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Louisiana Marijuana Defense Attorney
Caught with Marijuana in Shreveport, Bossier City, Monroe, & Ruston, LA
Compared to drugs like heroin and crack cocaine, many feel marijuana is not as dangerous. State and federal authorities do not agree with this point of view, prosecuting marijuana offenses to the fullest extent of the law. Despite other states taking steps to legalize the drug, Louisiana authorities oppose such measures, and the state’s Department of Health has linked marijuana use to schizophrenia and heart attacks. If you face charges of a marijuana-related offense in this state, discuss the charges with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can represent you in court.
Louisiana Marijuana Defense Attorney
What are Common Types of Marijuana Drug Offenses?
State and federal governments are spending considerable resources on fighting illegal marijuana use and transportation. Louisiana marijuana statutes revolve around two key charges:
- Manufacturing and distribution
The penalties for these crimes are situational and are among the toughest in the country. When compounded with Louisiana’s three-strike policy, some offenders may go to prison for life if convicted of a non-violent marijuana offense. Attorney Eric Johnson of The John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm has decades of experience defending clients who have been caught with marijuana or accused of being tied to illegal drug activity.
What are the Penalties for Marijuana Crimes?
Penalties for marijuana possession were reduced in 2015, but only for those caught with small quantities of the drug. Specifically, if found with under 2.5 pounds of marijuana without intent to distribute, the fines and prison time are reduced, unless you have prior convictions for the same crime. If previously convicted, defendants might be subject to the state’s three strikes law and possibly go to jail for life.
Marijuana possession penalties are as follows:
First offense – If less than 14 grams, defendants face a fine of up to $300, and/or up to 15 days in jail. Those with more than 14 grams will face up to $1,000 in fines, and/or up to 6 months in jail.
Second offense – If this is an individual’s second charge for possession, a fine of up to $1,000, and/or up to 6 months in jail, are possible.
Third offense – It is a felony in the state of Louisiana to be convicted a third time for this crime. Defendants who are found guilty of this will face sentencing of up to 2 years, possibility of hard labor, and/or fines reaching $2,500.
Subsequent offenses – Any conviction for marijuana possession that exceeds the third time is still a felony. If convicted, a defendant can be sentenced up to 8 years in prison, with or without hard labor, and/or fines up to $5,000.
Other Possible Outcomes
It is possible for a judge to sentence a defendant to probation. If the defendant has three or more marijuana possession drug offenses, enrollment in a substance abuse program and community service will be required. The costs incurred for all of this will be the responsibility of the guilty party.
If someone is found guilty of possessing over 2.5 pounds of marijuana in the state of Louisiana, the consequences are devastating. The state’s government set up a tiered penalty system dependant upon the amount of marijuana a person has been found possessing.
2.5 – 60 pounds – For those caught with an amount in this range, a sentence of 2 – 10 years in prison will be handed down. Additionally, hard labor might be added, as well as a fine between $10,000 and $30,00.
60 – 2,000 pounds – This offense demands a prison sentence of hard labor that lasts between 5 and 30 years, and a fine ranging between $50,000 and $100,000.
2,000 – 10,000 pounds – Individuals convicted at this level face a prison sentence of 10 to 40 years with hard labor, and must pay a fine of at least $100,000 but not more than $400,000.
10,000 pounds or more – This conviction carries a hard labor prison sentence of 25 – 40 years with a fine ranging between $400,000 to one million dollars.
How to Fight a Drug Offense Charge in Louisiana
Facing marijuana drug offenses in Louisiana is no laughing matter. If you or a loved one have been charged, do not hesitate to get an experienced legal team working for your defense as soon as possible. The John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm defends state and federal criminal charges throughout Louisiana and is here to protect your rights and reputation. Speak to us today at (318) 377-1555 or online for a free consultation about your case.