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Here is the law and penalty for simple burglary in Louisiana
§62. Simple burglary
A. Simple burglary is the unauthorized entering of any dwelling, vehicle, watercraft, or other structure, movable or immovable, or any cemetery, with the intent to commit a felony or any theft therein, other than as set forth in R.S. 14:60.
B. Whoever commits the crime of simple burglary shall be fined not more than two thousand dollars, imprisoned with or without hard labor for not more than twelve years, or both.
ADDITIONALLY, given that your son does not have a criminal record, it is possible that his bond will be reduced once he goes in front of a judge. Bonds are set to ensure someone appears at the court hearing. It is usually set high for those who are a flight risk meaning they have failed to appear before - or do not have any community ties to keep them in the vicinity or if the sentence is such that the offender would flee.
This must be a very stressful and trying time for you, if this is your first encounter with the law. What happens is, someone is arrested, they are taken before a magistrate and a bond is set - then they are entitled to a preliminary hearing where the judge will evaluate the facts and charges and make a detemination as to whether there was probable cause for the arrest and if the person should have a bond, how much or if they should be relased on thier own recognizance pending trial. You can attend that bond review hearing and be there as support system for your son showing the judge that he does have commuity and family ties
The 12 years is a maximum sentence. There are many situations depending on the facts of a case where a plea can be arranged - sometimes a suspended sentence is given. My rule of thumb is whenever there is possible incarceration that a local attorney be consulted. You could consult with an attorney by getting a referral from the Louisana Bar Association HERE - ask if they can get a plea and what type of sentence they could get - if they cannot get a suspended sentence or work out a dismissal on technicalities then you might as well see if your son qualifies for a public defender. There are very good attorneys who work for the public defender's office.
Best to you,
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