Being charged with a drug crime is a nightmare for most people. The penalties for drug charges range from fines and probation to long-term incarceration. If you’ve recently been charged for a drug crime, you must be very worried about your future. Let’s discuss what separates misdemeanor and felony drug charges, and whether you’ll face jail time for your charges if you get convicted.
What’s The Difference Between a Misdemeanor and a Felony Drug Charge?
There are a variety of factors that play into whether a drug offense is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. The most common factors include:
- Amount of drugs
- Types of drugs
- Additional charges (intent to sell, trafficking, etc.)
- Prior convictions
In Louisiana, possession of a Schedule I drug such as methamphetamine, LSD and marijuana will result in felony charges. Possession of Schedule III-V drugs such as testosterone, prescription medications, and steroids will likely result in a misdemeanor. Penalties for misdemeanors and felonies vary greatly and all have a lasting effect on your future.
What are Common Misdemeanor Penalties in Louisiana?
Specific penalties for misdemeanor drug charges vary depending on the circumstances and details surrounding the case. There are three separate categories for misdemeanors in Louisiana: Class A, Class B, and Class C.
Class C is the least severe and Class A is the most severe. Common penalties for misdemeanors in Louisiana include:
- Up to 30 days in jail
- Up to $1,000 in fines
If a person is charged with more than one misdemeanor for a single crime, these penalties are likely to increase. With the right legal representation, you can reduce the penalties you face and increase the chances of moving forward with your future, free from the negativity associated with drug charges.
What are Common Penalties for Felony Drug Charges?
Penalties for felony drug charges are more severe than for misdemeanors. The state of Louisiana does not define specific classifications for felonies but instead outlines the penalties according to the crime. Penalties for felony drug charges depend on the type of drug, amount of the drug, and prior convictions. The most severe charges — such as drug trafficking — are subject to up to 30 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.
Although a felony drug charge might seem hopeless, the right attorney will know how to create a viable defense strategy that works to mitigate the charges you face. The best-case scenario is reduced penalties such as:
- House arrest
- Secure monitoring
- Community service
- Substance abuse rehabilitation
- Random drug tests
If you’re charged with a drug crime, be sure to ask your attorney about their process for building viable defense strategies. It’s important to hire a lawyer who understands how to build a specific defense that works for your case if you want to avoid spending time in jail.
Find a Reliable Drug Defense Lawyer in Louisiana
In Louisiana, The John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm is a recognized source of legal representation for people facing drug charges. We have more than 25 years of experience winning cases for ordinary citizens in situations just yours. We have won millions of dollars in settlements and will stop at nothing to make sure we provide you with a winning experience as well.
Our lawyers are members of the Louisiana Bar Association and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Eric Johnson is a problem solver with a successful track record. He has served clients facing all kinds of drug charges throughout Louisiana, and is ready to help solve your problems, too.
To schedule a free consultation call 318-377-155 or contact us online today.