’ verdict.

Strong Communication Skills

We place a strong value on clear and effective communication with clients.

We understand how difficult this time is for you and your family, and work hard to make sure you understand the charges you face, the possible legal outcomes, and the best avenues for defense.

Similarly, we keep you apprised of any updates and progress so you are never left in the dark.

Creative Problem-Solving Skills and Outside the Box Tactics

Having dealt with over 1,000 cases, Chad Ikerd has seen nearly all possible outcomes to most charges and criminal histories. Chad prides himself on being able to think creatively to find solutions to problems to get the best outcome for his clients. He goes the extra mile, working with the prosecutors, the jails, the Department of Corrections, the judges, etc., to find a way to resolve difficult issues.

Aggressive Representation

If there is one thing we are committed to, it is a relentless pursuit of justice for our clients and an unwavering and aggressive defense.

We are willing to fight for your rights and do everything we can to protect your interests.

This may involve complex negotiating with prosecutors, presenting a strong defense in court, and appealing decisions if necessary.

Compassion and Understanding

Dealing with criminal charges can be an extremely stressful and overwhelming experience. The prospect of facing fines, imprisonment, and a criminal record can be frightening and cause significant emotional turmoil.

In addition to the legal consequences of a criminal charge, the process of going through the criminal justice system can be stressful and confusing.

The accused may feel overwhelmed by the legal terminology and procedures, and they may be uncertain about what to expect.

Our team knows what you are going through and will act as a support system to help get you through the dark so that you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We are dedicated to guiding you through the complexities of your case and ensuring your rights are protected.

 

What to Expect

The anatomy of a criminal case typically involves several steps, which may vary depending on the jurisdiction and the specific facts of the case.

Below is a general overview of the process and what to expect if arrested and charged in Lafayette:

handcuffed man, due to criminal offense

  1. Arrest: If a person is suspected of committing a crime, they may be arrested by law enforcement. The arrest may be made by a police officer, or a warrant may be issued for the person’s arrest.
  2. Initial appearance: After an arrest, the accused will typically have an initial appearance before a judge, where they will be informed of the charges against them and their rights.
  3. Bail: During the initial appearance, the judge may set bail, which includes conditions to be met or a sum of money that the accused must pay in order to be released from custody while they await trial.
  4. Arraignment: In most felony cases (not capital charges or charges that carry potential life sentences), the State will have 60 days to file formal charges, if the accused cannot bond out.  Afterward, the accused will typically have an arraignment, which is a formal reading of the charges against them in court. At the arraignment, the accused will enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.
  5. Pretrial proceedings: If the accused pleads not guilty, the case will proceed to pretrial proceedings. Different districts, judges, and parishes call these hearings different things: pretrial date, status hearing, motions date, etc. During this stage, the prosecution and defense will exchange evidence, conduct motion hearings, or may engage in plea negotiations.
  6. Trial: If the case does not settle during pretrial proceedings, it will go to trial. Trials may be either bench trials, where a judge makes the final decision, or jury trials, where a panel of jurors decides the outcome.
  7. Verdict: At the end of a trial, the judge or jury will issue a verdict of guilty as charged, guilty of a lesser included offense, or not guilty.
  8. Sentencing: If the accused is found guilty, the judge will determine their sentence, which may include fines, probation, or imprisonment.
  9. Appeal: If the accused is dissatisfied with the outcome of their case, they may have the option to appeal the decision to a higher court.

It is important to note that this is a general overview of the criminal case process, and the specific steps and procedures may vary depending on the jurisdiction and the specific facts of your case.

 

Get the Representation You Deserve

Our team has the knowledge and experience necessary to effectively defend clients facing both misdemeanors and felonies.

We understand the severity of these charges and the impact they can have on our clients’ lives, and we are committed to providing strong and aggressive representation to help them achieve the best possible outcome in their case.

Whether you are facing a misdemeanor or a felony, you can count on us to provide the dedicated and compassionate legal representation you need.

Call or send us a message today for a no-cost initial consultation and to see if we are a good fit for your case.

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