Lafayette Drug Crimes Attorneys
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Precht Law Firm is equipped with the knowledge and professional experience to fight effectively for you in court. Especially when you are facing accusations for a crime as serious as illegal drug possession, you will need an experienced and aggressive attorney by your side to champion your defense. Attorney Jordan T. Precht offers free initial consultations for interested clients to discuss their potential defense options. Get started on your case immediately with an attorney who will put up a tough and aggressive fight for you in court.
Louisiana’s 5 Drug Schedules
It is illegal in Louisiana to possess a controlled substance without a valid prescription, and the state divides controlled substances (CDS) into five different “schedules.” Schedule I generally contains the most dangerous drugs, which have a high probability of abuse and addiction and no recognized medical value. Schedules II, III, IV, and V decrease in their level of dangerousness and probability of abuse and increase in recognized medical uses. These schedules will determine the applicable penalties for illegal possession of specific CDS, so it is important to know what schedule the drug in question belongs in.
Charges for possession of Schedule I CDS can be divided into two categories – non-marijuana offenses and marijuana offenses. Non-marijuana offenses can be punishable by 1-10 years in prison and/or fines up to $5,000, depending on the amount and type of CDS possessed. The penalties will largely depend on the drug, though, as possession of under 28 grams of cocaine, a Schedule I drug, could result in up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000, all of which can increase if the amount in possession is more than 28g. Possession of heroin, another Schedule I drug, is punishable by 5-40 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.
In the case of marijuana possession, if the person does not have the legal right to possess medical marijuana, first and second violations can be punished by up to 6 months in parish jail and/or fines of up to $1,000. The penalties will increase to felony-level sentences ranging from 2-8 years’ imprisonment and fines of up to $5,000 for subsequent violations.
Possession of Schedule II or Schedule III drugs generally involve a sentence of 1-5 years in prison and/or fines of up to $5,000. For possession of phencyclidine (PCP), the potential prison time increases to 20 years.
Similarly, penalties for possession of a Schedule IV or Schedule V CDS include a fine of up to $5,000 and/or imprisonment for 1-5 years. However, convictions involving Flunitrazepam (also called rohypnol or ruffies) could warrant up to 10 years in prison.
Enhanced Penalties in Louisiana
Certain circumstances may lead to additional penalties for a drug-related offense. For instance, possession of CDS on or within 2,000 feet of properties designated “drug-free zones” will increase the maximum fines and imprisonment by one and one-half times. Drug-free zones include:
- public playgrounds;
- public parks and recreational facilities;
- colleges; and
- drug treatment facilities.
Further, a defendant convicted of a second or subsequent offense will likely face twice the applicable fine and/or prison term according to the schedule and substance involved in the offense.
Call (337) 201-9119 for Legal Representation Immediately
If you have been charged with a drug crime in Lafayette, contact an experienced lawyer immediately for legal representation. The repercussions of a drug charge are serious, as they could lead to many years in prison and heightened fines. The severity of the penalties will depend on the schedule of drug you have been accused of possessing, so it is imperative that you consult a drug crimes lawyer to better help you navigate this process. Precht Law Firm can evaluate your specific situation to determine your best legal defense against your drug-related crime.
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