FAQ's

Anonymous Tips

To submit a tip about criminal activity, call the New Orleans Police Department (504-821-2222) or the Crimestoppers hotlines (504-822-1111 or 1-877-903-7867). In some instances, Crimestoppers tipsters can qualify for cash rewards for information that advances an investigation or criminal prosecution.

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Arrests

An arrest occurs when a person is taken into custody on suspicion of committing a criminal act. The offense a person is booked with by police is only an allegation. Police are not empowered to bring a formal criminal charge against an arrestee, only to recommend charges for consideration by the District Attorney. After a person is arrested, the state…

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Attorneys

Attorneys employed by the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s office are prosecutors representing the State of Louisiana. They cannot provide legal referrals or legal advice to criminal defendants or their families and associates. The Louisiana State Bar Association provides a lawyer referral hotline in the New Orleans area of 504-561-8828. The LSBA also provides an online membership directory that includes an…

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Bail Bonds

Bail is an amount of money placed as security with the court to assure that a person accused of a crime will return to court when needed. Setting bail is at the sole discretion of the judges and commissioners of Criminal District Court. A judge or commissioner may also place conditions upon the accused, or refuse their release because of…

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Child Support

The District Attorney’s Child Support Enforcement Division enforces child support orders issued from the Orleans Parish Civil District Court. For more information on child support issues, visit our Child Support Division page here.

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Civil Court

Civil lawsuits and actions are litigated at the Orleans Parish Civil District Court. This is separate from the Criminal District Court where the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s office prosecutes criminal cases. For more information on the Civil Court, visit its website here.

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Contractor Fraud

OPDA investigators assist the public with economic crimes such as instances of contractor fraud. Persons interested in reporting fraudulent contractor activity should print and complete the appropriate form linked below, then call (504) 822-2414 to make an appointment with an Economic Crimes investigator for a review of the complaint packet. To report instances of contractor fraud, use this form.

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Court Records

Court records are managed and maintained by the office of Arthur Morrell, Clerk of Court for the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court. The clerk’s offices are inside the courthouse in Suite 104 of the first floor and Suite 210 of the second floor. Magistrate court records can be accessed in the clerk’s first-floor office directly across from the magistrate courtroom.…

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Criminal Complaints

Complaints of criminal activity in Orleans Parish should be reported to the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) or, in some instances, to the Louisiana State Police (LSP). These are the chief law enforcement agencies with the resources and mandate to launch criminal investigations of crimes committed in New Orleans. The Orleans Parish District Attorney’s office has its own dedicated staff…

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Criminal Defendants

A person arrested and charged with a crime is the defendant in a criminal court case. Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty, either by their decision to plead guilty or by a verdict of guilty rendered by a judge or jury at the end of a trial. Criminal defendants have the right to hire a licensed attorney of their…

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Expungement

Expungement is a court-ordered process in which the legal record of an arrest or a criminal conviction is sealed, or erased in the eyes of the law. When a conviction is expunged, the process may also be referred to as “setting aside a criminal conviction.” Louisiana’s current expungement laws (enacted in 2014) are covered in Articles 971-986 of the Code…

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Jury Service

Jury service is a civic duty, and a cornerstone of the American criminal justice system. If you have received a jury summons from Criminal District Court and have questions, call (504-658-9200), email (ejuror@criminalcourt.org) or visit the Jury Commission website. Your jury summons will have detailed instructions on where and when to report. Jurors at Criminal District Court typically are asked…

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MOT Unit

In 10 years in office, District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s trials team has impacted New Orleans’ murder rate by taking more than 675 killers off the streets through successful homicide convictions. The Major Offense Trials (MOT) Unit of the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s office is responsible for trying the most serious violent felony offenses in New Orleans – primarily cases of…

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Name Changes

Louisiana state law (RS 13:14751-13:14755) allows for an individual to alter their birth certificate to reflect a preferred name. This is accomplished by filing a civil petition in either the parish of birth or in Orleans Parish, where the Louisiana Department of Vital Records is located. If filing in Orleans Parish, petitions are provided for a fee at the Clerk…

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Restorative Justice

The OPDA’s Restorative Justice unit takes a cutting-edge approach to resolving certain criminal cases through mediation efforts. Cases are subjected to this approach only when requested by both the crime victim and the offender, and when approved by the District Attorney and First Assistant. The principles of restorative justice include establishing accountability from criminal defendants for the harm they have…

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SAKI

In October 2017, the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s office established its SAKI Unit (Sexual Assault Kit Initiative). A three-year grant funds the unit, comprised of two veteran prosecutors, an investigator, a victim-witness counselor and an administrative assistant. The unit is dedicated solely to building viable sexual assault cases through DNA evidence contained within previously neglected rape kits. The OPDA’s SAKI…

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Speedy Trial

Both the defendant and the state have the right to a speedy trial, as outlined in Article 701 of the Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure. A defendant’s motion for a speedy trial must be accompanied by an affidavit from the defendant’s counsel certifying that the defendant and counsel are prepared to proceed to trial. If the request is deemed valid…

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