Being charged with a drug crime is an experience no one wants to go through. Just because you face charges, however, doesn’t mean you’re guilty. In fact, just because you had drugs near you or on you doesn’t mean you’re guilty of the charges you face. A reliable attorney in Louisiana understands that possession is only 9/10ths of the law and that by understanding the details surrounding your case, they can work to mitigate your charges.
What Are Felony Drug Charges?
There are two classifications of drugs, legal and illegal substances. Illegal substances are categorized under five different schedules as follows:
- Schedule 1: Heroin, LSD, Ecstasy, Marijuana
- Schedule 2: Cocaine, Meth, Adderall, Ritalin, Vicodin
- Schedule 3: Steroids, Ketamine, Testosterone
- Schedule 4: Xanax, Soma, Darvocet, Valium, Ambien
- Schedule 5: Robitussin AC, Lomotil, Motofen, Lyrica
Schedule 1 and 2 drugs carry the most serious penalties if a person is found in possession of them. Penalties become more severe if the individual is also charged with trafficking or intent to sell. Felony drug charges are also categorized by the amount of drugs a person has in their possession.
If you’re found in possession of any of the substances listed above or charged with selling or trafficking drugs, an attorney can use their knowledge and experience to get the charges you face dropped.
Did the Authorities Conduct a Legal Search?
One of the first ways an attorney can get federal drug possession charges dropped is to examine whether the authorities conducted a legal search. According to the law, an illegal search is when authorities conduct a search or seize drugs without the appropriate warrant in their possession. The only time a law enforcement official has the right to search a person or their personal property without a warrant is when they see illegal drugs in plain sight.
If an attorney is able to gather evidence that the police conducted an illegal search of your person or property, they have the information they need to build a solid case to drop the federal drug charges against you.
Is There Proof You Were in Possession of Illegal Drugs?
To be convicted of federal drug charges there must be solid evidence that the drugs you had in your possession were, in fact, illegal substances. This means you cannot be convicted because someone says they saw you in possession of drugs. To be convicted of a drug crime, the authorities must be able to prove that the drugs they found were yours. If marijuana was found inside of a vehicle carrying you and four other people, it would be difficult to prove with confidence that it was yours. Common defenses include:
- You did not know the drugs were there
- The drugs were planted
- The drugs were someone else’s
In addition to evidence of possession, prosecutors must also have evidence that the drugs found were illegal substances. The best way to do that is to gather a sample of the drug and have it tested. Factors involved in proving illegal substances that work in your favor include:
- Faulty equipment
- Manipulated results
- Crossed evidence
A good attorney with experience handling drug cases will know what details work for your case and how they can use them to help you avoid penalties such as incarceration and costly fines.
Drug Court is a Viable Option for Offenders in Louisiana
If you’re convicted of a drug crime, many states including Louisiana offer drug court as an alternative to traditional penalties. Drug court exists to provide people facing serious consequences with an opportunity to have their charges dropped. When enrolled in drug court, an individual must complete a required process that typically includes:
- Community service
- and accountability.
Drug court is not ideal for everyone. However, if you’re committed to having your charges dropped and serious about moving your life forward, it can be an option that works in your favor.
Hire a Knowledgeable Drug Defense Attorney
In Louisiana, The John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm is a reliable source of legal representation for drug cases. With more than 25 years of experience, attorney Eric Johnson and his team of attorneys have won cases for thousands of individuals across Louisiana. Our firm is a member of the Louisiana Bar Association and The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Clients of Eric Johnson understand that he knows how to negotiate and is known for winning cases at trial.
To schedule a free consultation, call our office at 318-377-1555 or contact us online today.