LOUISIANA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS FIGHTING DRUG CRIMES AND RELATED CHARGES
If you’ve been arrested and charged with a drug crime in Louisiana, you have good reason to be concerned. It is important that you speak with an experienced and dedicated Baton Rouge drug crimes defense attorney if charged with a drug crime in Louisiana. Drug crimes are serious offenses in this state, and being arrested for possession, sale, or trafficking of drugs can result in harsh prison sentences, large fines, and mandatory drug rehab programs. In addition, you’ll face the lifelong stigma of having a criminal record, the loss of your reputation in the community, and often the inability to obtain employment, housing, or financial aid to pursue an education. If you have prior offenses, you should also be aware of the potential for mandatory enhanced sentencing under Louisiana’s “habitual offender” law. Certain drug can also have immigration consequences.
If you or a member of your family has been arrested for a drug crime, you should immediately contact an experienced drug defense attorney to protect your constitutional rights and prevent crippling limitations on your options for the future.
COMMON TYPES OF ILLEGAL DRUGS
Drug crimes include possession, distribution, trafficking, smuggling, transporting, selling, or manufacturing of illegal substances including, but not limited to:
- Prescription pain killers
- Marijuana (for non-medical purposes)
TYPES OF DRUG CRIMES
- Possession, which is generally having a small quantity of the controlled substance for personal use;
- Possession with intent to distribute or sell;
- Selling, which is exchanging drugs for money or other compensation.
- Drug trafficking, which involves possessing, manufacturing, cultivating, or transporting a large quantity of controlled substances as a commercial activity.
DRUG CRIME DEFENSES
It is important to find an experienced drug defense lawyer immediately when you’ve been arrested for a drug crime. The sooner your Baton Rouge defense lawyer gets to work, the better your chances of a favorable outcome.
Very often, police make major mistakes when making a drug arrest and collecting evidence. Some examples include the following:
- Illegal search and seizure.
- Using falsified information to obtain a search warrant
- Insufficient evidence
- Planted evidence
- Coerced confession
- Failing to inform you of your rights
- Continued interrogation when you’ve requested a lawyer
- Use of informant who is receiving some benefit in exchange
Other defenses include having a provable alibi, inability of police to produce the drugs, or showing the drugs belonged to another person, and in state courts only, the medical marijuana exception.
SKILLED, PROFESSIONAL DRUG DEFENSE IN STATE AND FEDERAL COURTS
The drug defense attorneys at the Louisiana Criminal Law Offices in Baton Rouge practice in both state and federal courts. Our lawyers are skilled at analyzing drug cases to identify errors or misconduct by police, which can be used to support a motion to suppress the evidence and other convincing proof that may result in charges being dismissed.
As a result of our many years of experience successfully defending clients facing all levels of drug charges, from possession to federal drug crimes, the attorneys at Louisiana Criminal Law Offices are able to protect your constitutional rights, present evidence in your favor, and raise the reasonable doubt that could lead to an acquittal. If we come on board early enough, we can sometimes even prevent charges from being filed.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS)
WHAT IS “POSSESSION” FOR THE PURPOSE OF CRIMINAL LAW?
To “possess” an illegal drug, you must:
- have physical control over it, and
- have the knowledge or intention of having it.
“Willful blindness” is no defense to possession – refusing to check the contents of a bag you were paid to carry over a border, for example, is no defense if you had good reason to believe the bag contained an illegal drug.
WHAT ARE SOME DEFENSES AGAINST A DRUG CHARGE?
Some of the most common defenses are:
- The search that discovered the drug was illegal
- The drugs belonged to someone else (your roommate, for example, if they were found in your apartment)
- The crime lab analysis reveals that the substance you were caught with was not actually an illegal drug
- The drugs are missing (the police misplaced them)
WHAT IS THE EXCLUSIONARY RULE?
The exclusionary rule, based on the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, allows you to exclude evidence that the police obtained illegally. That means that this evidence cannot be used against you even if it would prove you guilty. You can still be convicted if the prosecutor has enough evidence to convict you, even without the excluded evidence.
WHAT HAPPENS IF BOTH LOUISIANA AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BOTH WANT TO PROSECUTE ME FOR THE SAME DRUG OFFENSE?
If the Louisiana government and the federal government get into a conflict over who should prosecute you, the federal government wins and Louisiana must refrain from prosecuting you, at least until your case is resolved in the federal court. This could carry consequences for you in terms of the severity of your sentence. It is possible to be prosecuted in both jurisdictions for same offense.
WHAT IS A “DRUG FREE SCHOOL ZONE”?
A drug-free school zone is an area defined by a 1,000-foot radius around a primary or secondary school. Penalties are greatly increased if you are caught committing a drug offense in a drug-free school zone, even if the offense did not involve students.
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST MISTAKES I CAN MAKE IN A CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AGAINST ME?
The biggest mistakes you can make in a criminal prosecution against you include:
- Attempting to represent yourself
- Speaking too freely to the police
- Waiting too long to retain a defense attorney.
A complete list of mistakes, however, is too long to include here.
CAN THE POLICE SEARCH MY CAR OR MY HOME WITHOUT A WARRANT?
It depends on the circumstances. Although the general rule is that a warrant is required to justify a search, many exceptions to the warrant rule exist. A lot depends on where the search is conducted – a warrant is more likely to be required to search your home than to search your car.
WHAT IS ENTRAPMENT?
Entrapment is a defense that will win you a complete acquittal if it is successful, even if the evidence against you is overwhelming. You may have an entrapment defense, for example, if the police pressured you into committing the crime and supplied the drugs themselves (by posing as a dealer and offering to sell you drug, for example).
CONSULT WITH EXPERIENCED DRUG CRIMES ATTORNEYS IN BATON ROUGE
If you or someone you love has been charged with a drug crime in the Baton Rouge area, you should contact an experienced Louisiana criminal defense attorney immediately, before answering any questions from law enforcement. Call our office at (225) 963-9638 to schedule a consultation and discuss your rights. We handle criminal cases on a flat fee basis so there are no surprises as to the costs and payment plans are available.
CONTACT A CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER TODAY
If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, call us today to schedule a consultation where we can discuss the case and your rights. Being charged with a crime is a serious matter that can have life long implications. We have handled thousands of criminal cases and regularly handle cases in both state and federal courts as well as in juvenile courts. Let us fight to protect your rights.
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