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Zachary Louisiana Legal Blog

Legal counsel available even if you mediate your divorce

When wanting to dissolve a marriage, a couple has to decide the best way for them to go about it. What works for some Louisiana residents will not for others, and that is okay. For example, some couples may wish to utilize the mediation process rather than go through the traditional divorce process. Those who choose to mediate can still turn to legal counsel for assistance achieving the best settlement terms possible.

Meditation involves the two parties being willing to meet and discuss divorce terms with a mediator present. The mediator is not to take sides. His or her role is to keep the conversation going.

What's the best drug possession defense strategy for your case?

You've been caught with an illegal drug, charged with a serious crime and are now faced with a variety of potential consequences. As scary as it may be, it's imperative to take a step back and realize there is a drug possession defense strategy you can use to reduce the likelihood of a conviction.

As with any crime, the defense strategy you use depends on the circumstances surrounding your case. While you compare your options to better understand what to do next, here are some commonly employed drug possession defense strategies.

The problem with breath tests

When police in Louisiana suspect a person of driving under the influence of alcohol, it is common practice to perform a traffic stop in order to have that individual participate in field sobriety testing. If field sobriety testing is refused, with a warrant, blood-alcohol testing may be completed at a police station instead. One test, the breath test, is deemed by some to be the most accurate way to determine whether a person is sober. Is it really, though?

According to a recently published article, breath tests are not all they are cracked up to be. The simple truth of the matter is, these machines are known to give false readings, causing numerous individuals to be arrested and charged for driving under the influence when they probably should not have been. An investigation by the New York Times found that breath analysis machines in most police stations skew the results. Knowing this, how can law enforcement continue to use them? How can the results of these tests be taken seriously in court?

Mistakes often made when negotiating oil and gas leases

Louisiana residents who find they are sitting on land that is rich in minerals have every right to take advantage of the situation. If approached about an oil and gas lease, it may be tempting to accept whatever is offered, but that may be a mistake. Be careful and seek assistance with negotiating lease terms that are to one's benefit.

There are several mistakes that mineral owners tend to make when approached about leasing their mineral interests -- only a few will be discussed here. The first is that they may take the first offer that comes along. It is okay to take things slow, look at all of one's options and then negotiate lease terms. If agreeable terms cannot be reached, it is okay to walk away.

Injured in a hit-and-run accident?

Everyone hears of hit-and-run accidents happening, but few think they will be victims of them. It is the kind of thing that happens to other people, right? Unfortunately, it did happen, and it is normal that one might feel at a complete loss. One of the top questions Louisiana residents who have been injured in such incidents may have is: Who will pay for damages?

The cost of a hit-and-run accident is high. Victims will experience physical pain, financial loss and emotional trauma, which can all take a toll on a person's life. The problem with these accidents is, those responsible are not always found. This leaves victims wondering if there is anything they can do to seek compensation. The short answer is, yes, there is.

Probate: Did your stepmom give your inheritance to her children?

When a parent dies, the estate administration process can be a difficult thing to get through. It can be even more challenging if a stepmother is involved. Far too often, in Louisiana and elsewhere, stepmothers are accused of keeping their husband's assets for themselves and then passing them on to their own children rather than giving them to their stepchildren. When this happens, probate litigation may be the only way the offended parties may see any part of their supposed inheritance.

An individual in another state recently asked for advice on how to address a matter involving a stepmother and a hidden will. This person claims his or her father had a will, but that it was never produced or followed during the administration of his estate. It was known he wanted to provide for his wife while she was still living, but upon her death, the assets were passed on to her daughter, and her stepchildren were left with nothing.

Criminal defense: Louisiana man facing domestic violence charges

At the end of September, police in Louisiana arrested a man for allegedly abusing his girlfriend. His arrest cost him his job and could cost him his freedom if he is ultimately convicted. As he has already lost so much and stands to lose so much more, the criminal defense put forward in his case matters.

The incident in question occurred Wednesday, Sept. 25, in Baton Rouge. According to reports, police were called to an apartment on Nicholson Drive to investigate a domestic dispute. The alleged victim claims that the accused -- a 30-year-old male -- grabbed her by the throat and threw her out of the apartment after she told him she no longer wanted to stay in the relationship. When she tried to re-enter their home to retrieve her belongings, the accused supposedly shoved her away from the door.

Louisiana family law: How to divorce a narcissist

It is not uncommon for divorce cases to be riddled with conflict. Most people in Louisiana and elsewhere believe this is because of the actions both parties take throughout the dissolution proceedings. In some cases, that may be true, but in others, the real problem is that one spouse is a narcissist. Thankfully, an experienced family law attorney can help one achieve a fair and balanced settlement despite his or her spouse's actions resulting from this mental condition.

What exactly is a narcissist? Individuals with this personality think very highly of themselves. They have a strong need for attention and believe that the world revolves around them. They can be witty and charming until things do not go their way. When this happens, they can show a total lack of empathy and can be vindictive and angry.

Louisiana probate: Where to keep estate planning documents

There is a lot to think about when going through the estate planning process. Most Louisiana residents who take the time to do it probably spend all their time worrying about what protections they need and what to include that they forget one small but significant detail -- where to store their documents when all is said and done. The simple truth is, estate plans that cannot be found do not do any good when it comes time for one's estate to go through probate.

So, where should one keep a completed estate plan? There are several good options. First, one can leave it one file at an attorney's office. Just make sure loved knows have the name of the attorney who has them.

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