Police Discussion and Answered Questions (Ask a Cop)

This (Ask a Cop) page is dedicated to our community and the surrounding area where citizens can feel free to ask questions to our Officers & Staff that will be posted here with the answers.

Send Question to questions@hessmerpolice.org
When emailing simply just state you question and the city you live and we will post your question with answer below.

We do not post any identifying information other than the city the question originated from.

(We do not provide any legal advice or help other than to provide an opinion about what the law states and its meaning. Local laws regulations could be different in you city, parish or state. Please consult with your local law enforcement agency or an attorney for further assistance.)

Does Louisiana have crimminal statues on terrorism? sent by citizen of Alexandria, LA

posted Jul 3, 2012, 11:52 AM by Jason Starkey   [ updated Jul 3, 2012, 11:54 AM ]

    Yes.. Louisiana has two statutes dealing with terrorism. The first is called terrorizing. Terrorizing is the intentional communication of information that the commission of a crime of violence is imminent or that a circumstance dangerous to human life exists with the intent of causing fear or causing the evacuation of a building or causing serious disruption to the general public. The potential penalty for terrorizing includes imprisonment with or without hard labor for not more than 15 years.

    Louisiana also has a statute prohibiting actual terrorism. Terrorism is the commission of any killing, injuring, kidnapping, arson, or damage to property when the offender has the intent to intimidate or coerce the civilian population, influence the policy of a government, or affect the conduct of government. When terrorism involves a killing, the potential penalty is life imprisonment at hard labor.
     When the terrorism involves serious injury, the potential penalty includes imprisonment at hard labor for up to 30 years. When the terrorism involves a kidnapping, the potential penalty includes imprisonment at hard labor for up to 10 years. When the terrorism involves arson, the potential penalty includes imprisonment at hard labor for not less than six and not more than 40 years, with four years of the sentence without benefit of suspension, parole or probation. And when the terrorism involves criminal damage to property, the potential punishment is imprisonment at hard labor for not less than one, not more than 30 years
Jason Starkey HA-9

How big can a crack in my windshield to fail inspection.? Sent by citizen of Ville Platte, LA

posted Jan 23, 2012, 11:09 PM by Jason Starkey

    The acute area (directly in the driver’s line of vision) cannot have any cracks and no more than 2
stars, nicks, chips, bull's-eyes, or half moons in excess of 1/2".
    The critical area (area other than the acute area which is cleaned by the normal sweep of the windshield wiper blades on the driver’s side only) - cannot have any star larger than 2" in
diameter, 2 or more stars larger than 1 1/2" in diameter, or 2 or more cracks which extend more
than 8".
Jason Starkey HA-9

Is it illegal for my children to ride in the back bed of a truck. Sent by citizen of Hessmer, LA

posted Apr 23, 2011, 9:51 AM by Jason Starkey   [ updated Jan 23, 2012, 11:19 PM ]

    Louisiana law states that no person or persons under the age of twelve years shall be permitted to be a passenger in the open bed of a truck with a gross weight of six thousand pounds or less, commonly referred to as a pickup truck, or in a utility trailer while moving upon a highway of this state. However this provision does not apply to a pickup truck traveling less fifteen miles per hour while participating in an authorized parade in a controlled situation. The provisions of this Section shall be inapplicable in an emergency situation if the child is accompanied within the truck bed by an adult. Also The provision of this Statue shall be inapplicable in an emergency situations.
Jason Starkey HA-9

Is it illegal to leave my car running unattended. Sent by citizin of Hamburg, LA

posted Apr 23, 2011, 9:36 AM by Jason Starkey   [ updated Jan 23, 2012, 11:20 PM ]

Although enforcment may vary by agency. Louisiana Law states that no person driving or in charge of any motor vehicle shall permit it to stand unattended without first stopping the motor, locking the ignition, removing the key, and effectively setting the brake thereon, and, when standing upon any grade, turning the front wheels to the curb or side of the highway.
Jason Starkey HA-9

I am moving Marksville, LA to Simmesport, LA. Do I have to change the address on my drivers license. Sent by citizen of Marksville, LA

posted Apr 23, 2011, 9:07 AM by Jason Starkey

When you move permanently from the address or place that you reside Louisiana law requires that you the Inform the Department of Motor Vehicles of the new address within 10 days thereafter.
Jason Starkey HA-9

Are use of electric scooters legal in Louisiana.. Sent by Citizen of Marksville,LA

posted Feb 6, 2011, 11:13 PM by Jason Starkey   [ updated Feb 6, 2011, 11:19 PM ]

    Electric scooters and mopeds are becoming increasingly popular because of their easy maneuverability and cheap cost to run. Under Louisiana law, an electric scooter or moped is defined as having a motor "rated no more than 1.5 brake horsepower, a cylinder capacity of no more than 50 cubic cm, and an automatic transmission that produces no more than 25 mph on a flat surface."


    Louisiana law states that electric scooters cannot be legally driven on roads as they do not meet general safety requirements and therefore cannot be registered. The DMV guide advises against purchasing an electric scooter as a primary mode of transportation, warning that anyone found operating a scooter on a public roadway will be ticketed. If the vehicle is to be used for this purpose, then a moped would be a better option.


    The minimum age at which you can operate a moped in Louisiana is 15. The rider must be in possession of a valid driver's license with a motorcycle endorsement. Unsupervised use of a moped is restricted to within 3 miles of the rider's home until he turns 16.


    Registration for a moped can be carried out at any OMV. To register the vehicle you will need to present a bill of sale, a title or notarized certificate of origin, evidence of security interest by UCC-1 or equivalent form, odometer statement and proof of insurance. As of 2010, the registration fee is $18.50 plus handling fees and taxation that can vary based on the value of the vehicle and your parish location. The DMV guide recommends contacting the OMV at 877-DMV-LINE with any questions about taxation.


HA-4 Matthew Shallington

What are the Punisments for DWI in Louisiana.. Sent by Citizen of Deville, LA

posted Feb 6, 2011, 11:02 PM by Jason Starkey

  In Louisiana, driving while intoxicated is a crime. Typically called either DWI or DUI, anyone driving under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants can face fines, jail, and suspension of driving privileges.
    Louisiana's DWI law punishes anyone who drives or operates a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above the legal limit of 0.08 percent. This "per se" law does not require the driver to exhibit unsafe driving behavior. All that is required is for the driver to test above the legal limit on any BAC test administered by a law enforcement officer. Because the state's law relies so heavily on BAC testing, the state also has an implied consent law which requires all drivers to submit to a BAC test ordered by law enforcement.
    Louisiana punishes DWI offenses as either felonies or misdemeanors, depending on the number of DWIs the defendant has. For a first-time offender, the state imposes a fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail. Second time DWIs can also face a $1,000 fine and six months in jail, but are also required to serve at least 48 hours in jail, even if granted diversion or probation. For third and subsequent DWIs, Louisiana charges these crimes as felonies. Third time offenders receive a minimum 45-day jail sentence, and a maximum of up to five years in prison. Offenders must also pay fines up to $2,000. Fourth time offenders face up to 30 years in jail and $5,000 fines.
    Louisiana also suspends or revokes the license of anyone convicted or even charged with a DWI. First-time DWI offenders will have their license suspended for at least 90 days, and up to six months if the offender is under 21. For felony DWI offenders, license suspensions last two years. Because driving suspensions are not considered criminal punishments, these limitations can be imposed even if the person is not convicted of a DWI. Further, anyone refusing to take a BAC test ordered by a law enforcement officer can have his or her license suspended 180 days.
Click here to get deatailed explination on LA RS 14:98 (Operating a vehicle while intoxicated)
HA-9 Jason Starkey

What is the Law in Louisiana concerning Fog Lights.. Sent by citizen of Fifth Ward, LA

posted Feb 6, 2011, 10:45 PM by Jason Starkey   [ updated Feb 6, 2011, 10:50 PM ]

    According to Louisiana revised statutes, motor vehicles may have a maximum of two fog lights mounted to the front bumper. These must be mounted between 12 and 30 inches off the ground. When the fog lights are illuminated, they cannot project a beam that, at a distance of 25 feet, is higher than 4 inches from the mounted level.

    According to Louisiana revised statute 32:301, fog lights may be illuminated at any time between sunset and sunrise, when there is insufficient natural light or when inclement weather leads to reduced visibility.

    Vehicle owners whose fog lights are used in an improper manner may be fined $25. The commissioner of motor vehicles has the right to approve or disapprove of any fog lights if they do not meet state requirements, as well as fine a vehicle owner for improper installation of fog lights.

HA-4 Matthew Shallington

What constitutes criminal abandonment.. Sent by Citizen of Alexandria, LA

posted Feb 6, 2011, 10:21 PM by Jason Starkey   [ updated Feb 6, 2011, 10:50 PM ]

    Parents have a duty to protect and care for their children. When a parent abdicates this duty, society imposes consequences via the legal system. Depending on the circumstances, the penalties for child abandonment can be severe. Child abandonment laws are legislated by the states, so Louisiana has its own set of laws and penalties.
    That being said, In Louisiana, Criminal Abandonment is defined as the intentional physical abandonment of a minor child by the child's parent or legal guardian. A "child" is defined as an individual under the age of ten. "Abandonment" is defined as leaving the child unattended and in a situation in which he has to take care of himself. To prove that the child was abandoned, there must be evidence that the parent did not attempt to secure alternate adult supervision for the child and that the parent did not intend to return.
    If a parent or guardian abandons a child as defined by the state of Louisiana, she is subject to jail time of up to a year and a fine of up to $1,000.
Other Charges could apply here as well, see below
Cruelty to Juveniles LA RS 14:93
    Some forms of child abandonment can also be considered "cruelty to juveniles" in Louisiana. For example, if there is an intentional neglect of a child by an individual who is seventeen or older to a child who is seventeen or younger that causes pain or suffering to the child, the individual will be subject to harsher punishment. "Intentional neglect" is defined as leaving the child alone in a situation in which a reasonable person could have foreseen harm. For example, if a parent abandons his child in a dangerous area of the city, this will result in harsher penalties than abandoning the child in a safer environment.
Child Desertion LA RS 14:93.2.1
    Louisiana strictly punishes child desertion in their courts. The act of deserting a child incurs legal penalties. The difference between child desertion and child abandonment is that someone who deserts the child intends to return, whereas someone who abandons the child does not intend to return. Child desertion can result in jail time of up to six months and a fine of up to $500.
HA-9 Jason Starkey

Can my 16 year daughter get a tattoo with out my permission.. Sent by citizen of Marksville, LA

posted Feb 6, 2011, 10:07 PM by Jason Starkey

    In the State of Louisiana it is unlawful for any person to tattoo or body pierce any other person under the age of eighteen without the consent of an accompanying parent or tutor of such person. Also It is unlawful for any business entity to pierce the body of any person under the age of eighteen without the consent of a parent or legal custodian of such person.
    Any Person or Business that is found guilty of violating this Law could be fined not less than one hundred dollars or more than five hundred dollars or be imprisoned for no less than thirty days or more than one year, or both.
HA-3 Pete Aymond

1-10 of 21