Louisiana is one of the strictest states when it comes to drug trafficking laws, so receiving these charges can be incredibly nerve-wracking. You may stress about the potential consequences and the repercussions they may have on your life or career. No matter the charges, you deserve a trustworthy lawyer who is well-versed in drug trafficking defense and will fight for your rights.
Fortunately, our professional legal team at John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm in Louisiana has years of experience working on all types of criminal drug cases, so we have extensive knowledge of state laws and effective legal strategies. We also understand what factors most impact these kinds of charges. With our resources and experience, we may be able to get your charges reduced or even dropped in the best-case scenario.
4 Major Factors That Impact Louisiana Drug Trafficking Charges
When it comes to charging someone with drug trafficking, law enforcement looks into certain factors to determine the level of the charge. These factors include the following:
The Amount of Drugs
Each state has laws that detail which charges a defendant may receive depending on the amount of drugs they have on them. While Louisiana does not have a concrete rule about amounts and charges correlations, the amount may reflect an intent to distribute, which could affect the charge you receive. When law enforcement seizes the drugs, they decide whether you had an intent to distribute based exclusively on the amount.
Therefore, the amount of drugs seized directly impacts whether you receive a drug trafficking charge or a simple possession charge. Drug trafficking has much more serious penalties, so contacting a Ruston criminal defense attorney right away may better your chances of getting these charges reduced.
The Type of Drugs Seized
Louisiana divides types of drugs into different categories, or schedules. These schedules are based on the substance’s medical use and potential for abuse. Depending on the type of drug law enforcement seized and the category the drug falls into, your charges may be more or less severe. These schedules and their penalties include the following:
- Schedule I: This category includes drugs like marijuana, heroin, LSD, ecstasy, and peyote. Penalties range from one to 40 years in jail and fines of up to $50,000.
- Schedule II: This schedule includes cocaine, methamphetamine, fentanyl, and Adderall. Potential punishments include one to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $50,000.
- Schedule III: This includes ketamine, testosterone, and products containing less than 90 milligrams of codeine. Penalties may include fines of up to $15,000 and one to 10 years in prison.
- Schedule IV: This lower-level schedule includes Xanax, Klonopin, and Valium. Consequences may include one to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $15,000.
- Schedule V: This category involves low-level substances like cough medicines, and the potential penalties include one to five years in prison and fines of up to $5,000.
Based on these categories, the specific drug involved majorly impacts the penalties you may face, as some are punished more severely than others.
Any Additional Charges
Drug trafficking charges often accompany other ones due to the nature of the crime. The more charges you receive, the more penalties you face. Other charges that may accompany drug trafficking include the following:
- Manufacturing drugs
- Felony gun possession
- Money laundering
- Felony drug possession
Keeping up with these charges can be complicated, so we may be able to manage the entire legal process from start to finish.
Previous Criminal History
While prison is a potential penalty for any drug trafficking charge in Louisiana, a past criminal history could increase these charges and punishments. It’s important to remember that every drug charge, no matter the scope, remains on your permanent record. Therefore, when Louisiana law enforcement looks into your past behavior, they will see any charges. They may charge you with a more serious crime if you have committed any previous misdemeanors or felonies.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Louisiana Criminal Defense Attorney at John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm
With Louisiana’s harsh drug crime laws and the potential penalties, facing drug trafficking charges can be distressing. It’s important to know how law enforcement and the court make their decisions about your charges and penalties so you can fully understand your circumstances. Our compassionate lawyers at John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm may be able to help you develop effective defenses to cast doubt on the charges against you.
We pride ourselves on providing innovative and effective legal services to those facing drug trafficking charges, as we have for years. You deserve top-notch representation, and we will fight for your rights and work to reduce your charges and penalties. To schedule a free case consultation, fill out our contact form or call us at (318) 377-1555.