A Louisiana Criminal Law Firm
Criminal law involves prosecution by the government of a person for an act that has been classified as a crime. Civil cases, on the other hand, involve individuals and organizations seeking to resolve legal disputes. In a criminal case, the state, through a prosecutor, initiates the suit, while in a civil case the victim brings the suit. A person convicted of a crime may be incarcerated, fined, or both. However, persons found liable in a civil case may only have to give up property or pay money but are not incarcerated.
A “crime” is any act or omission (of an act) in violation of a public law forbidding or commanding it. Though there are some common law crimes, most crimes in the United States are established by local, state, and federal governments. Criminal laws vary significantly from state to state. There is, however, a Model Penal Code (MPC) which serves as a good starting place to gain an understanding of the basic structure of criminal liability.
Here is how MANASSEH, GILL, KNIPE & BÉLANGER can help you:
- We can serve as a buffer between you and law enforcement and prevent them from harassing you at work or coercing you into giving a statement that they will only use against you later.
- We can negotiate your self-surrender if there is a warrant for your arrest so you do not have to worry about the U.S. Marshalls kicking down your door in the middle of the night and scarring your family or making a show of force at your workplace.
- We can contact the prosecutor before charges are filed against you to see whether prosecution is even necessary and, if so, discuss the possibility of charging you with a lesser grade of offense than you were arrested for in the first place.
- We can immediately reach out to the court and request a bail amount you can afford once you are arrested.
- We are not guilty plea lawyers and will not force you into a guilty plea, because we are afraid of going to trial. We will gladly bring your case before a jury. That being said, we will provide you with candid advice on whether a guilty plea is appropriate for your case. We will respect your decision to plead or go to trial.
- We can review your conviction to see if there are any errors to raise on appeal or post-conviction that would possibly overturn your conviction.
- We want you to succeed and do not want repeat customers. If you have a drug problem or anger management issues, we can put you in contact with professionals who can help treat those disorders. We can also help those eligible obtain expungements for certain convictions which, if granted, would shield your criminal conviction from the public eye.
- We will explain to you your legal rights and the consequences of your decisions in handling the case. We realize that this case is your life and do not take that for granted.
To schedule an initial consultation with our Louisiana and Mississippi attorneys, contact us online at manassehandgill.com, or call 225-383-9703.
ASSET FORTEITURE PROCEEDINGS
Many law enforcement agencies depend on the proceeds generated from forfeited assets to fund their annual budgets. It’s not surprising that relatively harmless conduct, even pure speculation of a connection to narcotics trafficking, can result in the seizure of cars, cash, and jewelry, and, in some cases, homes and bank accounts.
In narcotic trafficking cases, the proof required to seize your property is far less than the level of proof necessary to convict you. Even if you’re found innocent, you could still end up completely broke.
To properly handle claims brought against your property and assets, you need an experienced team of defense attorneys in cases of narcotic trafficking and asset forfeiture.
These assets can include:
- Real Estate
- Rare Coins
- Stocks and other investments
In these cases, prosecutors devote substantial resources tracking your financial activities, and often take advantage of Asset Forfeiture laws to increase penalties. Without the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney, you face a much higher risk of asset seizure and conviction.
As advocates for asset recovery, our experienced team of lawyers are committed to protecting the rights of you and your family by:
- Aggressively defending clients against all allegations or charges.
- Helping regain property and assets wrongfully assumed to be connected to illegal transactions.
- Helping innocent property owners recover property unknowingly used in narcotics trafficking.
- Preventing prosecutors from freezing bank accounts or seizing property unlawfully.
- Challenging questionable wiretaps or other steps taken by law enforcement beyond a search warrant’s terms.
If you’re facing asset seizure stemming from drug or white-collar charges, contact us today to schedule a consultation at manassehandgill.com, or by calling 225-383-9703.
When choosing a criminal trial lawyer, it is not the time to bargain shop. There are many professed criminal trial lawyers who have little or no jury trial experience. This can result in a wrongful conviction that sends an innocent person to jail.
Fortunately, there are options available to free the wrongly convicted. One of these options is a criminal appeal. During an appeal, a qualified lawyer can review the court proceedings and challenge improper rulings by the court, wrongfully admitted evidence and illegally obtained confessions from your trial. The legal challenge begins with filing a brief, and in some instances, presenting an oral argument before the court of appeals.
If you feel you were wrongly convicted of a crime in Louisiana, you need immediate and experienced representation. At Manasseh, Gill, Knipe & Bélanger, it is our job to get you out if you’re in and innocent. Based on hard work and years of in-depth legal expertise, we have a successful record effective appeals representation. These include experiences arguing before the Louisiana Supreme Court, the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.
Above all, we are committed to getting to know you and all the circumstances of your case, so we can make the most compelling legal and personal argument for overturning your conviction or granting you a new trial.
To determine if there are grounds for an appeal, schedule a consultation today online at manassehandgill.com, or call 225-383-9703.
Louisiana has one of the nation’s highest rates for incarcerating drug offenders. This trend shows no signs of slowing down.
Realistically, the “war on drugs” has proven to be a long and unwinnable war. Its premise is fundamentally flawed, because it targets those who simply need help dealing with their addictions. Unfortunately, this is hard to do, due to mandatory minimum jail sentences, as well as recent efforts to defund rehabilitative efforts.
In order to justify their annual budgets, para-military style narcotics task forces are undoubtedly being encouraged to make as many traffic stops, detentions, and arrests as possible. You and your loved ones do not need to become part of law enforcement’s “budgetary statistics.” If you are accused of a narcotics offense, you need a team of lawyers knowledgeable enough to challenge the constitutional basis for your arrest and experienced enough to handle your jury trial.
At Manasseh, Gill, Knipe & Bélanger, a significant portion of our criminal defense practice is dedicated to defending those accused of drug offenses, which gives us a keen understanding of when to use aggressive tactics and when to use a more restrained, patient approach.
Drug-related crimes may include:
- Felony drug possession and trafficking offenses
- Fraudulent obtaining or distribution of prescription drugs
- The sale or possession of synthetic marijuana
- Illegal possession or distribution of prescription drugs (such as Xanax and OxyContin)
- Federal Prosecutions under Federal Controlled Substance Analogue Enforcement Act
To help you fight drug charges, and secure your constitutional rights, we will:
- Provide a reliable evaluation of your options.
- Evaluate evidence.
- Identify possible procedural errors such as a defective warrant or an improper wiretap.
- Hold law enforcement accountable for illegal search and seizure tactics, such as canine searches, unjustified traffic stops, stop-and-frisk, and warrant-less searches of you, your home or car.
We have a proven record of success in having drug charges dropped or reduced, especially for first-time offenders willing to enter a treatment or rehab program.
To schedule your consultation, contact us online today at manassehandgill.com, or call 225-383-9703.
DWI / DUI
Bad things happen to good people all the time. In Louisiana, “joie de vivre” and “laissez les bon temp rouler” are cultural mantras that embody the carefree nature of our recreation.
Unfortunately, that can lead to the occasional lapse of judgment, which can result in a DWI arrest. The pain and loss caused by alcohol-related fatalities, combined with recent legislation, have resulted in harsher criminal and civil penalties. These include increased mandatory minimum jail sentences, longer suspensions of driver’s licenses, and fewer rights in an administrative proceeding to save your license. Due to these harsher penalties, you need a team of lawyers who actively bring DUI/DWI cases to trial, to ensure that your rights are protected.
Manasseh, Gill, Knipe & Bélanger has over 20 years experience providing sound legal advice and an aggressive defense for our clients facing drunken driving charges. Over time, we have successfully challenged a substantial number of Breathalyzer Tests, Field Sobriety Tests, and evidence from blood tests. We’re committed to helping you minimize or avoid the lingering negative effects of a conviction.
Our DUI/DWI Defense Attorneys will defend you to the fullest extent of the law, as well as manage all aspects of your defense, including:
- Schedule a hearing before the Louisiana Dept. of Public Safety (DPS).
- Fight to keep your driverís license.
- Fight for dismissal or reduction of all charges against you.
- Fight to clear your record ñand your name.
- Investigate all charges, and explore a variety of ways to challenge them.
- Ask pressing questions such as:
- Did the police have a valid reason to make a traffic stop?
- Did law enforcement make any procedural errors?
- Were your Miranda Rights explained properly?
- Was the Field Sobriety Test too subjective?
If you have been accused of driving while impaired, contact us today to schedule a consultation at manassehandgill.com, or by calling 225-383-9703.
FEDERAL CRIMINAL DEFENSE
Facing the “Feds” is frightening. When the unlimited resources of the Federal Government target you, the stakes get higher and the punishment gets harsher. In many cases, federal prosecutors will devote substantial resources against you – long before charges are even filed.
The reality is many professional criminal lawyers don’t possess the experience required to handle federal prosecutions. To overcome this challenge, and minimize potential damage, you need experienced representation on your side.
The law firm of Manasseh, Gill, Knipe & Bélanger has extensive experience defending clients on a wide range of federal criminal charges, including:
- Importation of controlled substances
- Conspiracy to traffic illegal drugs
- Manufacturing or cultivation of marijuana
- Possession with intent to distribute large quantities of illegal drugs
White Collar Crimes:
- Money laundering
- Crimes under the RICO Act (blackmail, extortion)
- Transportation of illegal firearms
- Possessing a firearm to commit a crime
- Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
- Using a firearm in connection to drug trafficking, federal narcotics crime
We are committed to preserving your constitutional rights, and being trial-ready – by uncovering any weaknesses in the government’s case against you, devoting substantial time analyzing evidence, interviewing key witnesses, and consulting credible investigators and experts.
Contact our law firm today online at manassehandgill.com, or call us at 225-383-9703 to schedule a consultation.
FEDERAL ILLEGAL RE-ENTRY PROSECUTIONS
The Statue of Liberty symbolizes the nostalgic lure of a diverse nation who welcomes “the tired, poor, huddle masses yearning to be free.”
In reality, these are hollow words today. Due to factors such as the recent economic downturn, public sentiment has turned against foreign nationals who often come here simply looking for work. In some instances, this is the only home they really know.
Due to the high-profile nature of this issue, Federal authorities are beginning to emphasize the halting, arrest, and prosecution of people in our community who do not possess valid citizenship or valid resident alien papers. For them, penalties are extremely harsh, and in some cases, they can face up to 20 years in federal prison just for wanting a better life.
At Manasseh, Gill, Knipe & Bélanger, our lawyers have a wealth of experience defending those arrested and charged with illegally being in the country. If you have been charged with, or are currently under investigation for illegal re-entry, schedule a consultation today online at manassehandgill.com, or call 225-383-9703.
Americans spend an average of 8 to 10 hours a day on the computer. Consequently, the rising number of reports of internet crimes isn’t surprising. Special law enforcement task forces have been created with the sole purpose of entrapping internet users into illicit schemes.
As always, the increase in “police presence” is associated with more severe and harsher penalties that could devastate your personal and professional lives. Therefore, it’s critical to obtain experienced representation as quickly as possible.
At Manasseh, Gill, Knipe & Bélanger, our attorneys have the experience to defend those accused of Internet crimes. We have the resources to gather and analyze the volumes of computer files and electronic data associated with Internet and computer crimes such as:
- Possession of child pornography
- Distribution of child porn
- Computer sex crimes
- Online solicitation of a minor
- Credit card fraud
- Identity theft
- Software piracy
- Internet fraud
- Illegal file sharing
If you have been charged with, or are currently under investigation for an internet or other cyber crime, schedule a consultation today. Contact us online at manassehandgill.com, or call 225-383-9703.
MEDICARE / MEDICAID FRAUD
Today in the U.S., fraudulent Medicare and Medicaid claims have exceeded $60 billion a year. These result in more federally-funded task forces, harsher penalties, higher fines, and longer prison terms.
In fact, the Federal government has designated Baton Rouge as one of a few metropolitan areas for a special Medicare Fraud Task Force. They have assigned attorneys from the Department of Justice to locate and prosecute those conspiring to commit health care fraud.
If you have been charged with Medicare fraud, you need an experienced team of attorneys with the knowledge necessary to navigate the complexities of healthcare fraud cases – and the willingness to take your case to trial.
We defend healthcare professionals facing Medicare and Medicaid fraud charges, including:
- Medical practitioners (such as a doctor, pharmacist or dentist).
- DME providers, recruiters, home healthcare providers or representatives of a medical facility (such as a clinic or hospital).
The areas of fraud we have defended include:
- Suspicion of providing false information on an application.
- Providing services without eligibility.
- Fraudulent billing practices.
- Fraudulently filing claims for services not provided.
- Payment for referrals or kickbacks.
As trial-ready attorneys, we seek to prevent prosecution for clients we can show are not guilty. We can also minimize potential criminal exposure or negotiate a civil monetary penalty in lieu of prosecution for some clients. When a case is headed for trial, we take the time necessary to ensure your case is thoroughly prepared.
If you have been charged with, or are currently under investigation for Medicare or Medicaid fraud in Louisiana, schedule a consultation today. Contact us online at manassehandgill.com, or call 225-383-9703 today.
MILITARY CRIMINAL REPRESENTATION
For those serving our country in Iraq or Afghanistan, we understand the traumas of combat, and the complex issues facing them upon returning home. An increasingly number of veterans suffer from Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is a real and recognized mental illness. Some veterans with PTSD turn to alcohol or drugs, or display unusual or even criminal behavior.
At Manasseh, Gill, Knipe & Bélanger, we believe crimes committed by those suffering from PTSD or other conditions need help rather than jail. We have a high record of success defending soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines, including the rare accomplishment of overturning a dishonorable discharge.
Unfortunately, not all civilian attorneys are qualified to represent military personnel. Our team of experienced attorneys and paralegals are ably led by veteran W. Robert Gill, who formerly served as a Judge Advocate General. He served as both a prosecutor and defense counsel for the Army. Together, we fight for the rights of our clients who have been charged with military or civilian offenses including:
- Conduct Unbecoming
- Sexual Assault
If you are active-duty or reserve military suffering from PTSD, and you are facing court martial or serious civilian criminal charges, please schedule a consultation today to discuss your rights and legal options. Contact us at manassehandgill.com or call 225-383-9703.
MURDER AND WEAPONS CHARGES
Per capita, the United States has more citizens incarcerated than any other free society in the world. Also, per capita, Louisiana has more citizens incarcerated than any other state in the U.S. Both statistics are frightening. The Department of Justice has reported that misidentification and false confessions are two primary reasons why innocent people are in jail – sometimes for life.
When faced with this harsh reality, those accused need seasoned trial lawyers to come to their defense and champion their cause.
At Manasseh, Gill, Knipe & Bélanger, we have extensive experience in representing those charged with serious crimes such as:
Homicide (First and Second Degree Murder)
- Attempted Murder
- Armed Robbery
- Aggravated Burglary
- Aggravated Battery
- Domestic violence
- Other Weapons charges (including illegal carrying, illegal discharge of a firearm and felon in possession of a firearm)
We also have a substantial record of success in obtaining reduced or dismissed charges for these crimes, as well as winning murder and violent crime cases at trial and on appeal.
If you are facing charges or have been falsely accused, itís important you seek legal protection as soon as possible. To schedule a consultation, contact us today at manassehandgill.com or call us at 225-383-9703.
POLITICAL CORRUPTION DEFENSE
Today, the U.S. government is devoting more resources than ever before in combating political corruption. As an elected or appointed official, charges of political corruption can have devastating effects on your personal and professional life. Your future depends on quickly acquiring experienced, reputable legal representation.
At Manasseh, Gill, Knipe & Bélanger, we have defense attorneys who were former prosecutors handling high-profile cases involving politicians, public figures and members of law enforcement. Our firm is well-equipped to handle cases involving:
- Bribery and kickbacks
- Manipulation of elections
- Voter fraud
- Misuse of public funds
We understand the sooner we begin working on your behalf, the more effective your defense.
By carefully analyzing the details of a state or federal investigation, we can take aggressive action before formal charges are filed, working toward a dismissal or reduction of charges.
If you have been charged with, or are currently under investigation in Louisiana, schedule a consultation today. Contact us online at manassehandgill.com, or call 225-383-9703.
POST-CONVICTION RELIEF APPLICATIONS
The best time to hire a good criminal defense lawyer is before you are arrested. There are times when a good lawyer can prevent your arrest. Unfortunately, because no one plans on getting arrested, this is rarely the case.
There is an assumption that the “system is fair,” and innocent people don’t go to jail.
This simply isn’t true. Good people go to jail because they failed to hire a good lawyer who can competently handle their case when it begins.
If you believe any of the following:
- Your former attorney did not represent you effectively…
- Your former attorney gave you a poor recommendation to enter a guilty plea…
- Your former attorney failed to pursue appropriate legal measures…
If you believe:
- Your former lawyer or the prosecution made critical mistakes, affecting the outcome of your trial…
- Your rights were violated after the judge failed to properly apply the law…
- You were convicted for more serious charges than what you actually committed…
- Your sentence did not fit the crime you were convicted of…
If any of these are true, then you should seek immediate help from our experienced legal team.
Manasseh, Gill, Knipe & Bélanger have over 20 years of experience in aggressively obtaining justice for those who have reason to believe their trial attorney provided an ineffective defense, their conviction was based on a significant error, or their constitutional rights were violated.
We devote substantial resources to investigating mistakes that led to wrongful convictions and sentencing, and have been successful in numerous appeals and post-conviction relief hearings.
Not all trial errors can be addressed through criminal appeals. In fact, an appeal and a post-conviction application are two distinct procedures. A post-conviction application allows you to raise constitutional errors, claims of ineffective counsel, and present newly discovered evidence. Ordinarily, claims of an ineffective trial lawyer and newly discovered evidence can not be addressed on appeal.
If you believe your constitutional rights were violated, your lawyer was ineffective, or you have come across new evidence that will exonerate you, schedule a consultation today. Contact us online at manassehandgill.com, or call 225-383-9703 today.
PROBATION & PAROLE VIOLATIONS
If you are released on parole, or sentenced to probation rather than jail time, there are many rules you have to follow. Break one and the clock begins ticking, while a parole officer takes immediate action. This could result in an immediate revocation of parole or probation – in other words, you’ll go back to jail.
Unfortunately, those accused of probation and parole violations will sit in jail until the reason for their infraction is resolved. This can take a long time, unless you take action and hire capable counsel immediately.
Many times, an experienced lawyer can reach out to your parole officer or probation judge to secure your release, or map out a course of action to make sure in does not result in a revocation.
Some common probation violations include:
- Failed urinalysis
- Failure to report for scheduled meetings with your parole or probation officer (PO)
- Unapproved travel
- Failure to maintain employment or residence
- New arrest
For over 20 years, our experienced criminal defense lawyers have applied their thorough understanding of the law and court system to help thousands with parole and probation violations.
For clients testing positive for drugs, we want the judge and everyone else involved to see you as a human being needing help, not jail time. It is our goal to help you minimize the possibility of incarceration. We have been successful in obtaining substance abuse treatment for our clients, rather than jail sentencing.
If you have been accused of violating your parole or probation in Louisiana, it is important you seek experienced representation immediately. Call to schedule your confidential consultation today at manassehandgill.com, or by calling 225-383-9703.
The words “innocent until proven guilty” embody a mythical belief that whenever a government elects to deprive ordinary citizens of their freedom, the government faces an uphill battle. Reality paints a much different picture. In today’s society, prosecutors have it easy, as they are deemed “the good guys” at the outset of the case. Experienced trial lawyers know this, and understand they are the ones facing an uphill battle in their quest for justice.
If you are accused of a serious crime, you need a team of trial-ready attorneys willing to face this reality, and capable of converting society’s mantra: innocent until proven guilty into not guilty at your trial.
At Manasseh, Gill, Knipe & Bélanger, we believe you are innocent until proven guilty.
This is a vital consideration during an investigation of any serious crime, or when facing any criminal charges such as:
- Felony DWI and Vehicular Manslaughter
- Sexual Assault
- Murder, manslaughter or attempted murder
- Felony drug offenses
- Felony weapons offenses
- Armed robbery, burglary or felony theft
- Aggravated assault
- Obstruction of justice
- Accessory after the fact
Why hire us?
- Over twenty years of proven criminal trial experience
- Our record of success: We have argued – and won – before the Supreme Court, various trial courts throughout the country, and have had noteworthy successes before military tribunals.
- Prosecutors take us seriously: They know our reputation for being focused and prepared. Our combined efforts, skills and experience produce maximum results for every client we represent. We also understand how the prosecution approaches federal and felony criminal cases, and use that knowledge to benefit our clients.
- Our attorneys are respectful, responsive and honest: We will make sure you understand your rights and offer the best possible legal options regarding your case. We will also provide you with a reliable estimate of all costs, and keep you informed every step of the way.
- We have practiced in Federal courts throughout the nation.
- We are committed to protecting your rights and freedom.
If you are facing charges for any serious crime, contact us today to schedule a consultation at manassehandgill.com, or call our Baton Rouge office at 225-383-9703.
In today’s world, being branded a sex offender is the equivalent of wearing a Scarlet Letter.
The mere accusation of sexual assault can cause irreparable damage to your personal relationships and professional reputationñand when the accuser is a child, that damage is magnified.
Compounding matters, federal and state governments are “cracking down” on sex offenders by making conviction penalties more serious. That is why you need a team of experienced, trial-ready lawyers who can quickly come to your defense. We will help eliminate accusations, avoid arrest and when necessary, challenge them in court before a jury of your peers.
At Manasseh, Gill, Knipe & Bélanger, our experienced attorneys have earned a solid reputation for high ethical standards and exceptional professionalism. We focus on protecting your rights and providing comprehensive representation to obtain the most optimal outcome in high-stakes cases such as:
- Rape (including statutory, date, acquaintance and forcible rape)
- Sexual assault of a child
- Child molestation
- Child sexual abuse
- Registration Offenses
- Online sexual solicitation of a minor
- Possession and/or distribution of internet child pornography
Our attorneys work swiftly to obtain and preserve access to all relevant facts in your case. We take the necessary steps to minimize media attention and the negative consequences to your professional and personal life as well.
Thorough trial preparation and a team approach are the keys to your successful defense in these cases.
To schedule a consultation, contact us online at manassehandgill.com or call our Baton Rouge office at 225-383-9703 today.
WHITE COLLAR CRIMES
In recent times, white-collar crimes among business and government officials have drawn more media attention than ever before outraging a nation and devastating the lives of thousands of victims.
Not surprisingly, the mere accusation of any impropriety can bring with it constant news coverage, embarrassment, and public shame. The fate of those convicted of these crimes can be equally as devastating, ranging from substantial fines to lengthy prison terms.
At Mannaseh, Gill, Knipe & Bélanger, we have the comprehensive understanding of the complexities of business required to provide the highest level of representation for white-collar crimes such as:
- Money laundering
- Securities Fraud
- Identity theft
- Mail and Wire Fraud
- Bribery and extortion
- Racketeering (RICO) and conspiracy charges
- Tax evasion
- Odometer fraud
- Internet crimes
- Medicare and Medicaid fraud
Our criminal lawyers are experienced in handling the large numbers of documents and evidentiary analysis often involved in white-collar cases. We have a proven record of success in obtaining a reduction or dismissal of charges prior to trial.
Our primary goals are to protect your rights at every stage of your defense. Obviously, our main objective is to prevent the prosecution of those falsely accused of wrong doing. But, we do realize that good people can do bad things. In such cases, we strive to obtain an outcome with the least impact on your life. To maximize your success, we will be thoroughly prepared for trial. We will also help provide swift and decisive action in order to minimize or avoid the negative consequences associated with a criminal investigation or prosecution.
We understand your career, professional and personal reputations are on the line. You need straightforward answers and adequate guidance for your defense.
If you have been charged with, or are currently under investigation for a white collar crime in Louisiana, schedule a consultation today. Contact us online at manassehandgill.com, or call 225-383-9703.