Yellow police tap with police car in the background - The Ikerd Law

Homicide and Violent Offenses in Lafayette and South Louisiana

South Louisiana and Lafayette Homicide and Violent Crimes Attorney

If you or a loved one have been arrested or are facing arrest for a violent crime in South Louisiana, you should reach out to a criminal defense lawyer like Ikerd Law Firm for a free consultation. Call 337-366-8994 today!

Chad Ikerd is prepared to respond quickly and meet with you or travel to jail to discuss the case. Time is of the essence because evidence could be destroyed, witnesses may get scared to talk, and the police may continue to pressure your loved one for a confession unless a skilled attorney can timely intervene.


An Experienced Violent Crime Defense Lawyer Matters!

You do not want someone to try their first murder or violent crime case when you are the defendant. You want to find an attorney who has been down this road before and can answer all your questions. 

You deserve an attorney who will work with you to develop your case to get the charges dismissed, get the charges worked out with a plea in your interest, or get ready for trial.

Violent crime cases, which can include charges such as murder, robbery, and rape, are not for an inexperienced attorney fresh out of law school. These cases can be time-consuming and take years to resolve. 

They may (and should) involve extensive motion practice. They require lengthy investigations, experts may need to be retained, and high-level trial skills will be needed to prove your innocence to a jury.

Gloved hand picking up a gun from the ground

Most importantly, you or your loved one must know your attorney has your best interests at heart. You want and deserve a commitment that your attorney will handle your case as if their own family member is being charged with a serious offense. 

That means not relying on an overworked attorney with too many other cases to give your case all the attention it deserves. Chad Ikerd prides himself on client-centered representation. He goes above and beyond to ensure he gives every client the attention they need so they not only agree with the trial strategy but also understand it. If that takes spending more time with a client than other attorneys may dedicate, so be it. 

If it means turning down other paying clients to guarantee he has the time to prepare thoroughly for a case, Chad Ikerd has done that as well.

There are no guaranteed outcomes in any criminal litigation. Still, Chad Ikerd can guarantee effort and commitment to exhausting every legal and ethical remedy to resolve a case in a manner that is favorable to his client.


Common Homicide Offenses

 You or your loved one may be charged with a homicide or attempted homicide offense. A homicide is defined as “the killing of a human being by the act, procurement, or culpable omission of another.” La. R.S. § 14:29.  Depending on the facts of the case, the charges may include one of the following crimes:

    1. First Degree Murder – La. R.S. § 14:30
    2. Second Degree Murder – La R.S. § 14:30.1
    3. Manslaughter – La. R.S. § 14:31
    4. Negligent Homicide – La R.S. § 14:32
    5. Vehicular Homicide – La R.S. § 14:32.1


Common Non-Homicide Violent Offenses

There is a long list of non-homicide crimes that qualify as violent crimes, or “crimes of violence,” to use the term found in Louisiana statutes. 

Generally, these crimes involve the use of force or violence against another person or when there is a reasonable possibility of serious injury to a person. Thus, most “assault and battery” charges are considered violent. Most sex offenses are also considered violent crimes.

The criminal code, specifically Title 14, Section 2 (La. R.S. § 14:2(B)), defines a crime of violence as:

 [A]n offense that has, as an element, the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another and that, by its very nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense or an offense that involves the possession or use of a dangerous weapon

That statute then provides a “non-exclusive” list of offenses that qualify as crimes of violence. Thus, the list in La. R.S. § 14:2(B) does not include all crimes that may be considered crimes of violence. The general categories of crimes of violence listed are: 

    1. Homicide offenses and solicitation of murder
    2. Battery offenses
    3. Serious Assault offenses
    4. Rape and other sexual offenses
    5. Kidnapping
    6. Aggravated property crimes
    7. Robbery and purse-snatching
    8. Stalking
    9. Vehicular Homicide with a BAC over 0.20%
    10. Distribution of fentanyl or heroin


A Conviction for a Crime of Violence Will Increase the Time You Must Serve In Jail

A conviction for a violent crime can significantly increase the time you will have to serve in jail. This may be the result for various reasons, including:

    1. Mandatory minimum sentences – some, but not all, crimes of violence have a minimum sentence that is mandatory for all people found guilty of that offense. For example, a conviction for armed robbery, La. R.S. § 14:64, requires the judge to sentence someone to a minimum of 10 years at hard labor, with the possible maximum sentence being up to 99 years at hard labor. This limits some of the discretion a trial judge has in sentencing.
    2. Probation is not an option for most charges – some, but not all, crimes of violence prohibit a trial judge from sentencing someone to probation, even if the judge were inclined to do so. This also has a significant impact on plea offers from the State because they know probation may be prohibited.
    3. Violent crimes usually involve serious injury and alarming facts – not all violent crimes require proof of serious injury to a victim; some only require the potential for such an injury. However, some crimes of violence, like second-degree battery, La. R.S. § 14:34.1, requires someone to “intentionally inflict serious bodily injury.” Thus, in such cases, the facts themselves will be disturbing and likely cause the judge to hand down a significant sentence.
    4. Parole and Good Time Parole limitations Once sentenced and serving time in custody, most imprisoned persons can earn “good time credits” or qualify to apply for parole before serving their full sentence. The diminution of the sentence for good behavior is significantly less when serving a sentence for a crime of violence than for a non-crime of violence. For example, a ten-year sentence for theft may allow for release after four years. Conversely, a ten-year sentence for aggravated battery will require someone to serve a minimum of seven and a half years before being released with good-time parole.

Other ramifications of being convicted of a crime of violence could be potential exposure to a Habitual Offender Bill of Information, which could drastically increase the current sentence or the sentence for a future conviction. Convictions for crimes of violence can also cause a denial of public benefits, including house and federal grants, as well as increased fines.


The Ikerd Law Firm’s Experience in Handling Serious Violent Crimes and Homicide Cases


Chad Ikerd has been handling violent crimes since 2011. He has over a decade of experience investigating and litigating serious criminal offenses throughout South Louisiana.

For most of that time, Chad Ikerd was the senior felony life without parole attorney in the 15th Judicial District Public Defender’s Office. This meant that he handled and supervised attorneys handling hundreds of violent offenses, including homicide, burglary, and robbery charges.

During his time with the Public Defender’s Office, Chad Ikerd was capital-certified by the State Public Defender Board. This meant Chad Ikerd was qualified to be appointed to represent persons charged with First Degree Murder, which included the death penalty defense. This required additional training in legal concepts, motion practice, investigation, and trial skills in order to be capital-certified.

Chad Ikerd has not only tried but won violent offense cases. This includes winning cases where clients were charged with Second Degree Murder. Some cases were won by presenting an affirmative defense of justification or self-defense. Others were won by presenting sufficient mitigating evidence to find the client guilty of a lesser offense, such as manslaughter. This allowed the client to be sentenced to a less-than-life sentence and be released from jail.

Chad Ikerd is prepared to bring his years of experience to your case and work toward a favorable outcome. Call today for a free consultation.

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(337) 366-8994