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I am Townsend Myers of NOLA Criminal Law, and I have more than 20 years experience as a criminal defense attorney. New Orleans natives know that whether you are in need of a DUI/DWI defense, municipal court defense, record expungement, traffic ticket defense or are a visiting tourist in a legal bind, I am here to help you. I understand that sometimes life needs a reset button. I am here to help get you through this troubling time and out of the criminal justice system as quickly and smoothly as possible.

I established NOLA Criminal Law in 1998, when I noticed there was a need for a lawyer of my unique qualities and skill in New Orleans. When you're in a bad situation, the decision of what to do next can be difficult. As an innate problem solver, I make it my goal to get you your desired outcome as efficiently as possible.

I have a history of successfully defending cases involving DUI and drug possession. Throughout my criminal law career, I have handled well over four thousand felony criminal cases, hundreds of DWI cases and numerous misdemeanor and traffic cases. Whether you are local or a visiting tourist, I have dealt with cases like yours before. I will work with you every step of the way, and I maintain a promise to be up front and honest with you about the facts of your case. It is my belief that although the legal truth can sometimes be painful to hear, clear and honest communication is the best policy. I am driven by my passion to help good people who have gotten themselves into trouble, which is why I became a criminal defense attorney. New Orleans residents and visitors alike deserve an attorney with extensive knowledge, impeccable service and noted experience. I am that attorney for you. Find more information on my credentials by browsing my site. For immediate service on your case, please contact my office today.

How to Avoid Getting a DUI During the Holidays

Posted on by Townsend Myers

Drinking and drivi6469630651_5eb2053cc5_ong is never a good idea: people who have consumed alcoholic beverages have slower reaction times and impaired judgment, which are issues you don’t want when you’re behind the wheel of a car. Even drivers who have only one or two alcoholic beverages run the risk of being pulled over. These tips may help to avoid the need of a DUI lawyer. New Orleans is a great city, and we would all like to see fewer impaired drivers on the road during the holidays.

Drink Responsibly

I have to think that smart people don’t drive after drinking or that they prepare ahead of time. When attending special events where alcohol is served, enlist the help of a designated driver. Consider staying at a local hotel within walking distance of a party or ball game to stay safe or simply call a cab or a friend for a ride. In addition, for college students, many campuses provide a late night transport service as a part of the safety patrols, meaning that students can take advantage of this opportunity rather than getting behind the wheel themselves.

Traffic Laws

Not following traffic laws almost guarantees a driver will be pulled over. Although police are always watching for small violations during the day, they are more likely to associate them with drinking during evening bar hours. Driving too slowly, running stop signs, or leaving a turn signal on for miles after a few beers might mean an introduction to a DUI lawyer. New Orleans police are always on the alert for intoxicated drivers, and DUI checkpoints are used consistently.

Probable Cause

Officers must have probable cause for pulling over a vehicle. To avoid attracting attention, I would recommend keeping all safety equipment in good working condition. For example, headlights, tail lights, turn signals, and brake lights should all be working, and the rearview window must be unobstructed. In addition, make sure the car license plate is readable and has current tags. Any large cracks in the windshield can give probable cause, as well as illegal window tinting or license plate fixtures.

Places to Avoid

Because they tend to attract crowds who consume large amounts of alcohol, entertainment venues such as large concerts, sporting events, nightclubs, bars, and parties are all heavily patrolled by police looking for people who are inebriated. Operating a car that is in good working order and staying away from these areas may reduce the likelihood of spending time in jail.

People can take these precautions to avoid being pulled over, but avoiding operating a vehicle while intoxicated is the larger concern. In addition, consider the consequences: after consuming too much alcohol, there is a serious possibility of getting into an accident, badly hurting someone, or going to jail.

Driving under the influence is a serious charge, and I am always available to offer my services as a DUI lawyer. New Orleans visitors and residents are always welcome for consultations.

The Most Common Crimes That Happen Over the Holidays

Posted on by Townsend Myers

Holidays can be a joyous time for families to visit, share ideas, and enjoy traditional meals together. Unfortunately, criminals look forward to chaotic holidays to scam, shoplift, and plan home burglaries at a time when many people tend to travel and leave their homes unoccupied. At this time of year, many people find themselves in the regrettable position of needing a good criminal defense attorney. New Orleans is no exception, and our city has its share of common crimes like these below. Stay safe this holiday season and don’t become a victim.


Shoplifting occurs all year long, but it definitely increases during the Christmas season. Most stores are on high alert and watch for shoplifters, and owners tend to take preventative measures such as adding additional cameras or making sure staff is familiar with the appearances of any shoplifting regulars. Still, with the large influx of shoppers expected during the holiday season, these crimes can be difficult to eradicate completely.

Large crowds of shoppers are also an issue when it comes to purse snatching. Attracted by these crowds, pickpockets rely on consumers’ distraction to make off with stolen goods, particularly wallets, purses, and even bags of newly purchased items. Visitors to tourist attractions and large seasonal festivals are particularly vulnerable to purse-snatchers, as the excitement can make it difficult to consistently pay attention to their surroundings.

Drunk Driving

New Orleans has a reputation for being a party town, and the celebrations often encourage drunk driving, misdemeanors or even felony charges. These types of charges are best handled by a criminal defense attorney. New Orleans is a fun city, but it does have its share of drunk driving, thefts, scams, traffic violations, and domestic abuse.

Home Burglary

People should consider extra precautions to protect themselves from home burglaries. Robbers are constantly checking for unlocked windows and doors so they can rip off presents, computers, jewelry, and anything else of value.


Most people are always ready to pitch in and help their communities, especially during the holiday season. Scammers are ready to take advantage of this, and they set up phony charities and other forms of fraud. Whether solicitors come door-to-door or contact consumers by phone, it is always a wise idea to request materials that can authenticate claims before writing a check.

Vehicle Theft

Car theft increases when thieves see toys, presents, and electronics inside cars. They steal the car and get everything. Always store purchases out of sight, lock all doors and windows, and never leave the keys in the car.

Life is unpredictable, and there is no way of knowing what the holidays will bring, good or bad. Unfortunately, you never know when you might need the expertise of a good criminal defense attorney. New Orleans means a great deal to me and I would be happy to help you get back on your feet after a serious issue like the ones described. Feel free to give me a call with questions or concerns.

What Happens to my Public Drunkenness Charge in Municipal Court?

Posted on by Townsend Myers

Criminal Defense Attorney, New Orleans Courthouse Columns Photo - NOLA Criminal Law

Public drunkenness (or public intoxication) is a violation of the New Orleans Municipal Code, Section 54-405. It is a misdemeanor charge punishable by up to five months in the Parish Prison and/or a fine of up to $500. What happens to your case depends on whether or not you are arrested, and how you plead when you appear in court.

No test for intoxication is required by the law, nor is there any objective standard by which a subject’s level of intoxication is to be measured. Rather, the law assumes that a law enforcement officer will make a subjective determination about an individual’s level of intoxication and potential to harm themselves or someone else before making a decision to cite someone for the offense.

An officer’s subjective determination that you were both (a) manifestly under the influence, and (b) a danger to yourself or the public, is difficult to dispute. Remember, there is no objective test for intoxication, so it is the officer’s word alone.

Upon being cited for the offense, a law enforcement officer has two options:

  1. Arrest you for the offense, or
  2. Issue you a summons to appear in court

Let’s looks at each scenario in turn. (more…)

Louisiana Legislators Tackle Marijuana Reform

Posted on by Townsend Myers

Criminal Defense Attorney, New Orleans, State Seal Of Louisiana Image - NOLA Criminal LawA number of marijuana-related bills have been introduced before the Louisiana State Legislature, which began the 2014 session today in Baton Rouge. Among the marijuana-related bills this legislative session are the following:

S.B. 323 (Sen. Morrell and Adley) which reduces criminal penalties for marijuana possession and prohibits application of enhanced sentencing laws to second and subsequent offense marijuana possession. This law would reduce the penalty for simple possession of marijuana to a fine of $100 or six months in jail, and strike entirely the second and subsequent offense provisions of the law that made possession of marijuana a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison for multiple offenses.

The less progressive H.B. 14 (Rep. Badon) is still a step in the right direction. It reduces the maximum penalties for subsequent marijuana possession convictions from 5 to 2 years (for a second offense), and from 20 to 5 years (for a third offense). (more…)

Lawyer in New Orleans Municipal Court

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